UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaks at a media briefing during the Olympic flame stop at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, April 29, 2016. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
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This September, the United Nations General Assembly will bring together world leaders to address one of the leading challenges of our time: responding to large movements of refugees and migrants.More than 60 million people – half of them children – have fled violence or persecution and are now refugees and internally displaced persons.But this is not a crisis of numbers; it is a crisis of solidarity. Almost 90 percent of the world's refugees are hosted in developing countries. Thousands have died in the Mediterranean, on the Andaman Sea, in the Sahel and in Central America. Refugees and migrants are not "others"; they are as diverse as the human family itself. Movements of people are a quintessentially global phenomenon that demands a global sharing of responsibility.Countries where refugees arrive first should not be left to shoulder the demands alone.I expect the Sept. 19 meeting of the General Assembly to point the way toward solutions to the most immediate refugee and migration challenges, and commit world leaders to greater global cooperation on these issues.
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