December 16, 2017

Statement by President Anastasiades – UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants

High Level Meeting on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants General Assembly Seventy-first session High-level plenary meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants

New York, 19 September 2016

From the outset, I would like to express my appreciation to the Secretary General and the former President of the General Assembly, as well as the co-facilitators, Ireland and Jordan, for their valuable work in preparation of this High Level meeting.

In this respect, I wish to convey that Cyprus fully and unwavering endorses the outcome document which highlights our collective commitment to address large movements of refugees and migrants.

We are facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis which is the consequence on the one hand of economic insecurity, poor standard of living and lack of education opportunities on those countries in which migratory flows are being observed and on the other hand the outcome of the ongoing turmoil, extremism, sectarianism, civil war and terrorism taking place in Middle East, North Africa and other regions of the World.

Thus, addressing the root causes of large and long term movements of refugees and migrants should be at the core of the international community’s strategy.

Firstly, we should direct our efforts so that all those countries in need are turned into places in which sustainable development is a reality. Thus, our economic support should be well-targeted and results-oriented so as to create those political and socio-economic conditions that will deter people migrating.

Secondly, we need to effectively promote regional peace in order to end ongoing conflicts and also prevent future ones. In this respect, Cyprus is committed in cooperating with other partners and neighbours for creating effective partnerships in the Eastern Mediterranean and thus generating the necessary conditions for regional peace, security, stability and prosperity.

In parallel and in relation to the above, we should also jointly and in a comprehensive way direct our efforts against human traffickers and the enablers of terrorism.

The Republic of Cyprus is already taking action based on the principle of responsibility-sharing. Most recently, in our capacity as an EU member-state we have accepted the resettlement of refugees in our country and we have put forward measures for the recognition and protection of victims of trafficking, the prosecution and conviction of traffickers, but also for enhancing bilateral cooperation on support of refugees and migration management.

Looking forward to the relevant report of the Secretary General during the 71st session of the General Assembly, I would like to assure you that my country will work towards the effective implementation of the commitments made in today’s high level meeting.

It is my firm belief that the achievement of these commitments, based on the principles of solidarity, shared responsibility and respect for human rights and dignity will be an important indicator of this Organization’s success and relevance.

It will also be a demonstration of our political will and determination to respond to the expectations of our citizens, for the benefit of mankind.