On Wednesday, Turkey will host a Global Forum on Migration and Development meeting, a forum of U.N. member countries that Turkey chairs.
The meeting will be inaugurated by interim Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and will host high-ranking delegates from 150 countries as well as United Nations Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson and the heads of U.N. refugee agencies.
The two-day event on migration comes at a time of escalating conflict in Syria that has displaced millions and forced more than 2 million Syrians to take shelter in neighboring Turkey. Turkey is both a host and transit country for refugees as hundreds attempt to cross into Europe through the country almost daily with no end in sight to the Syrian crisis.
The main theme of the forum and the meeting is "Strengthening Partnership: Human Mobility for Sustainable Development." Participants will discuss the protection of migrants in crises and transit, partnership and action for decent migrant labor recruitment and employment, social inclusion of migrants and other measures to alleviate the ordeal of migrants.
A massive influx of refugees from the Middle East going to Europe, a number not seen since World War II, has proven problematic for Europe, which is still debating how to tackle the surge in the number of refugees. Turkey, struggling to cope with the rising number of refugees seeking to cross into Europe either through the country's land borders or via the Aegean Sea, has repeatedly called upon European countries to take in more refugees and help Turkey, which shoulders a heavy financial burden due to it hosting more than 2 million Syrian refugees.
The forum's meeting also comes at a time of heightened Russian military involvement in the Syrian war to help the Assad regime. It is feared that Russia's military action, criticized for focusing on rebels and civilian-populated areas rather than militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), would trigger a further influx of refugees, especially to Turkey, the safest choice for the displaced living in northern Syria close to the Turkish border.
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