The European Commission had been scheduled to issue a first official statement on its proposals after its weekly meeting on Wednesday, on the eve of a two-day summit of national leaders who hope to seal their initial deal with Ankara on Friday. The Commissioners will discuss migration, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday, including the Turkish deal. But possible changes to the “Dublin” rules on national responsibility for asylum claims wouldn’t be published until April 6. Senior EU officials and diplomats had urged delay on Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in order to avoid opening new disputes among national governments until after the delicate process of concluding the Turkish accord. The Commission is scheduled to propose legislation on the asylum rules late next month and officials say it is likely before that to suggest various options to states to consider as they struggle to save their open-border Schengen zone from the frontier closures prompted by chaotic movements of migrants. Italy and Germany, respectively a main entry point for people reaching Europe and the main destination for refugees, have pushed jointly for asylum decisions to be made at a European level and for refugees to be brought directly and safely into Europe to be resettled across the bloc. Italy, like Greece, should under the Dublin rules have prevented the onward movement of hundreds of thousands of people toward Germany and should have handled claims locally as the first EU state entered. But in practice Italy and Greece have been overwhelmed and turned a blind eye to people going north. Rome and Berlin have spoken up for a permanent system by which those seeking asylum are shared out among the 28 member states. But other states have made clear they do not want to alter a status quo that gives the first EU country entered by a would-be refugee the prime responsibility for dealing with them. France wants the Commission to propose a limited and temporary mechanism, such as has been put in place in recent months, to relocate asylum seekers and ease the strain on member states in crisis. But the country has attracted relatively few refugees and is concerned that the current Dublin system’s legal structures should not be radically changed, while it proposed tougher enforcement of rules against migrants seen to be exploiting the system to avoid deportation and choose which country to live in. Britain, too, is cautious as Prime Minister David Cameron urges voters to remain in the EU, with his opponents in a June referendum emphasizing the migrant chaos. Though outside Schengen, Britain benefits from the Dublin deal by being able to deport asylum seekers to other states where they entered the EU. European Union leaders seek a mutually binding deal with Turkey to stem the flow of migrants by sea to Greece. But several nations stand in the way of such a pact — and tiny Cyprus could pose the greatest diplomatic challenge of all. Leaders of the EU’s 28 divided nations plan to reconvene in Brussels this week in hopes of ironing out disagreements on a proposed agreement with Turkey. Their tentative agreement struck March 7 would allow Greece to return migrants to Turkey as Europe opens new routes for pre-screened migrants to seek asylum legally. But Turkey demands big concessions from Europe in return, particularly on its long-held dream of joining the EU, an idea viewed with trepidation by many Europeans. Nowhere does mistrust run higher than in neighboring Cyprus, which has been divided into a Greek Cypriot south and militarized Turkish Cypriot north since 1974. Cyprus announced Tuesday it has no intention of permitting full negotiations for Turkey’s EU membership — a position that could scuttle the whole deal. Each EU member must consent to any deal. (with AP, Reuters)
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Central African Republic Humanitarian access continues to be hindered by various constraints; particularly violence against civilians including aid workers and their assets, interference in the implementation of humanitarian activities and active hostilities. Since 2014 more than 2,543 security incidents have been recorded, including 366 acts of violence against humanitarian organisations. In February 2016, the incidents of violence against aid workers represented 19% of the total number of incidents during the reporting period. The number of reported access incidents decreased by 31%, being 52 in February compared to 75 in January. [...] [Published in AidNews - Read the original article]
Voice of America UN, UK Call for Burma to Allow Humanitarian Aid into Rakhine Voice of America "As a result of those developments hundreds of thousands of people in Rakhine state mainly from the Rohingya community are not receiving vital and...
NEW YORK and SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Aug. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- First responders and emergency personnel across the United States will be able to better respond to emergencies and routine activities by tapping ...
SANA’A/AMMAN, 29 March 2016 - A brutal conflict and a fast-deteriorating humanitarian situation are devastating the lives of millions of children in Yemen and have brought the country to the point of collapse. A UNICEF report Children on the Brink highlights the heavy toll that the violence in Yemen is having on children and the deterioration in an already precarious humanitarian situation.
GENEVA – One hundred and two humanitarian agencies today urged sustained and unconditional humanitarian access to all Syrians. The appeal was made on the fifth anniversary of the start of the conflict in Syria. The appeal and signatories are below. For more information please contact: Peter Smerdon, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +39 06 6513 2150 John Budd, email@example.com, +19179099542 Tuva Raanes Bogsnes, firstname.lastname@example.org, +47 93231883
A photo-story by Tomson Phiri and Cordula UngerankWhen disaster strikes and the humanitarian community needs to reach affected areas, it can count on the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS). UNHAS provides passenger and light cargo services to some of the world‘s most remote and challenging locations that would otherwise be difficult to reach by land due to vast distances, limited infrastructure and insecurity.
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