Churches stand with refugees as world leaders meet at UN summit

The following is a joint press release from the Conference of European Churches and the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe.

Press Release No: 16/29
19 September 2016
Brussels

Today, 19 September, the UN General Assembly is hosting a historic high-level summit addressing the large movement of refugees and migrants at its headquarters in New York (USA). Here heads of states and governments from all regions of the world, as well as international observers, will work toward a more coordinated approach to growing worldwide refugee crises.

Church and civil society representatives hope that the summit and its outcomes will motivate improved and more humane government responses toward the world’s estimated 65 million refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people.

“Our hope is that states recommit themselves to a UN-led response to the refugee crisis and accept sharing of international responsibility for the protection of refugees. Tackling root causes requires resolving current cruel conflicts and working towards justice and peace. At the same time, countries hosting the vast majority of refugees need to be assisted, and higher numbers of refugees have to be resettled,” remarked Doris Peschke, general secretary of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe. “The commitment towards a better international migration framework, which shall be elaborated in the coming two years, needs to be based on the human rights of migrants and decrease vulnerabilities.”

In advance of the summit, CCME along with ACT Alliance, the World Council of Churches, and the Churches Witnessing With Migrants, issued a joint statement calling for concrete results in New York. They called on world leaders to address the root causes of large-scale forced movements, support sustainable and equitable development, and reaffirm existing international human rights laws.

The churches in Europe have long advocated for a coordinated response to the refugee crisis and upholding the dignity of every person. This must include honouring quota systems, sharing responsibility, and reducing human smuggling and trafficking by offering safe and legal pathways into Europe.

To read the full text of the joint ACT Alliance/WCC/CCME/CWWM statement, please click here.

To learn more about the summit and access background documents and other resources, please click here.

For more information or an interview, please contact:

Erin Green
Communication Coordinator

Conference of European Churches
Rue Joseph II, 174 B-1000 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 234 68 42
Fax +32 2 231 14 13
E-mail: eeg@cec-kek.be
Website: www.ceceurope.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ceceurope
Twitter: @ceceurope

The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 114 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 national council of churches and organisations in partnership. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Brussels and Strasbourg.

The Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) is the ecumenical agency on migration and integration, asylum and refugees, and against racism and discrimination in Europe. Members are Anglican, Orthodox and Protestant Churches and Councils of Churches as well as church-related agencies in presently 18 European countries. CCME cooperates with the Conference of European Churches and the World Council of Churches.

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