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Permanent Mission of Greece in Geneva arrow News - Interviews - Speechesarrow Intervention of Greece at the Enhanced interactive dialogue on the human rights of migrants in the context of large movements (Geneva, 10.03.2017, 34th Session of the UN Council of Human Rights)

Intervention of Greece at the Enhanced interactive dialogue on the human rights of migrants in the context of large movements (Geneva, 10.03.2017, 34th Session of the UN Council of Human Rights)

Monday, 13 March 2017

Intervention of Greece at the Enhanced interactive dialogue on the human rights of migrants in the context of large movements (Geneva, 10.03.2017, 34th Session of the UN Council of Human Rights)

Mr. President,

Greece aligns with the statement delivered by the EU.

I think you will agree that managing migration is more than ever a challenge and a necessity. It is a global responsibility which calls for global answers. We have noted with satisfaction that the New York Declaration and its Annexes reflect a growing awareness of the truly global nature of the issue.


Greece has reaffirmed, on several occasions, a commitment to ensure full and effective implementation of the Declaration. We also highlighted our engagement in the upcoming negotiations of a Global Compact for Migration to be concluded by 2018.  This framework is more than ever important in order to have more tangible results in the field of resettlement and relocation of people in need of international protection, and for returns of people not in need of it.

Greece, despite deep economic constraints, has been facing this challenge every day for the last year and a half. This is evident by the hundred thousands  of lives saved in the Aegean Sea and the mobilization of the local population. Moreover, my country devotes tremendous efforts  for the protection of the fundamental rights of those people, and specifically of the most vulnerable of them. Among other measures, it is to be noted that the Ministry of Education has put in place an emergency plan for the education of all the refugee and migrant children. Also, the specialized accommodation places for unaccompanied minors have tripled in less than a year.

Although after the entry into force of the EU-Turkey Statement, we have been witnessing a decrease in the flows - and, most importantly, fewer deaths in the Aegean- the fact is that after the closure of the Western Balkans Route, more than 60,000 persons are being stranded in Greece. At the same time, we are still receiving daily a non-negligible number of refugees and migrants.

The challenges in Greece are many and multifaceted, including strengthening the protection of borders and enhancing asylum procedures. But they can only be met on the basis of internationally shared responsibility and solidarity, the end-beneficiaries of which will be no other than the migrants and refugees themselves.

We would like to ask the distinguished panelists how they plan to concretely promote the concept of shared responsibility, within their respective mandates? Although, as we all know, a global sharing of responsibility depends on political will, we would like to encourage them to exert their moral and institutional authority in order to keep promoting this core principle forming the basis of the New York Declaration.

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