Greek academics come to UNSW to discuss EU migrant crisis, while PM tells UN “burden must be shared”


UNSW will be hosting a seminar called ‘Seeking Refuge: lessons from Europe’s migration crisis’, on Monday (30 September), from 6pm-8pm, at UNSW’s Law Theatre G02.

The talk will focus on the European migration crisis; exploring the idea of the so-called “externalization” of migration control, its compatibility with the international law, its political sustainability as well as potential alternatives.

There will be two speakers from Greece, both academics who have studied in Greece and other countries across Europe.

Dimitris Christopoulos is a Professor at the Department of Political Science and History of Panteion University in Athens. He is also a writer and an activist. In 2016, he was elected President of the International Federation for Human Rights, and chaired the board of the Hellenic League for Human Rights from 2003-2011. Christopoulos studied law in Greece, political science in France, legal theory in Belgium and holds a French PhD in Public Law.

Kostis Karpozilos is a historian and the director of the Contemporary Social History Archives. He has a degree in Modern Greek Literature from the University of Thessaloniki, a Masters in Historical Research at the University of Sheffield and a PhD in History at the University of Crete. His thesis focused on diasporas in the United States and the trajectory of Greek-American radicalism in the 20th century.

Mitsotakis addresses migrant crisis to United Nations General Assembly

This seminar has aligned with Mitsotakis’ announcement to the UN on Friday, that Greece is “reaching the limit of our ability” when it comes to the migrant crisis.

The central message of his speech however focused on nations sharing the burden of migration and refugee flows, the burden of which Greece has had to handle alone throughout the migration movement of recent years, as the country at the EU borders and the forefront of refugee arrivals by sea. “We are one of the top four EU members in terms of migrant flows,” Mitsotakis noted, and “we have the highest per capita ratio of migrants in Europe.”

He said that Greece respected the human rights of migrants and refugees and would remain committed to them.

He reiterated his call “for comprehensive solutions and fair sharing of the burden.” As he pointed out, countries that enjoy the Schengen zone benefits cannot refuse to share the burden of migration, “a massive movement of fleeing people that Greece cannot bear alone.”

Mitsotakis expressed support for the EU-Turkey agreement, adding that Turkey needed to do much more and the EU needed to continue providing Turkey to deal with the thousands of refugees it was housing.

Speaking of relations with Middle Eastern countries and Turkey, Mitsotakis reiterated Greece’s commitment to good neighbourhood relations, and said Greece’s role as a pillar of stability was to “actively support peace and security in the region.” Good neighbourhood relations, however, need to include a full respect of international laws, including the Law of the Sea, and of international treaties.

In wrapping up his short address, Mitsotakis said that “we often criticise the UN, but it is the only bulwark we have, and the only beacon of hope” in resolving international conflicts.

To reserve your place at UNSW’s ‘Seeking Refuge’ seminar, get your FREE tickets HERE.




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