Asylum conventions and global disorder

War and the foundations of displacement

Sir, – Michael McDowell fails to mention that the nations with the highest burden of hosting refugees are not European, but African and Middle Eastern (“Michael McDowell: Asylum conventions are outdated and in urgent need of a rethink”, Opinion & Analysis, May 31st). Additionally, we’re all aware that conditions now are different from 1951 or 1967. He ignores the foundations of all that displacement: creating war. Since the 1990s, the EU and North America have destabilised the Middle East and north Africa by invading Iraq and Libya, expanded Nato when it was considered, at best, ill advised and invaded, destroyed, then abandoned Afghanistan. North America, the EU and Britain also underwrite and promote the production of weapons of mass destruction with little or no transparency. In its role as global darling, perhaps the Irish Government would like to stop contributing to this mass displacement by no longer facilitating “Forward Operations Base Shannon” and not encourage local manufacturing to participate in the military supply chain.

If nation states in this part of the world wish to unburden themselves of the obligations they created in the middle of the 20th century, they might want to start by reviewing their so-called “defence” strategies. – Yours, etc,