Baku – APA. Declaring that Europe is facing “a moment of truth” with hundreds of thousands of people risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea, the head of the United Nations refugee agency today urged the European Union (EU) to admit up to 200,000 asylum-seekers fleeing conflict zones like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the UN News Centre reported on Sept.4.
“Europe cannot go on responding to this crisis with a piecemeal or incremental approach. No country can do it alone, and no country can refuse to do its part,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said in a statement, noting solidarity cannot be the responsibility of only a few EU member States.
“More than 300,000 people have risked their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea so far this year. Over 2,600 didn't survive the dangerous crossing, including three-year-old Aylan, whose photo has just stirred the hearts of the world public,” the refugee agency chief said, referring to what UNICEF called a “heart-breaking” incident in which the young Syrian boy’s body washed ashore in Turkey two days ago.
This massive flow of people will not stop until the root causes of their plight are addressed,” Mr. Guterres said. “Much more must be done to prevent conflicts and stop the ongoing wars that are driving so many from their homes.