U.N. chief urges ‘comprehensive response’ to migration crisis in Europe

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A Syrian migrant family enters Hungary at the border with Serbia near Roszke, Hungary August 28, 2015. (Reuters)

ARA News 

Geneva – United Nation’s Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, urged EU governments to step up their response to the mounting migrant crisis.

Ban’s call comes amid growing death tolls among refugees at sea, and one day after the discovery of migrant bodies in a deserted truck near the Austrian border with Hungary.

Ban praised leaders and communities who were taking action to cope with the flow of migrants, but added: “Much more is required,” said Ban after praising efforts of European communities and governments to cope with the migrant crisis. 

“I appeal to all governments involved to provide comprehensive responses, expand safe and legal channels of migration and act with humanity, compassion and in accordance with their international obligations,” the U.N. Secretary-General said in a statement on Friday.

Commenting on the tragic death of more than 70 refugees –mostly Syrians– inside an abandoned truck in Austria on Thursday, Ban said: “I was horrified and heartbroken.”  

In the meantime, AFP reported that rescuers pulled 76 bodies from the Mediterranean after two boats carrying 500 migrants sank, the latest tragedy in a series at sea.

“More than 300,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean so far this year, a large increase from last year,” the U.N. refugee agency reported.

“The Mediterranean Sea continues to be a death trap for refugees and migrants,” Ban added.

“This is a human tragedy that requires a determined collective political response. It is a crisis of solidarity, not a crisis of numbers,” he said.

Reporting by: Lorin Silo

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