At UN assembly, Croatia calls for treating migrants humanely while also tackling ‘root causes’

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic of Croatia addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-second session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

21 September 2017 – Croatia, a major way-station on the path of tens of thousands of refugees from the Middle East and Asia in 2015, called from the podium of the United Nations General Assembly today for a holistic approach that respects migrants’ rights while tackling the root causes of their flight.

“Croatia in the past has been faced with acute refugee and migrant crises,” Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic told the Assembly’s 72nd general debate. “The approach we took has always been – and will always be – one that puts people first.

“In the context of the upcoming negotiations on the Global Compact on Migration, we would advocate an approach to human mobility that prioritizes safety, dignity and human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, no matter where they come from and where they are headed.

“As with all global challenges, here too a holistic approach is required. We therefore need to work together to fight the root causes of mass migrations – be it poverty, failing States and wars or climate change and natural disasters – while standing against exploitation and abuse in the context of human trafficking and people smuggling.”

On conflicts, Mr. Plenkovic said that while a consistent approach by UN, and in particular the Security Council, is essential for its credibility, copy-pasted “one-size-fits-all” approaches are not the most effective way to proceed.

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