The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?


As a response to this question, CPNN readers are encouraged to read the full text of the analysis of the refugee crisis in Europe by Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, in a speech on October 9, 2015.

Here are a few excerpts from his speech:

* * * * * *

The refugee crisis is a by-product of at least three broader trends:

First and foremost, it is the result of the breakdown of the authoritarian state order in the Middle East and Africa after the destruction of authoritarian states in Iraq and Libya, as well as the Arab Spring.

What we are witnessing today is not just a series of civil wars, but also a geopolitical struggle to redefine the balance of powers in the Middle East.

Second, the inability of the Security Council to find a compromise that can resolve the crisis in Syria has undermined its own authority and perpetuated the conflict.

Finally, the growing migratory flows are also compounded by demographic growth in countries in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa that are unable to generate sufficient employment for young people.

The populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East have multiplied by four since 1950 . On current trends, both will double again their 2000 populations by 2050.

This underlying trend is exacerbating political instability in the Middle East and Africa and fuelling migration.

Europe sees the massive influx of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa as a threat.

In reality, it is an endorsement of the European project, an opportunity, but also a challenge that will require decisive action.

Europe is a symbol of freedom, prosperity and justice that attracts immigrants. At a time when the EU is not popular within its own borders, Europeans should reflect on the significance of their popularity abroad.

But migrants should not be regarded merely as beneficiaries of Europe’s bounty: they also represent an opportunity for Europe itself.

By definition, immigrants are entrepreneurial people. After all, they have taken huge risks to seek a better life for themselves and their families.

It should not, therefore, come as a surprise that they are over-represented amongst entrepreneurs. In fact, more than 40 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant .

I am certain that many of the wealthy philanthropists in this room, like Mr. Arton himself, are immigrants or children of immigrants.

Moreover, immigrants can help to compensate for the ageing population of many European countries, and can therefore help sustain their welfare states into the future.

* * * * * *

The historic refugee crisis Europe is facing today is so hard to solve because it is not a one-off, humanitarian phenomenon.

It is, in fact, a by-product and symptom of much deeper political problems that beset regional and global order.

It will therefore require concerted action not just in and by Europe, but amongst the regional powers of the Middle East, and the global powers of the Security Council.

Like climate change, it is one of those issues that epitomise our era of globalisation, when crises in one part of the world can no longer be isolated or ignored by the rest.

Once again, international cooperation and dialogue will be the key to finding solutions.

According to an African proverb, if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.

We have a long way to go; we can only do so if we go together.

This question applies to the following CPNN articles:

The sea rescue association SOS MEDITERRANEE wins the Right Livelihood Award 2023

Spain: More than 140 people participate in the first Congress ‘Aragon, culture of peace

Some villages in France have found a second life by welcoming refugees

United Kingdom : Little Amal: Coventry welcomes giant refugee puppet to city

Milan, Italy: Anti-racism protesters denounce Italy’s right-wing government

Italy: Mayors of Florence, Palermo and Naples “Rebelled” against a Tough Anti-Immigrant Law

France: Culture for Peace Award to The Artists in Exile Workshop

The Elders challenge leaders to confront migration lies and make UN deal a success

Artist’s Portraits Show Migrant Caravan’s Hope, Joy: ‘These Are Regular People’

UNESCO recognizes Cortes de Baza for Dialogue and Coexistence

Nobel Women’s Initiative: Standing with Rohingya Women, Spotlighting Survivors for World Refugee Day

The Coming Wave of Climate Displacement

France / Refugees. Resumption of Trial of Martine Landry, Member of Amnesty International France and Anafé Unfairly Pursued for “Crime of Solidarity”

Germany: The dead refugees lament! Action September 5

Barcelona demonstration calls for the reception of refugees

Una multitud clama en Barcelona por la acogida de refugiados

From the “jungle” to the theater, refugees replay their exile to Europe

De la “jungle” au théâtre, des réfugiés rejouent leur exil vers l’Europe

The international Society Culture of Peace: Solidarity concerts in Athens and Mytilini / Lesbos

Greece: Union pushes for access to education for all refugee children

The Elders hail Germany’s engagement on refugee and migration issues

USA: Refugee Orchestra Project Showcases Refugees” Impact through Music on World Refugee Day

Grecia: Un sindicato nacional ejerce presión en favor del acceso a la educación para todos los niños refugiados

Grèce: Un syndicat national exerce des pressions afin de garantir l’accès à l’éducation de tous les enfants réfugiés

MOAS & EMERGENCY NGO partner up to provide rescue and medical care to migrants in the Mediterranean

Hundreds join refugee solidarity rally in Madrid, slamming NATO invasions

Latin America heeds the cries of refugees

The International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN)

USA: Indiana Said No; New Haven Said Yes To Refugees

France: Comment venir en aide aux réfugiés ?

France: How to help the refugees?

Michael Moore (USA): My home is open for Syrian refugees

Spain: The Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid

UNHCR welcomes first arrivals of Syrian refugees in Canada

The Barcelona Declaration – Refugees: Meeting the Challenge to Our Humanity

USA: 18 mayors join forces to commend Obama administration, and call on them to accept more refugees amid Syrian crisis

2015 MacBride Prize to Lampedusa (Italy) and Gangjeon Village, Jeju Island (S. Korea)

Is dropping more bombs on Syria way to solve refugee crisis?