At her first United Nations appearance, British Prime Minister Theresa May defended every country's right to defend its borders. She also called for greater scrutiny of migrants.
Addressing the first-ever UN summit on refugees, May highlighted Britain's commitment to international aid and called for a more effective policy approach toward massive migration from war-torn Syria and elsewhere.
An international news agency quoted May as saying, "We must also be clear that this crisis has been exacerbated by unprecedented levels of uncontrolled migration. Because it is not only refugees who are moving in large numbers, it is also those seeking greater economic opportunities."
"We need to be clear that all countries have the right to control their borders and protect their citizens and be equally clear that countries have a duty to manage their borders to reduce onward flows of illegal and uncontrolled migration," she added.
May, who took charge of PM's office in July after Britain's exit from the European Union, said there was "nothing wrong with the desire to migrate for a better life."
However, Rob Williams, chief executive of the British charity War Child, countering May said, "Now is not the time to ask who is least deserving." "Half of the people displaced by conflict are children," he said.
In a statement, Williams said, "Rather than getting too distracted by complex definitions of refugees and migrants and focusing on who to exclude, the prime minister could make a real difference by spearheading a global action plan for children forced to flee," an international news agency quoted him as saying.