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Political stability 'needed to overcome migrant crisis'.

Summary: Former education minister says tackling the root of the problem of the crisis is the only way to achieve stability

Image Credit: Gulf News archives Noor Nazzal, Staff Reporter

Dubai: Political stability must be achieved to overcome the 'refugee crisis', the chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue said during an interview with Gulf News in Dubai.

Dr Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim, Chairman of the Centre's board of management said the primary cause of recent refugee flows is political instability, adding that tackling the root of the problem of the 'refugee' crisis is the only way to achieve stability.

"The political instability in some countries resulted in a climate of insecurity, especially after the recent terrorist attacks. The recent massive influx of refugees and asylum seekers, fleeing their own countries to seek refuge within European countries has also undoubtedly created political economic and cultural challenges for most of these states," said Dr Al Qassim.

While several European countries have tackled the problem by rethinking their old immigration policies aiming towards more control of their borders, Dr Al Qassim stressed that the only way to completely solve it is by looking at the root of the problem.

"We need to start addressing the need for a better mechanism to deal with such problems, contain their implications, suggest ways to prevent them from happening and hold those responsible accountable. It is time for the international community to work collectively to take a more proactive role in these situations since the implications are no longer confined to one country or region," he said.

Not only should the consequences of this refugee crises be addressed but also, and with greater urgency, its root causes. In this regard, more action should be taken by the international community to prevent and end conflict situations in the countries of origin of the refugees, stressed Dr Al Qassim, who is also the former education minister.

"There is a need for more support for human rights and democracy building in potential refugee-sending countries. It is furthermore essential to create a unified front in the interest of the effective management of the refugee crisis and to translate such crisis management plans to specific action, prioritising long term and systemic solutions to the serious problem of irregular immigration rather than enforcing mandatory quotas."

With regards to the burden sharing of these flows and concerning more specifically the Syrian crisis, Dr Al Qassim said 2,169,000 Syrians left their country for a MENA region country and only 233,000 of them for a European country.

"Statistics are even more enlightening if we count the number of Syrians per 1 million inhabitants in host countries; there are 185,657 per million in Lebanon and 78,656 per million in Jordan. In contrast in European countries like the UK and France, the number does not exceed 33 and 152 for one million inhabitants, respectively," he said.

Dr Al Qassim said that contrary to what the common perception is, Arab countries, including GCC countries, are sharing the burden of hosting refugees. Dr Al Qassim also hopes that more concrete responses are explored by the international committee to tackle this crisis.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jan 9, 2016
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