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United Nations General-Secretary Antonio Guterres (File Photo/AFP)

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on Europe to “reach a reliable and predictable agreement on the reception of migrants arriving on the shores of the European Union on the Mediterranean from Libya.”

This came in the report of the Secretary-General submitted to the UN Security Council on the implementation of Resolution 2240 of 2015, and The Eastern Herald obtained a copy of the report.

On October 9, 2015, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2240, which granted EU countries the right to “inspect ships that they seriously suspect are being used at sea” by smugglers to transport migrants from Libya.

In his report, the Secretary-General urged European countries “that all measures relating to cooperation between EU countries and Libya in managing migration should be consistent with obligations under international law, including international human rights law.”

In his report covering the period from early September 2020 to August 1, 2021, Guterres added, “The Mediterranean continues to be one of the most debilitating corridors for refugees and migrants trying to reach European shores.”

“During the reporting period, more than 1,595 refugees and migrants died or went missing along the Mediterranean route, and this number does not include people who died or went missing after being returned to Libya, nor did all migrant deaths that occurred on Libyan territory,” he added.

“All EU member states must be guided by solidarity and responsibility sharing, and I renew my call for a credible and predictable agreement on disembarkation (ie disembarking migrants) and that includes all EU member states,” he added.

Guterres expressed his hope that “that arrangement can be reached through the ongoing discussions among European countries on concluding a charter dealing with migration and asylum.”

He added, “I reiterate the readiness of the United Nations system to provide support in setting up a predictable regional mechanism in the field of disembarkation of migrants and refugees and the achievement of solidarity on both sides of the Mediterranean.”

The Secretary-General’s report stated that “more than 74,000 people reached European shores across the Mediterranean during the reporting period (72 percent of men, 7 percent of women and 21 percent of children) and left mainly from Libya, as well as from Tunisia. Algeria, Turkey, Greece, and Egypt.

Of these, at least 24,670 migrants and refugees (89 percent of men, 6 percent of women, 4 percent of children, and 1 percent of unknown identities) were returned to Libya in the period from early August. August 2020 to July 31, 2021.

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