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  • Ecuador's President Rafael Correa addresses a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York September 27, 2015.

    Ecuador's President Rafael Correa addresses a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York September 27, 2015. | Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar

Published 27 September 2015

“What we need is human mobility laws based on human rights,” said the Ecuadorean president, criticizing the world’s response to refugees and asylum seekers.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said the developed nations' approach to migration has been “deplorable” adding that it is “lamentable that human mobility” was not included in the latest United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

The president's remarks come as he addressed world leaders at this year's U.N. Sustainable Development Summit Sunday. 

The leaders unveiled the new Sustainable Development Goals over the weekend, a new set of goals and targets to eradicate poverty and achieve equality in the world. The SDGs were created to replaced the previous U.N. Millennium Development Goals, which came to an end in 2015. The new SDGs have a new target date of 2030.

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President Correa confirmed Ecuador's support for the 17 new SDGs, but added that migration by refugees and asylum seekers should have been on the agenda.  

“In the government of Ecuador, there are no illegal human beings,” said the president, referring to the country's human mobility laws that do not discriminate against new arrivals to the country. Ecuador is one of the largest receivers of refugees of all Latin American countries. 

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Referring to the recent chaos is Europe, in which thousands of refugees and asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa have migrated to the continent in search of safety and stability, the president said “the migration policy of developed nations is intolerable.” 

Europe is not the only country to be denying refugees entrance into their territory, as Canada, the U.S. and Australia, among others, have also denied asylum seekers into their country. 

“What we need is human mobility laws based on human rights,” added the president, saying “the absence of human mobility in the Sustainable Development Goals is lamentable.” 

Watch his full speech below

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