President Michael D Higgins has said the UN has failed to deal with the conflict in Syria and it must be addressed by heads of state and government.
President Higgins told RTÉ News at One the EU has also failed in not having being able to agree an adequate figure, with an implementable regime, raising the issue of a voluntary or compulsory compliance.
He said EU countries are going to have to talk about the number of refugees they are accepting, saying it is more likely two to three times the figure that was originally suggested to them.
President Higgins said racism and xenophobia are re-appearing in some EU member countries.
He said that people should not be afraid of an influx of refugees, saying they are people fleeing persecution, slavery and smuggling.
The President said that the Irish people have to do what is right and share the responsibility of a human tragedy unfolding, adding that families in Ireland are willing to make a contribution.
He praised those in hardship who are reaching out to those in need.
President Higgins said the UNHCR has said that the EU should be discussing a figure of 200,000, but the EU figure is, as he understands, at 120,000.
"The figure of 120,000, which opens the EU ministers discussions, if that figure is revised in terms of the UNHCR's figure of 200,000,that obviously doubles the different indications that countries have been making. And that is a matter for government.
“Different member countries are going to have to talk about two-to-three times the figure that was originally suggested to them."