* Sets Stage for 2nd UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development *
New York, NY (October 1, 2013) — At the United Nations today, the government of Morocco proposed creation of an “African Alliance for Migration and Development.” The announcement comes two days before the UN’s second High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (October 3-4)—which aims to define migration in terms of development goals and opportunities—and just two weeks after King Mohammed VI welcomed and approved recommendations by Morocco’s National Human Rights Council (CNDH) for groundbreaking change in migration policy for the North African country.
“Morocco has a far-reaching tradition of welcoming migrants—we are now a country of origin, transition and destination when it comes to migration,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Saad Dine El Othmani in his opening remarks. As such, “Morocco has always made migration a priority in its development policy,” he added. “This initiative taken by His Majesty [the King] focuses on the protection of human rights of immigrants in accordance with the rule of law and Morocco’s international commitments.”
Representatives from countries including France, Spain, Portugal, Senegal, Ivory Coast and the European Union, as well as from Morocco’s CNDH, spoke at the event and echoed the sentiment.
“We are living in a world of unprecedented human mobility, yet much of the world has decided to favor anti-migrant policies which we think go against the interest of migrants and national interests of many countries,” said Mr. William Swing, International Organization for Migration. “I would like to compliment Morocco on this initiative of the King to try to improve the standing, access, and rights of migrants in the kingdom of Morocco.”
Among the chief aims proposed for the Alliance at the UN forum are to promote better coordination and cooperation between African countries on migratory matters, share national expertise and best practices on migratory governance, and integrate migration into national and sectoral development plans of member nations.
“Increasing violent conflicts on our continent and aspirations of our peoples for a dignified life make immigration important,” said Morocco’s CNDH President Driss El Yazami. “We must strengthen our joint action for renewed management of this policy on an international level in order to support the migrants in accordance with international standards, and also to fight more strongly against xenophobia and rejection. Human migration has always been an enriching factor. It represents an opportunity for all of our societies and we should all seize it.”
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