Ban Ki-moon urges ‘comprehensive’ response to migrant crisis

UN chief says search and rescue operations should be strengthened to help save lives

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said migrant search and rescue operations should be further strengthened in order to save lives. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/THE IRISH TIMES.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said migrant search and rescue operations should be further strengthened in order to save lives. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/THE IRISH TIMES.

 

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said migrant search and rescue operations should be further strengthened in order to save lives.

Speaking after meeting Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Government Buildings on Tuesday, Mr Ban said he appreciated the Government’s decision to send the LE Eithne to the Mediterranean.

“This should be shared collectively by European countries. It should not be borne by one or two countries that are affected,” he said.

Mr Ban said the migration issue was not only happening in Europe but around the world and most seriously in South East Asia.

“I’m urging European leaders to address this issue in a more comprehensive way and collective way,” he said.

“Without compassion you cannot do this. We have to first of all do our best to save lives.”

He described Ireland as “very peaceful, beautiful, very clean, very committed and very friendly”.

Other countries could emulate Ireland’s good example, he said.

However, he added: “At the same time, it’s true that every country should do more.”

Mr Ban said 2015 was a crucially important year for humanity and the planet. He urged Ireland and other countries to show “visionary leadership” on the UN’s development agenda.