African ministerial conference stresses need for inclusive approach to tackle migration issue

RABAT, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- An inclusive approach is needed to tackle migration issue, African government officials stressed Tuesday in the ministerial conference for an African agenda on migration.

Speaking at the ministerial meeting, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nasser Bourita said African agenda on migration is meant to make migration issue a lever for co-development, a pillar of South-South cooperation and a vector of solidarity.

Some 20 African ministers and officials attending the meeting called for a harmonized vision for an African agenda on migration that is built on an inclusive and participatory approach, where all African states will be both authors and actors.

They stressed the principles of inclusivity and shared responsibility, adding that the fight against irregular migration should be conducted through the creation of regular migration routes and the facilitation of the movement of entrepreneurs, students, researchers and artists.

Bourita noted that the equitable recruitment of migrant workers, the recognition and development of skills, the economic, social and civic integration of migrants, as well as the sharing of responsibilities for border management, are some of the major components of the African agenda on migration.

South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashahane said migration offers major potential opportunities to Africa, provided that it is well managed and coordinated.

"Migrants make a clear and positive contribution to inclusive growth and sustainable development, in particular when they move, not out of desperation but out of choice," Nkoana-Mashahane said.

The Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) William Lacy Swing said that African countries have an important role to play in eradicating the direct causes of illegal immigration, calling for establishing partnerships to overcome common challenges arising from the movement of people.

The IOM director general expressed his organization's readiness to help African countries secure their borders with respect of human rights.

The ministerial conference on migration is a continuation of consultations between African states to elaborate a draft African agenda on migration in the upcoming AU Summit in Addis Ababa scheduled in January.

Morocco has taken the lead in this process. In October 2017, the Moroccan city of Skhirat hosted a three-day preparatory meeting with the aim to elaborate an African agenda on migration.

Since last March, Morocco's King Mohammed VI has been in charge of coordinating the migration issue within the African Union.

[ Editor: meng ]


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