Most of the speeches delivered by world leaders during the 70th Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly 2015 were understandably dominated by the ongoing refugee crisis.
Despite experts citing it as one of the most obvious repercussions of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq for years, the influx of asylum-seekers into Europe has been called “unprecedented.”
A record number of refugees – nearly a total of 522,124 – have reportedly reached European shores this year, according to the International Organization for Migration, while 2,892 people died attempting the crossing. The mass exodus, mostly from Syria, is now being called the biggest humanitarian emergency to have erupted since World War II.
And yet, the refugee crisis was not included among the U.N.’s agenda items.
Read More: Who Is To Blame For The Refugee Crisis?
“…While the UNGA plans to discuss many important global issues over the next few weeks – notably the new goals regarding climate change and peacekeeping reforms – there is one glaring omission: Nowhere among the Assembly’s over 170 items is the Syrian or European refugee crisis specifically mentioned,” Quartz notes.
Even though U.N. Secretary General’s Ban Ki-moon called for the convening of a “High-Level Forum on Migration and Refugee Flows,” the response from the international agency has been more than disappointing.
What’s even worse is the fact that a lot more time was spent on bashing Syrian President Bashar al Assad and debating on why countries should and should not support him – which only goes to show that strategic interests are still more important to world powers than human suffering.
In spite of missing from the U.N.’s original agenda for the latest session in New York, world leaders including United States President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande passionately addressed the Syrian conflict and the resulting refugee crisis in their speeches last week in New York City.
However, it still remains to be seen if they will get past lip service and actually do something to help the affected population.