Pope Francis has urged globally coordinated action to tackle the issue of refugees as he visited Greek island Lesbos on the second day of his visit to Greece.

In his speech at the Mavrovouni refugee camp on the island, he said that the issue of irregular migration is a problem of the world, to which no one can close their eyes.

The pope said that with the European Union hardening border controls, we are in the age of walls and barbed wire.

He warned that problems are not resolved by “building walls higher, but by joining forces to care for others … and in respect for the law, always giving primacy to the inalienable value of the life of every human being.”

Fleeing war or poverty, tens of thousands of people in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya have turned toward Europe in recent years, hoping for a better life or just safety.

Referring to the increasing number of refugees who lost their lives while trying to reach Europe, the pope said the Mediterranean, which for millennia united different peoples and distant countries, becomes a cold cemetery without inscriptions. This great basin, the cradle of so many civilizations, now seems like a mirror of death.

The pope said awareness that global action is required to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change is missing when it comes to the issue of irregular migration.

He said that the future of us all is at stake, and that future will be peaceful only if it is integrated. Only if it is reconciled with the most vulnerable.

Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, who accompanied the pope, argued that the country has carried a disproportionate burden from irregular migration and refugee crises.

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