Global leaders will attend two high-profile meetings Sept. 19–20 on the issues of migration and refugees. Summits hosted by the U.N. and U.S. President Barack Obama will attempt to forge a global response to the plight of the 65.3 million people forcibly displaced worldwide:
At the U.N.’s first-ever Summit for Refugees and Migrants, 194 member states are expected to adopt a set of nonbinding commitments that will be known as the New York Declaration. The following day, Obama will host a summit dedicated solely to refugees. He hopes to persuade each country to double global resettlement numbers, expand humanitarian assistance by 30% and increase by a million each the number of refugees at work and in school.
Aid agencies say the U.N.’s draft declaration contains few concrete pledges and has been watered down. During negotiations, the U.S. quibbled over a section saying that forced detention is never in the best interests of a child, while Western European countries removed a clause that would obligate governments to resettle specific numbers of people.
SETTING AN EXAMPLE
Obama is to announce ahead of his summit that the U.S. will take in 110,000 refugees next year, perhaps in hopes that others will follow his lead. With 21.3 million refugees across the globe, the need for action and not just words has never been greater.
This appears in the September 26, 2016 issue of TIME.