VALLETTA, 16 November 2017 – Senior Members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on Migration are in Malta for a conference on promoting co-operation related to migration in the Mediterranean region. The conference, organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean and the Parliament of Malta, will serve as parliamentary input to United Nations discussions on global compacts on refugees and migrants next year.
Ad Hoc Committee Vice-Chair and Special Representative on Mediterranean Affairs Pascal Allizard (France) presented the committee’s recent work this morning, stressing the need for improved co-operation to have a real impact on current challenges.
“Multilateral and bilateral co-operation between countries of origin and destination not only improve the overall regulation of migration issues, but can strengthen legal migration and help combat human trafficking. We therefore welcome this opportunity to share our experiences from the OSCE PA, and thereby contribute to global efforts to address the current crisis,” said Allizard.
Allizard took the opportunity to highlight a number of recommendations put forward by the OSCE PA including those related to improved international co-operation, responsibility sharing and resettling of persons in need of protection, as well as the allocation of financial and human resources needed to ensure the timely processing of asylum claims. He also highlighted the French experience on immigration.
“France had been one of the most generous countries in terms of immigration. However, this generosity is increasingly confronted with reality on the ground: in other words, the publicly acceptable maximum threshold or, to be more precise, what is acceptable for our local authorities,” Allizard said.
Committee member Alf Dubs (United Kingdom) spoke this afternoon in a session dedicated to offering safe havens to refugees. A vocal advocate in his home country on the need for protection of child refugees, Dubs encouraged greater focus on this as a basis for international co-operation.
“The plight of unaccompanied minors has been a particular tragedy in the migration crisis of recent years. Improved co-operation to help the children caught up in migration flows – who I think we can all agree are innocent victims – can be a strong basis for enhancing our work in other fields related to migration,” said Dubs.
The OSCE PA’s Ad Hoc Committee has been operational since February 2016 and has conducted multiple field visits to countries on the front line of migratory flows. The Ad Hoc Committee consists of some 20 parliamentarians from countries spanning North America and Europe. In October 2017 the committee issued a report entitled ‘Ensuring a coherent, shared and responsible governance of migration and refugee flows’ that offers a range of observation and recommendations on issues related to migrants and refugees.
The Malta conference, being held on 16-17 November in Valletta, is bringing together parliamentarians from across the Mediterranean region, Europe and Africa, as well as representatives of international organizations and NGOs, for discussions on responses to migration challenges and opportunities. The conference aims to provide a parliamentary perspective to the negotiations taking place at the United Nations in 2018 on a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and a Global Compact on Refugees.
For more information on the OSCE PA's migration-related work, please click here.
For Pascal Allizard's full remarks at the conference, please click here.