The past several years have witnessed an array of crises causing mass movements of refugees and migrants in different parts of the world. While humanitarian assistance has provided immediate relief to millions of people, long-term responses to the various crises have typically been ad hoc, incomplete and uncoordinated. Countries hosting large refugee populations have shouldered a disproportionate burden. Thousands of vulnerable migrants, especially women and children, suffer exploitation and abuse at the hands of human traffickers. By circumventing existing border controls, migrant smugglers contribute to irregular migration. Third-country responses to large movements of refugees and migrants have ranged from generously welcoming newcomers to closing borders. Thousands of migrants and refugees have lost their lives in search for safety and a better life. The absence of systematic approaches to the arrival and stay of large-scale population movements has undermined the public trust in many countries.

Today, large-scale movements of refugees and migrants are a reality, with countries playing various roles as places of origin, transit or destination depending on the circumstances. These growing movements are taking place against the backdrop of increased human mobility and interconnectedness as a result of globalization.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda offer concrete commitments to leverage the benefits of international migration for development, to mitigate the root causes of displacement, to facilitate safe, orderly, and regular migration, and to address the various challenges posed by migration. Greater international cooperation and a strengthened commitment to responsibility-sharing are key elements in responding to large movements of refugees and migrants and in designing well-managed migration policies.


On 19 September 2016, the General Assembly will hold a high-level plenary meeting in order to respond to large movements of refugees and migrants. The aim of the Summit is to develop a global approach to situations of mass population flows that is more comprehensive, predictable, systematic, and equitable.

The meeting is expected to secure firm, action-oriented commitments to enhance responsibility-sharing and to strengthen international cooperation. The Secretary-General has recommended that Member States adopt a global compact on responsibility-sharing for refugees and agree on a roadmap to guide the development of a global compact for safe, regular and orderly migration.

Details on the event:
Main hashtag: #UN4RefugeesMigrants