Refugee kids to raise int’l awareness at UN

Refugee kids to raise int’l awareness at UN

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Refugee kids to raise int’l awareness at UN

Foreign Minister Davutoğlu (R) talks with his counterparts in Geneva. Davutoğlu has set of measures, including the setting up of an assembly of representatives. AP photo

Turkey has proposed that a group of orphaned Syrian refugee children tell of their suffering to representatives of the international community, including the U.N. Security Council. The proposal came at a meeting of neighboring countries to Syria, where measures to raise awareness and advocacy on greater international support for refugees was discussed.

The foreign ministers of countries neighboring Syria, which shelter thousands of Syrian refugees, convened at the U.N. Refugee Agency in Geneva on Sept. 4.

Setting up assembly of representatives

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu proposed a set of measures, including the setting up of an assembly of representatives from the Syrian refugee camps of each country, a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News.

According to the proposals, a delegation from that assembly could address the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. General Assembly in order to tell of the need for outside help to care for those fleeing violence. The ministers of Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey reiterated their open door policy for Syrians fleeing violence, but strongly stressed unease at the international community’s perceived unwillingness to share the burden of the refugee problem.

As neighboring countries “absorbed” the burden of refugees, other countries remain “observers” to the issue, Davutoğlu said in his speech, the diplomat said.

Convincing third countries

The participants in the meeting agreed to work on convincing third countries to pave the way for the resettlement of refugees in their territory, and urged “burden sharing assistance” to the neighboring countries of Syria.

To that end, the U.N. refugee agency will gather an executive committee on Sept. 30 to shape an action plan. Turkey’s total spending for Syrians sheltered in the country has approached $2 billion, the diplomat said, also adding that more than $200 million of this amount had been spent on refugees on the Syrian side of the border. Turkey operates 21 refugee camps for more than 200,000 official refugees, and the monthly operational cost of a single camp is nearly $5 million, according to the diplomat.