Crisis? What crisis?
Sitting in the new UNHCR office in Valletta's Strait Street, Dr Falzon admits the difficulty of disengaging his mind from the tear-jerking stories that flood in throughout the day.
"Sometimes it's difficult to cope with the emotional intensity of the job and after a tough day at work I go home and have my own little breakdown time," the young lawyer says.
"My mind is full of horrible stories - you're dealing with the EU, which is reluctant to act, and a detention system that's damaging human lives. You remember the children you see at the centres and ask: Where's all this leading to? Is the government doing anything? The problems are sometimes overwhelming."
But every cloud has a silver lining and the sight of immigrants smiling and showing their appreciation encourages Dr Falzon to do it all over again.
Wearing a black T-shirt emblazoned with the words Nine Million - a reference to the number of children refugees in the world - Dr Falzon knows the organisation he represents is resented by many in Malta.
Despite the bad publicity, and the fact that many Maltese have little sympathy for fleeing Africans, Dr Falzon is determined to explain the UNHCR's role and wipe away the misconceptions.
Contrary to popular belief, the UNHCR is not a rich agency and, in fact, only a tiny fraction of the UN's budget is directed towards its refugee agency, which has to rely mainly on voluntary contributions.
Though it adopts a hands-on approach and ploughs money into poor countries - where governments cannot, or are unwilling, to cope with refugees - in developed countries it assists governments and NGOs with legal help and capacity building.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees approved a special project for Malta by granting a sum of money to an NGO to provide psychological and legal services to immigrants.
"A lot of the work we do in Malta is not visible," he says, pointing out his agency's pivotal role in drawing up the Refugee Act.
But away from the legal aspects, the UNHCR is dealing with torn lives. While the EU is talking about the so-called burden-sharing concept, in reality it is nothing compared to what many fleeing Africans have been through, Dr Falzon says. This explains why the UNHCR and the government have constantly crossed swords over the issue of detention.
The refugee agency has proposed ditching the strict 12- to 18-month detention policy in Malta for a system similar to Italy's. Malta could create a temporary holding system where immigrants can stay for a month, and after they are scanned, and grouped according to whether they are economic migrants or potential refugees.
Immigrants should then be put in open centres and given work permits so they can contribute to the economy, Dr Falzon argues, while the government can introduce a system of mandatory reporting to make sure they do not flee.
Would such a system not automatically act as an incentive for more immigrants?
"No, it won't. People come here by mistake. The government knows that nobody wants to come to Malta and it's not because of detention. They don't want to come here because it is a small island with limited opportunities. They can't seek a better life and jobs. The only ones that want to come to Malta are the ones who have a wife or children here.
"Imagine that I'm a Libyan escaping the Gaddafi regime. I know that if I apply for asylum in Malta I will be kept in detention for 12 to 18 months. If I don't apply for asylum I will be sent back. So in reality the detention is not deterring arrivals," he says.
"I just want people to sit down and think. People are released anyway after 12 to 18 months. Whether you release them after one month or 18 months you're still going to have an issue with jobs and accommodation. The authorities argue that they don't know who these asylum seekers are. Do we know who the Scandinavian and German tourists are? Travellers' passports don't have 'child molester' or 'rapist' printed on them. You can't assume the immigrants are criminals simply because they turn up without a passport."
In reality, Malta's system is "criminalising black Africans", he says. The public follows the media closely and detention is automatically associated with Africans, who have to further face the humiliation of being handcuffed when they go to hospital.
"How can the government expect me to offer them a job and accommodation when all I'm being fed is information about the way they pose a threat to the economy, that we don't have space for them, and that they come full of diseases like tuberculosis."
The UNHCR is aware that Malta has a serious problem with immigration but it refuses to acknowledge it as an emergency.
"It's a situation which is here to stay. We know that boats will come to Malta in summer. I really don't think there is need to panic. The government is repatriating a number of people from the North African countries, and the number of people receiving asylum is something we can cope with."
Dr Falzon urges the public to reflect on the figures before making uninformed statements that Malta has been overwhelmed by immigrants.
Since 2002, about 7,000 boat people landed in Malta. At the beginning of May, there were 724 immigrants in closed centres, 1,738 in open centres, and just over 200 in private accommodation.
"So where are the rest (some 4,300)? We forget that many have been repatriated and others left the island. Is it so difficult for us to handle the ones that remain here? Do we know how many Europeans are living in Malta? What's the difference between a Swedish guy working in a gambling company and a black person working in the construction industry?" Over 600 immigrants have landed this year.
In an effort to dispel another popular myth, he says there are just about 200 refugees who are entitled to unemployment benefits. When people are working legally and contributing to the system they are paying income tax and national insurance.
"Is this issue down to colour? Yes, I think it's a misconception that these people are here to bum (from the state)."
Fully aware that the Maltese generally favour the strict system of detention, Dr Falzon says the UNHCR's concerns are based on legal instruments. The 1951 Geneva Convention clearly states that governments should not penalise asylum seekers who enter territories in an illegal manner.
"If a refugee is being persecuted by his government he cannot get his passport and leave his country. We know that, in most cases, asylum seekers cannot enter countries regularly, especially in Europe where there are so many border controls.
"Imagine a family fleeing the nightmare of Baghdad. Do you think they're going to fly from Iraq or walk to Egypt and fly to Europe from there? How are they going to obtain a visa and get to a safe haven? They can only enter Europe irregularly, probably by catching a boat from Libya."
The UNHCR agrees that governments should control their borders and that it no way advocates a free for all. The only footnote it insists on is that every country's system should give access to an asylum procedure. Once people fail their asylum procedure then the UN agency will not raise any objections.
In fact, the UNHCR has raised questions about the role of Frontex, the EU's border agency, which starts its operations in the Mediterranean today. Though it has no objection to sea patrols, the UN wants to ensure that no person who is entitled to refugee status is denied the opportunity.
So is the UNHCR expecting rescuers to question hundreds of illegal immigrants at sea?
"What we are trying to advocate is to check if there are people on a boat who indicate that they want to apply for asylum. If you have Somalis on a boat, then you know they have valid protection needs. We don't agree with any government sending potential refugees back to Libya."
On the other hand, people coming hailing from north African countries do not generally have strong asylum claims.
The EU can come to the rescue by helping the government to repatriate those who do not have a valid asylum claim.
Home Affairs Minister Tonio Borg proposed to the European Council that EU states which rescue people who are not in a member state's search and rescue zone should distribute the immigrants among EU members and that the number be deducted from the UNHCR quota.
Though the UNHCR believes that other EU states should take refugees from Malta it says it should be done within a bigger framework of resettlement, where people are also taken from outside the EU.
The EU is among the richest regions in the world so the UNHCR is trying to resettle more refugees in countries like Germany and France, which have immense potential for integration.
"We have to think that there are people living in refugee camps in places like Uganda who are living in much worse situations than people in Malta. We have to prioritise those that need help most," Dr Falzon says.
Can the UNHCR make an exception for Malta, given its population density?
"We have made a number of exceptions. We've been actively involved with other EU member states to take a number of refugees from Malta. But it doesn't make sense to give money to the government when there are other governments receiving millions of refugees and whose GDP is disastrous. Just look at countries bordering Iraq, like Jordan and Syria, which are hosting millions of Iraqi refugees."