IOM Welcomes Valetta Summit to Improve Cross-Continental Cooperation

Posted: 
11/10/15

Switzerland - With officials from the European Union (EU) and African Union scheduled to begin meetings tomorrow (11 November) in Valetta, Malta, IOM has hailed the occasion as an opportunity to improve cross-continental cooperation on migration and mobility issues, demonstrating a balanced partnership between countries of origin, transit and destination. 

IOM feels that this Summit is an important step towards meeting challenges in a spirit of mutual responsibility, but says that diligent adherence to, and the effective implementation of the agreement through a Plan of Action will be key to its success. 

Throughout the preparatory process, IOM has been advocating for the adoption of a balanced, long-term approach to issues related to migration and asylum, including the fight against human smuggling and trafficking, human development, safe legal migration and mobility.

This includes the establishment of ethical international recruitment systems, migrant integration and social cohesion, local stability and peacebuilding, voluntary return and sustainable reintegration of irregular migrants, migration data collection and analysis, and addressing the entire array of social, economic, political and environmental factors which are drivers of displacement.  

At the same time, IOM has stressed the need to ensure that urgent protection and humanitarian assistance is provided immediately to all people of concern regardless of their status and throughout their migratory process, particularly for those who are most vulnerable, including children, the elderly, unaccompanied minors, victims of trafficking and people with health concerns.  IOM also feels that humanitarian assistance should be provided to countries that are affected by high levels of irregular or transit migration.

IOM believes that deliberations at the Summit should not be driven by the current “crisis mode” momentum and narrative, but should rather try to benefit all parties involved, notably by ensuring a true co-ownership of the process between the EU and African countries, which can lead to the establishment of a genuine and solid dialogue in the years to come.

IOM continually stresses that consideration for the dignity and human rights of all migrants, refugees and asylum seekers should underpin all actions.

For further information please contact IOM HQ in Geneva. Leonard Doyle, Tel: +41.792857123, Email: ldoyle@iom.int  or Joel Millman, Tel: + 41.79 103 8720 - Email: jmillman@iom.int or Ryan Schroeder at IOM Europe in Brussels, Tel:  +32 2 287 71 16, Email: rschroeder@iom.int

European Union and African Union governments will meet in Valletta, Malta, on November 11th 2015.