Ban Ki-moon calls Europe to do more to help migrants crossing Mediterranean

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations has called on Europe to do more to help migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

Addressing the European Parliament in Brussels, Wednesday, Ban expressed his concern saying: “Half those crossing the Mediterranean are fleeing war or persecution or human rights abuses. They qualify for international protection as refugees. Europe has an important role to play and a collective responsibility to act. Saving lives should be the top priority. And while we need to see more effective law enforcement actions against traffickers and smugglers, we also need safer alternatives to dangerous voyages, as well as legal channels such as resettlement, family reunification and work and study visas.”

Addressing the recent growth of violent extremism around the world the UN’s top official condemned the violence saying: “The growth of violent extremism is a grave threat to international peace and security. The unspeakable wave of brutality against civilians being perpetrated by extremist groups is a direct challenge to the universal values of peace, justice, tolerance and human dignity. The wanton destruction of cultural heritage is another affront to our common humanity.”