UN voices deep disappointment at lack of EU consensus on migrants

GENEVA (REUTERS) - The United Nations said on Tuesday (Sept 15) it was "deeply disappointed" at the failure of European Union ministers to reach a final consensus on a plan to share the relocation of 120,000 refugees.

"Decisive agreement is needed without further delay to address the needs, as is bold action based on solidarity from all member states," the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement.

A majority of EU interior ministers, meeting in Brussels on Monday, agreed in principle to share out 120,000 asylum seekers on top of some 40,000 distributed on a voluntary basis so far.

But details of the deal, to be formalised on Oct 8, were vague with several ex-Communist central European states still rejecting mandatory quotas.

An estimated 464,876 migrants have now crossed the Mediterranean so far this year, up from 432,000 as of Friday, which already doubled the total for all of 2014, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

Some 72 migrants are believed to have died in past few days trying to cross the seas from Turkey to Greek islands, the IOM said.