United Nations (UN) officials spoke out on Friday to criticise European countries for their response — or lack thereof — to the worsening migrant crisis across the region, as political leaders disagree over what to do.
"The real issue here is the (European Union) member states, who are not prepared to recognise the fundamental reality that either there is a European solution to this, where everybody shares with a sense of solidarity and responsibility, or there can be no great improvement to the situation," Peter Sutherland, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, told CNBC on Friday from the international Ambrosetti Forum in Italy.
"If everybody retires behind their own borders and their own lines of defense, this will be a continuing and terrible disaster."
Also on Friday, Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said a divided Europe would benefit only smugglers and people traffickers, according to Reuters. Guterres appealed for the European Union to do more to helping migrants — many of them refugees fleeing the strife in Syria.