For the analysis of the response to this massive movement of refugees what more could be added that common sense and international regulation could not establish by itself? Making this exception, just a few comments to remind the obligations that the international community must hold towards global crisis and as countries members of United Nations. As well as highlight the importance of a correct management of expectations from leaders and citizenship, assuring legitimation and rapport with the society in a global context.
On one hand, dramatic images of a downed boy, families fleeing from their homes, Syria´s completely destroyed city; on the other hand, political leaders with a poor political will to resettle those people, moving by national interests without sense of solidarity and of being part of a humanitarian global project. Those are the characters of this modern drama that however, resemblances to the biblical Exodus in its shape and tragic consequences.
All countries able to resettle refugees are members of United Nations and all are submitted to the same duties and rights. It’s important to change the current discourse style of “humanitarian aid” collaboration into a duty perspective, in fact, this is not a matter of diplomacy, but of urgent intervention. Under the principle that: “Asylum is not a courtesy, is a responsibility”
Lack of awareness of the emergency and commitment on acting are making countries like Gulf states being complete out of the response with 0 average of refugees taken, no matter their wealth, geographical proximity or responsibility in this conflict. Is it clear that once again, the concept of globalization it´s taken in terms of benefits but not in times of crisis.
Lack of empathy is also a critical element on the debate and it´s been shown clearly with the discrimination that some political leaders are displaying between resettle and integration of refugees, as a way to reduce their quotas of collaboration. Hampering a response by set before those argumentation doesn´t show a proper political attitude towards a global leadership. This defensive attitude represents also lack of consistent and strength on facing global crisis.
Joint efforts from EU countries members on equal conditions are one of the key aspects to overcome current and future crisis of any kind. Spain or UK is breaking this basic rule by breaching quota agreements. As a consequence, other countries are taking extra quota the refugees as the case of Germany and France that will take 55.000 more over the next 2 years.
Is really disappointed that political leaders of importance as David Cameron announces resettlement of just 20.000 refugees for the next 5 years, meanwhile Germany is taking 13.000 refugees through the next days. Indeed, those political leaders have taken a rejection policy position, not only by not fulfill their assigned quota of refugees but by standing a strong position against the resettlement. Is really a fact to highlight that in countries in which public opinion is mainly in favour, their leaders push back any attempt of support. Is it also true that there is a path for negotiations but only under a strong pressure from other governments and the citizenship. This is the big absurdity of this situation, leaders democratically elected with a mandate to represent citizens, becomes the first ones in go against the interest of the general population. In a democratic system there are institutions and mechanisms able to represent and transmit citizen interests, is for that reason that the pressure from civil society supposes and extra effort that is far away from the normal exercise of democracy and it shows strong failures on current leadership, global and national. The defense of sovereignty or national interests, one of the main argumentation for strategic policies against immigrants and refugees, could only be placed when there is a clear and determinate citizen will, but in this case is exactly the contrary. The fact that an overwhelmed amount of individuals from those countries are offering home to Syrian families means that governments are clearly out of the general will and perception of citizen interests.
A break with national population means a break with a legitimate representation; hence a no democratic leadership but an authoritarian one. We have seen this kind of leadership recently in financial crisis and now with migration crisis.
Political leadership is about representation and empathy with citizen interests, not just implementation of practical solutions to crisis. Current models of leadership are showing lack of empathy and a sense of extreme nationalism that is breaking the model of globalization in a harmful manner. I agree that a change of this model is needed, but not in this “defensive way”. This political attitude is leading to the progressive cancellation of all forms of cooperation among countries, trying to reduce policies to “humanitarian aid collaboration” in a modest budget.
Many reasons have been adjudicated for current migration crisis, but also a lack of a correct leadership has prevented to find and forecast situations of this magnitude. United Nations need to take the lead in the correct management of international crisis, exposure others members in its shortcomings and creating a proactive international community up to face current global challenges.