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  1. ITV Report

What's so special about the UN summit on refugees and migrants?

World leaders are discussing changes to the international regime on migrants and refugees Credit: Reuters

World leaders are gathering in New York for discussions on the global refugee crisis.

Taking place on Monday, the United Nations summit for refugees and migrants is the first of its kind and it is hoped the talks will pave the way for changes to the international regime on migrants and refugees.

  • What is the point of all this?

The summit aims to get the 193 UN member state to back a more coordinated approach to protecting the rights of refugees and migrants.

  • Why now?

The global refugee crisis is coming to a head and the current international regime on refugees and migrants is broadly seen as inadequate.

By the end of 2015 a record 65.3 million people driven from their homes by conflict and persecution.

That means one in every 113 people globally is either an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee.

  • That sounds like a lot...

It is. According to some estimates, an average of 24 people worldwide were forced to flee every minute last year.

An average of 24 people worldwide were forced to flee every minute last year Credit: Reuters
  • So who is behind this meeting?

The summit on the 19 September is organised by the president of the UN General Assembly and comes off the back of a report on refugees by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

A second event, a Leaders' Summit on Refugees, is being hosted on 20 September by US president Barack Obama alongside Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, Jordan, Mexico and Sweden.

  • What is the expected outcome?

It is hoped member states will commit to negotiating a "Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework" and a separate "Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration".

In theory, those will be adopted in 2018.

At present issues of migration and refugee rights are politically divisive
  • This isn't going to go smoothly, is it?

It's a matter of getting all 193 member states to agree and issues of migration and refugee rights are politically divisive right now so these talks could prove difficult.

Some member states have already rejected an earlier draft agreement that committed states to resettling 10% of the refugee population each year.

There will likely also be debates over funding - more than 80% of those displaced are in developing countries and there will be calls for richer nations to do more.

  • What will the UK be doing at the summit?

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to tell delegates that there should be a clearer distinction between refugees and people attempting to enter a country for economic reasons.

She is expected to stress that nations have a right to control their borders and say that refugees should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach.