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Premier calls for concerted efforts to address refugee crisis

Updated: Sep 21,2016 5:58 PM     Xinhua

UNITED NATIONS — Premier Li Keqiang on Sept 20 called on all countries to make a more concerted effort to address the biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

“It is the moral obligation of all countries to meet this challenge and it serves their security and development interests,” said Premier Li when delivering a speech at the US-initiated Leaders Summit on Refugees at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

China, as the biggest developing country, has paid great attention to and taken an active part in the global governance of refugee and migrant issues, actively advocating political resolutions and proposing cease-fire in conflict-ridden areas, said Premier Li.

Stressing that the refugee issue was rooted in profound historical circumstances, Premier Li said priority is to increase humanitarian assistance and protect the basic dignity of all refugees.

“International humanitarian obligations should be carried out because these efforts are about safeguarding the dignity of humankind,” Premier Li said.

He added that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and International Organization for Migration must fully reach the potential of their coordination roles. The origin, transit and destination countries for refugees and migrants must also play their due part, the Premier said.

It must be recognized that war, conflict and poverty are the main cause of the refugee issue, said Premier Li, adding that the only way out is to realize peace and development.

He called on all countries to achieve a more balanced, inclusive and sustainable growth of the global economy and help source countries of refugees and migrants achieve long-term peace and stability so that refugees can return home at an early date.

Leaders and representatives from some 50 countries and international organizations, including US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were present at the meeting.

This is the second summit concerning refugees that Premier Li attended during the 71st session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) that opened earlier last week. He also addressed the UNGA High-level Plenary Meeting on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants on Sept 19.

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