Speech by Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the “Leaders' Summit on Refugees” in New York

20.09.2016 - Speech


Ladies and gentlemen,

We just listened to Yusra Mardini. She is one of 65 million people worldwide who have fled from war and violence. And to me, she is an urgent reminder that we have to join forces now to address this crisis. Flight and migration is a global challenge and finding answers is a global task!

I believe we have to act on at least four levels:

First, we have to address the root causes of flight and migration: We have to find political solutions to end the conflicts that are forcing millions of people from their homes. And we have to focus on poverty, inequality and the violation of human rights. If we do not tackle these problems, the challenge of flight and migration will only become bigger and more complex in the future! The Agenda 2030 lays out a clear path to fight injustice - It is a path Germany is strongly committed to. We must walk it together now!

Second, we have to improve the global management of flight and migration. That’s the focus of the process we started with the “Berlin Roundtable”. We brought together international organisations and private sector representatives to assess how we can strengthen humanitarian aid structures and improve information on migration. We need a coordinated approach!

Third, we have to support and work closely with transit countries like Jordan or Lebanon, Niger or Kenya. We need to pursue a comprehensive approach linking migration, development and security. And this, we have to do together! We are also pursuing this approach within the European Union.

And fourth, I believe that each and every one of our states also has to live up to their responsibility to help those in need!

· By offering protection and shelter to refugees in our own countries. (And by this, I mean that we have to show more
solidarity with regards to the resettlement of refugees)

· by giving them access to education and to work,

· and by increasing aid to those in need!

I would like to thank President Obama for bringing us together here in an effort to achieve these important goals together!

All of us here in this room have already made important contributions already. Germany has doubled its funds for humanitarian crises this year to more than $2.2 billion. We have also focused on stabilization efforts. And our country provided shelter and protection to over one million refugees last year alone. Yusra Mardini is one of them.

We have all made contributions.

But I believe we cannot allow ourselves to stop here. We must finally move ahead in tackling this crisis. That is the moral and political duty of each and every one of us!

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