Last Monday 193 world leaders gathered in the United Nations Headquarters to approve the New York Declaration aimed at providing a more coordinated and humane response to the current refugee crisis. It was the first summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants.
According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, there are now more than 21.3 million refugees, 3.2 million asylum seekers, and 40.8 million migrants who have been forced to flee due to armed conflict or in search of a better life.
The new declaration seeks to standardize responses to refugee situations and provide better education prospects for refugee children. It also aims to improve their working opportunities outside their countries of origin. Furthermore, plans for a campaign to combat xenophobia are considered.
The New York Declaration on Migrants and Refugees may be seen as a document which contains no concrete commitments and is not legally binding, but it expands the concept of refugee response beyond humanitarian aid in order to include matters like education and job opportunities.