14/05/2016 5:05 PM AEST

This Man Will Make You Question Everything You Know About The Refugee Crisis

Journalists and politicians are wilfully ignoring the facts about Muslims and migrants, a senior figure in the UN has claimed, leading to a complete misrepresentation of the refugee crisis engulfing Europe.

Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, argues that contrary to popular belief, the number of refugees relative to Europe's population is tiny, and violence is not the main reason people leave Syria.

And the claim that this is the 'biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War' is completely incorrect, he tells The Huffington Post UK.

YouTube/World Economic Forum
Michael Møller: 'It doesn’t need to be this way'

Møller, who spent more than 35 years at the UN, including working as Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon's representative, laid out 17 things he believes we have got drastically wrong in our understanding of the crisis. 

He said he is "baffled" and angry that the narrative around refugees does not reflect the facts, leading to counterproductive actions like cutting financial aid to countries around Syria, which "obviously" forces people to move on from underfunded camps.

He accused the media of reducing refugee stories to the "lowest common denominator" and politicians of "pandering" to xenophobic views to win elections.

"It doesn’t need to be this way," Møller said in an interview with HuffPost UK. "We have the means, we have the experience, we have the human capital and certainly we have the money to deal with these issues in a very, very different way.

"We keep repeating the same mistakes... and we end up having to pay 10 to 100 times more for the consequences of the stuff that we didn’t solve in the first place."

In a wide-ranging interview, Møller laid out basic facts that should make people rethink the refugee crisis: