Viewpoint by Dr Patrick I Gomes
Dr Patrick I Gomes could be the Secretary-General of the ACP Group of Claims based in Brussels. Following is a somewhat abridged version of his statement at the United Nations Summit on Asylum seekers and Migrants in New York upon September 19, 2016.
NEW YORK (IDN) – The 79 Member Declares of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) welcomes this well-timed and relevant meeting on immigration. The ACP-European Union Cotonou Contract provides for an on-going dialogue upon migratory flows which is jointly pursued to address protection of human rights, non-discrimination in treatment of third country nationals, and of strategies to reduce low income, the basic issue of the ACP-EU Conversation on Migration.
In our view, Migration phenomena are a pervasive reality of a globalised century. However , the upheavals and sheer numbers of forced movements of individuals, and the attendant humanitarian crises within the last two decades require measures to overcome the negative aspects while conditioning the benefits of migration.
This implies attention to multiple drivers of migration – political, economic, social and environmental.
Political drivers, for example, stem from the prevalence of issue, wars, persecution and violations associated with human rights. These contribute to dire consequences for vulnerable populations particularly women and children, the aged and disabled.
Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Advancement underscores the imperatives of peacefulness and security as enablers of sustainable development. Building peaceful, cohesive and secure societies is for that reason a pre-requisite to overcome structural causes of forced migration.
Economic drivers consist of financial instabilities, high rates associated with unemployment especially youth unemployment, insufficient access to health, education and other social services. These give rise to growing poverty and inequality that push people to migrate, using legal or illegal networks.
From drought and floods climatic disasters give rise to climate refugees.
The ACP Group facilitates global initiatives such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction aimed at mitigating risks of disaster and the consequent displacement.
To address these motorists of migration requires international solidarity through common efforts for efficient implementation of Agenda 2030. 6 goals and targets on Immigration allow for a systemic approach to the particular inter-related issues of migration and development.
Facilitation of orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people through planned plus well-managed migration policies are in SDG 10. 7.
Additionally the situation of migrant workers is highlighted in SDG 8 on decent work for all and should address reducing youth joblessness by promoting youth entrepreneurship.
ACP Associate States are partners to migration mechanisms that include the Khartoum plus Rabat Processes that formed the backdrop to the EU-Africa Summit on immigration, held in Valletta, Malta in November 2015. Every encouragement must be given to implement the Valetta Action Plan.
The ACP Group also examines readmission and return policies, remittances, visas, and trafficking in human people.
Academic and research mobility, the demands for needed skills in developed countries require well-defined strategies simply by cooperation between sending, transit and becoming countries.
It is generally agreed that migration has demonstrated positive effects to both sending and receiving countries. The latter get needed skills in their services industries. Some ACP States benefit significantly from remittances.
In 2015, for example , remittances to developing countries amounted to $432 billion, more than three times the Official Development Assistance (ODA) of that year. The ACP reiterates its call for reduced banking charges and acceptable correspondent banking arrangements on remittances for developing countries.
On human trafficking and smuggling, the strength of trafficking networks continues to be on the rise as well as the ACP Group remains committed to partnerships that aim at tackling trafficking in a more concrete and comprehensive method, for example by providing ACP Governments and regional organisations with technical knowledge to curb the scope of those networks.
The ACP-EU dialogue on migration will continue to treat migration from a development perspective, recognising that it must be addressed in its root causes of low income and absence of economic opportunity.
The SDGs would hopefully address some of the elements that predispose the desperate plus alienated to mass migration. Within the short to medium term, nations may wish to focus on the proximate causes of migration and those factors that trigger or precipitate mass movements, most of which are political in nature.
In conclusion, the particular ACP reiterates support for the suggested negotiations for a Global Compact with regard to Refugees and the Global Compact regarding Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. They clearly reflect the principles and spirit on which ACP-EU Immigration dialogue is based.
We remain optimistic that this adoption of the outcome of this conference will be the continuation of a positive and balanced response to migration that acts the common interest of humanity as a whole.. [IDN-InDepthNews – 20 September 2016]
Photo: Dr Meat I Gomes
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