Irish President Michael D Higgins has hit out at the leaders of the UK, US, China, France and Russia for not attending a United Nations humanitarian summit.
In an address on the migrant and refugee crisis, Mr Higgins warned some countries are not living up to their pledges for aid and funding for war-ravaged regions such as Syria. But he singled out the five countries who have permanent positions on the UN Security Council, for not attending a conference in Istanbul last month organized by secretary general Ban Ki-moon.
“When one considers the wider context of the stalled peace process in Syria, and the daunting challenges of resolving conflicts, restricting the flow of arms to war zones, and building peace in the long term, the absence of senior leaders from any of the permanent members of the Security Council was more than disappointing,” he said.
“The responsibility of the prosperous – especially those who have historically prospered through colonialism and domination – cannot be traded away,” he said.
Mr Higgins added: “We are at a critical moment in our history. The refugee and migration crisis is great in scale and is likely to remain at the center of the EU and international agenda for several decades to come.