Statement on the UN Summit Addressing Refugees and Migrants

September 19, 2016

Statement from CWS President and CEO Rev. John L. McCullough on the United Nations Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants:

“CWS stands encouraged that today––for the first time in history––the international community convenes at the UNGA’s highest levels to address the vital topic of forced displacement around the world. The severity of the crisis undoubtedly warrants this momentous spotlight.

“As migration flows worldwide continue to redefine borders and transcend national boundaries, it is clearer than ever: a global crisis can only be mitigated through global cooperation. The record proportion of people displaced today affects every country––and underscores the crucial necessity of a coordinated and compassionate response.

“CWS is heartened that 193 of UN’s member states recognize the gravity of this urgent problem and our mutual responsibility in confronting it, as substantiated by their adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants today. However, the declaration does not go far enough, and is insufficient to tackle the crisis at hand and bring enough tangible change to displaced individuals.

“We are now at a landmark moment––and the situation before us desperately demands greater moral courage and global leadership. This entails bolder action by all actors in the global community––including the UN and its member states––and expanded new commitments to protect refugee rights.

“CWS has joined other members of civil society in crafting a scorecard that pinpoints where such leadership is critical—in ending child detention, ensuring access to asylum, humane border policies—and beyond.

“As CWS has been urging for years and emphasized in July, we need a modernized approach to migration that considers the resources and capacities of displaced individuals first and foremost. CWS further reiterates its calls on the U.S. to lead by example by doubling the United States’ commitment of refugee admissions to 200,000 over the next fiscal year and ensuring a commensurate expansion in integration support and social services for refugees beginning their lives anew in our country.

“The US must not only demonstrate its own accountability but hold other countries accountable to concrete implementation of international humanitarian law, human rights, refugee law, and commitments made this week. We can only do that if we demonstrate substantial leadership ourselves.

“We urge the global community to maintain a laser-like focus on tackling the enormous challenge before us, including by working to address the root economic and political realities that cause migration to be a necessity in the first place.

“The time is now for true––and sustained––global governance. More than 65 million lives depend on it.”


Media Contacts:

Christina Levin

Megan Cagle