The United Nations Refugees High Committee claims that war and persecution have caused around 71 million people around the world to leave their homes with one-third of this population becoming refugees – a new record. While 85% of these refugees are living in developing countries, 15% have managed to take refuge in rich, industrialized countries.
In reality, these numbers are revealing a bitter truth. Only 15% of the refugees in the world were able to take refuge in rich and industrialized countries. In other words, rich countries, utilizing their power, were able to prevent the majority of the refugees from coming into their countries.
However, all of these countries we are identifying as rich and industrialized today were once the colonial powers of the past. These countries have turned the places they have invaded into colonies and stole all of their riches. For example, the countries of the Western world who participated in the oppression and enslavement of the people of Africa are now the countries who were able to accumulate power, leading to riches.
If there is famine in the world, we should not forget that it is due to the colonial powers of the past that have oppressed these areas. If there are civil wars in the world, we should look at the countries that are supplying weapons to the fighters.
The countries that resist the acceptance of refugees – the refugees who are coming from the countries that they have colonized in the past – are the ones that are not willing to see the responsibility they bear due to their grandfathers.
The responsibility that EU member countries are bearing today is not small. The intelligence agents, soldiers and weapons of EU member weapons manufacturing countries are still causing blood to be spilled in many civil war zones.
However, despite all of this, they are doing everything in their power to prevent refugees from entering their countries. For example, Italy is even closing its ports to shipwrecked refugees. Similarly, Malta is trying to stop refugees through the use of warships. Greece is sinking refugee boats, disregarding the possibility of them drowning and illegally forcing them back to the coasts of Turkey.
Yet Germany, France and the U.K., on the other hand, have remained indifferent when Turkey suggests securing a safe zone and letting refugees live in their own country under better conditions.
While Turkey is housing over 4 million refugees despite its difficult economic situation, many EU members are "raising hell" when 500 refugees arrive at their borders.
The United Nations Refugee Organization (UNHCR) and the government of Switzerland are jointly hosting the First Global Refugee Forum in Geneva on Dec. 17-18, 2019. The global conference, made possible by the United Nations in December 2018 in New York, is going to be the first meeting that will be held at the ministry level for bringing the global agreement to life.
The Global Refugee Forum aims to put the Global Agreement Regarding Refugees, which was accepted last year, into force quickly through private businesses, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations. The forum, in order to increase the living standards of refugees and their hosts, aims to inspire all participants to make meaningful promises that will bring solid and long-lasting political and practical changes.
In addition to providing financial, physical and technical aid, it is expected that forum will provide contributions, aid and support regarding matters such as opening settlement quotas to third countries, providing secure and legal procedures for allowing refugees settlement, and with an encompassing approach making the necessary legal and political regulations for allowing more refugees to be included in international systems.
In the forum, where leaders and actors well known in this subject will be brought together, over 1,200 diplomats, aid workers, academicians and refugees, in addition to leaders from Turkey, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Germany are expected to participate.
In addition, the Global Refugee Forum is also going to be an important event for showcasing the exemplary activities of international society at global and regional levels.
The First Global Refugees Forum is going to include six main subjects – necessary regulations for the sharing of the burden and responsibility, education, employment and mainstay, energy and infrastructure, solutions and protection capacity. We hope that this summit will be a turning point for refugees. We hope that with the help of this summit, it will be possible to solve the refugee crisis with foreseeable, systematic and sustainable methods instead of short term, emergency solutions.
In this important event, Turkey is not only participating with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his committee, but Turkey is also actively participating with an exhibition and other activities in an attempt to draw the world's attention to this matter.