*_By Bockarie Kukuku Musa_*
_*The Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Hon. Nanette Thomas*_and *_the Head of Mission, International Organization for Migration (IOM), Mr. Sanusi Savage_* delivers an outstanding performance in Kampala, Uganda during the 3rd PAN-AFRICAN FORUM ON MIGRATION (PAFoM III) on the Theme: “Towards an African Common Position on the Global Compact on Migration”
The PAFoM was designed to complement the upcoming regional consultations towards development of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and is intended to be an open and all-inclusive platform for dialogue. It brought together national and regional perspectives and effective practices of all relevant stakeholders including Senior Government Officials from relevant ministries responsible for foreign affairs, development, justice, home affairs, immigration, humanitarian response, labor and social affairs, climate change from AU member states for a whole of government approach.
The Forum also provided a platform for Regional Consultations which will took place as part of the preparatory process of the GCM; bringing together regional/sub-regional (RECs) bodies and institutions, UN Agencies and International Organizations and other entities including CSOs, private sector, employers’ organizations, migrants, diaspora, academia, trade unions, and non-state actors for a comprehensive whole of Society approach to migration governance and the global compact on migration.
The modalities resolution envisages that the RECs and sub-regional bodies, together with other entities in the UN system, and in particular IOM, will organize discussions among member states and other relevant stakeholders on regional and sub-regional dimensions to provide national and regional perspectives and inputs to the GCM negotiations.
The following recommendations were agreed upon
👉 Increased knowledge, better understanding and appreciation of the Global Compact on Migration and its modalities;
👉 Better understanding of the principles and commitments for the human rights of migrants;
👉 Draft Continental Free Movement of Persons Protocol reviewed with additional inputs for finalization;
👉 Senior Officials of member states and RECs encouraged to take the necessary steps to ratify protocols on free movement of persons and to facilitate the implementation of continent-wide visa free regimes;
👉 Member states sensitized on the benefits of migration with a view to forestalling any resentment to foreigners from other African countries and preventing xenophobia;
👉 Policy makers inspired to facilitate orderly, safe, regular migration and human mobility including through the implementation of planned well-managed migration policies;
👉 Participants acknowledge that besides facilitating regional and continental integration, the benefits of free movement of people, goods and services, far outweigh the real and potential security and economic challenges that may be perceived or generated;
👉 A Draft Outcome Document towards African Common Position with Policy Recommendations for consideration and adoption at the 28th Ordinary Session of the African Union in January, 2018; as Africa’s inputs to the negotiations on the Global Compact on Migration.
This was the third Intra-Regional Consultations on Migration in Africa. The Forum was co-organized by the African Union, government of Uganda, IGAD and IOM in collaboration with the UNECA with ILO, ECOWAS, EAC and SADC as Co-sponsors.
In her statement, the Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Hon. Nanette Thomas outlined the trend migration has taken in our continent especially when waves of young people undertake very dangerous methods to cross into Europe in search of greener pastures.
She however stressed that the large movement of migrants and refugees particularly from Africa and the Middle East have created an international migration crisis which in fact led to the convergence of Heads of state and Government and other High Representatives at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on September 19 2016 to discuss how to address the issues of migration in view of the new emerging problems of increased waves of migrant movement.
_*EXTRACTS FROM STATEMENT BY HON. NANETTE THOMAS TO THE THIRD PAN-AFRICAN FORUM ON MIGRATION ON THE THEME “TOWARDS AN AFRICAN COMMON POSITION ON GLOBAL COMPACT ON MIGRATION”, MUNYONYO SPEKE RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTRE, KAMPALA, UGANDA – 15-17 MA7 2017*_
Mr. Chairman Dr. Benon M. Mutambi, Ambassadors, Ministers of Government, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen. I bring you warm felicitations greetings from the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the government, and the people of Sierra Leone.
Mr. Chairman my President is very much concern about the trend the situation of migration has taken in our continent especially when waves of young people undertake very dangerous methods to cross into Europe in search of greener pastures. He wishes the conference fruitful and productive dialogue in this two day forum which he hoped would lead to a comprehensive African common position on the global compact on Migration.
Indeed over the last fifty years, the number of international migrants in the world has more than doubled from an estimated 75 Million in 1960 to more than 232 million representing 3.1% of the world population. About 50 million Africans are living outside their home country and 48% of all international migrants are women and these figures indicate how crucial the Management of international migration is, especially in view of globalization, demographic shifts, income inequalities and climate change that encourage movement of people across borders for employment and security.
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished participants, the huge movement of migrants in recent times particularly from Africa attempting to cross into Europe has moved migration issues to the top of policy agenda in many countries of origin, transit and destination. Governments at both ends of the migration spectrum are increasing their regulatory capacities to manage especially labour migration for the mutual benefit of society, migrants and the state by addressing challenges that includes governance, migrant workers protection, migration and development linkages and international cooperation.
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Participants, However, the large movement of migrants and refugees particularly from Africa and the Middle East have created an international migration crisis which in fact led to the convergence of Heads of state and Government and other High Representatives at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on September 19 2016 to discuss how to address the issues of migration in view of the new emerging problems of increased waves of migrant movement. The New York Declaration that emerged from that convergence set out to come up with a comprehensive approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation at the global level and with a commitment to launch a process of intergovernmental negotiations aimed at the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018; and guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development grounded in the Sustainable Development Goals and its normative framework.
Mr. Chairman, it would be recalled that since 2006, the IOM and other relevant partners have been working with African Governments to develop sound Migration Policies and encourage interstate cooperation and dialogue towards the development of common approaches towards harmonization of policies, strategies and laws on migration. Toward this end, the IOM is working with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Sierra Leone to produce a Migration Policy with the overarching objective of mainstreaming Labour Migration in the development agenda of the country by creating an enabling environment into which labour migrants can be integrated and able to make significant contribution to the development of the country; with the main thrust being to harness the Sierra Leone Migrant Workers as a resource for development.
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Participants, However, since migration is a global phenomenon and the impact of migrant movement is heavier on African countries whose citizens are mostly the victims of the cruel down side of migration challenges; as it is happening right now when our compatriots continue to die on the high seas and others are being sold into slavery; the need for an African Common Position to dealing with migration at the global level cannot be overestimated and I hope that our discussions during this two days “Third Pan African Forum(PAFoM 3) would lay the foundation for coming up with a comprehensive African Common Position on the Global Compact on Migration that would ensure safe and orderly migration.
On this note I thank you all for your attention.