U.N. urges EU states to make 'concrete commitments' to resettle refugees

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 26, 2015 5:38 AM

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations refugee agency said on Friday that the European Union's decisions on the migrant crisis were an "important step" but that much more needs to be done, including addressing root causes.

European leaders argued into the early hours of Friday over how to handle the crisis in the Mediterranean, agreeing a plan to share out the care of desperate people fleeing war and poverty in North Africa and the Middle East. They eventually agreed a voluntary scheme aimed at taking in 60,000 people.

"With regard to the proposal for EU-wide resettlement of 20,000 refugees, UNHCR expresses its strong support and urges member states to make concrete commitments towards this goal," Adrian Edwards of the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) told a news briefing. "There does need to be a joined up response by Europe focused on the asylum priorities."

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Hugh Lawson)