For­eign Min­is­ter at a high level po­lit­i­cal panel meet­ing in Vi­enna

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

On the in­vi­ta­tion of the In­ter­na­tional Cen­tre for Mi­gra­tion Pol­icy Devel­op­ment, Min­is­ter for For­eign Af­fairs Ge­orge W. Vella par­tic­i­pated as a key note speaker at a high level po­lit­i­cal panel meet­ing in Vi­enna dis­cussing “Euro­pean Mi­gra­tion and Refugee Poli­cies - The Way Ahead”.

Re­fer­ring to Malta’s ex­pe­ri­ence in this field since the start of the mi­gra­tion in­flux faced from 2003 on­wards, Min­is­ter Vella stated that mi­gra­tion has been at the heart of Malta’s for­eign pol­icy. He em­pha­sised that mi­gra­tion can­not be ad­dressed and solved by in­di­vid­ual states alone and in this re­gard he un­der­lined that mi­gra­tion is a shared chal­lenge re­quir­ing shared so­lu­tions. Min­is­ter Vella un­der­lined that mi­gra­tion re­quires col­lec­tive action, long term strate­gies and com­pre­hen­sive ap­proaches.

In this con­text, Min­is­ter Vella re­called the suc­cess­ful Val­letta Sum­mit on mi­gra­tion which her­alded a part­ner­ship be­tween Africa and Europe and the Action Plan agreed on by the par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries.

Min­is­ter Vella stated that the chal­lenge re­mains to fully im­ple­ment what was agreed in Val­letta and in this con­text he made ref­er­ence to the Val­letta Se­nior Of­fi­cials meet­ing, as a fol­low up to the Val­letta Sum­mit, which will con­vene in Malta on 8-9 Fe­bru­ary 2017 to take stock of the progress reg­is­tered and to con­tinue tak­ing for­ward the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Val­letta Action Plan.

Min­is­ter Vella also hailed the EU “Mi­gra­tion Com­pacts” with the coun­tries iden­ti­fied as first pri­or­i­ties for action in terms of ori­gin or tran­sit of ir­reg­u­lar mi­gra­tion, namely Niger, Ethiopia, Nige­ria, Mali and Sene­gal.

Whilst look­ing for­ward to these Com­pacts be­ing ex­tended to other coun­tries such as Libya, Egypt, Jor­dan and Le­banon, he con­cluded that progress could only be reg­is­tered if di­a­logue and action are un­der­taken in part­ner­ship with each and ev­ery coun­try of ori­gin and of tran­sit of mi­grants.

The panel also in­cluded Aus­trian Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Europe, In­te­gra­tion and For­eign Af­fairs Se­bas­tian Kurz; Euro­pean Com­mis­sioner for Neigh­bour­hood Pol­icy Jo­hannes Hahn; the Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Se­cu­rity and Co­op­er­a­tion in Europe Lam­berto Zanier and for­mer Vice Chan­cel­lor of Aus­tria and Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the ICMPD Michael Spin­de­leg­ger.

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