Zero. None. Zip. Nada. That is the sum total of refugees South Korea has accepted from the Syria conflict. Yet the world was forced to listen Wednesday as that country’s most prominent diplomat, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, excoriated Hungary for the way it is handling the tens of thousands of immigrants massing on its border.
Speaking at the UN’s headquarters in New York, Ban Ki-moon said:
“I was shocked to see how these refugees and migrants were treated. It’s not acceptable … since they are the people who are fleeing the violence and persecution, we must ensure our compassionate leadership.”
Such hypocrisy. Here is a man who likes to think he stands as a moral compass for the world yet he comes from a country that has contributed absolutely nothing in the way of a solution to the human tide generated by the Syria crisis.
Moon then went on to urge other countries to shoulder their responsibility – other countries meaning any other nation but South Korea. Oh, he is also calling a meeting. He said:
“On September 30th, I will convene a high-level meeting to mobilize a humane, effective and rights-based response to the refugee crisis. I urge all states to shoulder their responsibilities and live up to their legal obligations.”
Still, if nothing else, South Korea does have plenty of company when it comes to talking not doing. According to Amnesty International, here are a few other countries willing to stand by and do nothing as a human tragedy unfolds.
- Gulf countries including Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees.
- Other high income countries including Russia, Japan, Singapore along with South Korea have also offered zero resettlement places.
Moon wasn’t finished. He did take time to talk about December’s international climate conference in Paris and the need for what he called “a universal agreement on climate change”. He said:
“I am concerned… that not enough is being done to keep temperature rise under the 2-degree Celsius threshold. I urge world leaders to raise ambition – and then match ambition with action.
“With political will and resources, we can transform our future and do more to prevent the kinds of crises we see in far too many places.”
Got that? We should all act to do something about the climate because, at least in the UN’s mind, climate action will stop the sorts of crises we see in Syria.
IS terrorists must be shaking in their boots.
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