An estimated 65 million people worldwide are considered refugees and migrants. On Monday, 9/19/2016, the United Nations General Assembly’s began its first summit to address concerns regarding the growing global refugee crisis and on Tuesday, 9/20/2016, President Obama led a second meeting on the crisis – receiving unprecedented level of support from the international community.
What came out of these meetings?
51 countries have now pledged to take in 360,000 refugees next year, doubling the number from 2015. According to the UN Refugee Agency, these same countries have also agreed to boost financial contributions to the UN and have also pledged an additional $5.4 billion in funding to humanitarian aid groups working throughout the world.
In his speech, Obama commended the example countries such as Germany and France continue to set for the world, how these countries work with the refugee community have made them world leaders in human rights.
“We are facing a crisis of epic proportion,” Obama said, “We cannot avert our eyes or turn our backs. To slam the door in the face of these families would betray our deepest values.”
Despite stepping away from office in a few short months, Obama wants to the United States to follow in these countries footsteps and set an example of their own. To that very point, prior to UN Refugee Summit, The White House formally announced plans last week to accept 110,000 refugees in 2017.
As reported by Middle East Eye, “The administration’s target for fiscal year 2017 is 110,000 refugees, up from the 85,000 goal in 2016 and 70,000 in 2015. That would include approximately 40,000 people from the Near East and South Asia – a vast region that includes Syria.”
The downside to this news?
As 2016 has continued to teach us, the decision to accept refugees is not without controversy.
For example, the same day Angela Merkel and Germany were being praised in front of the UN general assembly, her political party was getting destroyed in elections back home in Germany – all because of her open door immigration policy.
As reported by BBC, Merkel’s Party came in at “17.6% of the vote – its worst-ever result in Berlin.” Now, “The right-wing, anti-migrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD) will enter the Berlin state parliament for the first time with 14% of the vote.” Merkel was quoted as saying that she “can no longer run Berlin with social Democrats.”
Meanwhile across the pond in United States, Obama’s potential replacement in 2017, Republican nominee Donald Trump, much like Merkel’s competitors, has also risen to popularity in national elections by sharing a decidedly anti-immigration message.
Donald Trump has even proposed banning all Muslims and refugees from entering the country entirely, something which is now supported by 51% of US citizens.
Did you know America’s next potential Vice President, Governor Mike Pence, already enacted legislation in 2015 to ban all Syrian refugees from entering his home state of Indiana?
Pence was immediately sued for the law by the American Civil Liberties Union and was swiftly defeated in court in a matter of months, with the judge ruling a ban on Syrian immigrants was unconstitutional.
My point sharing these stories is that from border walls in Macedonia; to the rise of Le Penn in France; to the fall from grace of Merkel in Germany; to the UK Brexit; to Donald Trump and the American Presidency, nationalism and anti-immigration policy is sweeping across the globe and building momentum in 2016.
The more news you read, the more it seems many people throughout society and prominent positions of authority around the world are adamantly against helping refugees or immigrants of any kind, despite the fact these refugees are some of the most vulnerable people on Earth – exactly the type of people you think humanity would rally behind to support.
How did we get to this point?
According to estimates from the CIA, there were around 250,000 members of the Islamic State at the height of their power in 2014. According to global statistics, there are 7.4 billion humans on Earth – about 1.6 billion of which are Muslims.
Continuing this logic outward, statistically speaking, members of Islamic State Caliphate ideology represent fractions of 1% of all Muslims on Earth.
However, the main stream media in many countries – #Hannity – has been telling society for years to fear these refugees,reminding them on a near nightly basis that any one of these refugees and – ipso facto – every potential refugee thereafter could possibly be members of the Islamic State – whom only wants to come to our country to blow up our neighborhoods.
Despite evidence to the contrary, as elections and headlines the world over are teaching us, many people are bying into this fear.
What fewer people seem to realize is that these refugees are the people whom have managed to run away from war – safely; peacefully. These are the Muslims and the people in the world who are actively trying to end the senseless cycle of violence – not continue it.
Imagine being one of these refugees, born out of sheer fate into a country like Syria which happens to erupt into a bloody Civil War during your lifetime. Your town or city literally gets decimated in the conflict and there are no resources to grow food or produce income, no schools, no running water or electricity – nothing.
Look at the video Damascus, Syria below – the capital and once largest city in Syria. All those Syrian refugees you hear about in the news every-night, that Donald Trump want to ban from America, that conservatives across Europe also want to ban from theirs, this is where these refugees are coming from.
These men, women and children come from some of the darkest places on this Earth and statistically speaking, +99% of them are just seeking the opportunity for a better life for themselves and their families.
Do you blame them for this?
Tell me that you would not try to leave and find a better life if you or your family was living Damascus and I will know that you are a liar.
I hope if nothing else you remember this thought the next time you are debating political policy or listening to a politician/pundit speak about refugees and the “dangers” helping these people allegedly poses to our livelihoods.
This article (UN Summit: 51 Countries Agree To Accept 360,000 Refugees & Have Pledged To Increase Humanitarian Aid Funding by $5.4 Billion In 2017.) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article using a creative commons license with attribution to Brian Dunn and Alternative Medi4