ROME, FEBRUARY 6 – Italy wants to contribute to the negotiations for a UN Global Compact on migration “in support of a shared responsibility to achieve the common goals of solidarity and security”, the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Angelino Alfano said at the opening of the conference “A shared responsibility for a common goal”.
Attending the conference at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs were representatives of African and European Countries of transit and destination of migration flows. The Minister explained: “It is a new dialogue format based on a strengthened partnership but increasingly effective in the integrated management of migration flows, capable of combining principles of solidarity and security. These principles require that the conditions in which some migrants in transit countries are trapped be made human and that the local communities of these Countries be assisted with a view of putting a stop to the human trafficking phenomenon that afflicts the Mediterranean.” Solidarity and security, added Alfano, imply respect and protection of Human Rights of migrants and assistance to local communities in transit Countries. Together we can stop human trafficking in the Mediterranea”, the Minister said.
Alfano trough to the attention of the conference concrete results: between 2016 to 2017 the number of dead at sea decreased by 40%; the number of migrants enetring Libyas has also decreased, from 290,000 to 35,000, while migrants exiting Niger went from 330,000 to 35,000. “Lots of work is still to do, but we are on the right track”.
Today’s event, which picked up from the joint declaration adopted in Rome in the first edition of the conference last 6 July, was attended by representatives of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Libya, Malta, the Netherlands, Niger, Spain, Sudan and Tunisia, as well as of the UNHCR, the OIM, the OSCE and of Bulgaria, as the rotating president of the European Union Council.
The conference opened with remarks by Minister Alfano, the Director General of the IOM, William Lacy Swing, the Secretary General of the OSCE, Thomas Greminger, and Bulgaria’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Todor Stoyanov. The following working sessions offered the opportunity to strengthen cooperation between the participating countries with the aim of adopting a common and joint approach in managing migrations, and also of taking stock of the progress made from last year in terms of reducing the flows and protecting the migrants.
Another highlight of the conference was be the presentation of investment and cooperation programmes to help the African countries of transit to manage flows and provide the populations along migration routes with alternatives to an economy based on human trafficking.
The conference also focused on supporting assisted return and emergency evacuation programmes through the OIM and the UNHCR and on highlighting the role of transit countries in negotiating the two global compacts on migration and refugees with a view to protecting human rights and going to the root of the causes of migration. (@OnuItalia)