Migration and Joint Africa-EU Strategy discussed at the AUC

The African Union (AU) is hosting the meeting of experts of the 7th Labour and Social Affairs Commission (LASC) from 28 to 30 September 2009. Convened every year, the event is holding at the headquarters of the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Joint Africa-EU Strategy was also on the agenda of the meeting.

Some extracts from the Report/Summary prepared for the event (read full versions below the text):
Tripartite Meeting of AU, European Union and the World Bank June 2009:
All three partners agreed on the objectives of the project and expressed their commitment to support, each in their own capacity, the establishment of AIR. Common ground, readiness and willingness to move forward were reaffirmed. Based on this tripartite discussion, it was agreed that the AU Commission will develop a revised project proposal for AIR. AU Commission has prepared a revised proposal which currently is being considered in an Inter-Departmental level and once this consultation is completed then it shall be send to partners for their comments. Given the priority of the project, it is expected that this entire process will be concluded as soon as the 3rd quarter of 2009. There will be two phases: a preparatory transitional phase and institutional establishment phase. Two Committees—a steering committee and technical committee will be established to spearhead the preparatory phase—the process towards the establishment of the institute. These Committees will serve as consultation forums for all partners. The Revised Proposal has stipulated distinct roles for partners such as African Development Bank, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, International Organization for Migration, the World Bank, European Union, African Postal Service Union, Diaspora etc. Several consultations with the Diaspora, associations of African migrants, beneficiaries and target groups will be conducted.

The purpose of the consultative visits was to follow-up and monitors the implementation of the four AU policies on migration and developments. Popularization of the said documents and consultation with RECs and Members States is one way of ensuring commencement of implementation. The consultations also aim at assessing the level of implementation. Common understanding of shared concerns, priorities and challenges facing the RECs on migration are identified. This in turn was expected to help to articulate shared vision, mission and objectives of AU and RECs on migration management for development. Another objective was also to look on the needs and priorities specific to the RECs. Moreover, the specific objectives include:

• Up-to-date information and knowledge sharing between the RECs and AU on AU instruments on migration;
• Information exchange on the existing migration laws in RECs and Member countries;
• A clearer identification and discussion of issues and challenges concerning the future development of migration and development in the continent and the priorities and concerns specific to each RECs;
• Discussion and assessment on the needs that enable the RECs and officials to perform their work effectively and efficiently;
• Identification of issues that should be dealt at AU, REC and country level;
• Discussion on challenges and needs for improved border management;
• Sensitize Member states and RECs at regional level for the formulation of Migration Policy based on the AU policy documents;
• Understand and exchange views on the Regional Migration Approaches, opportunities, challenges and future perspectives;
• Initiate a common understanding to establish a regular reporting mechanism for the RECs, the AU and its Member States; and
• Identify Migration Focal Ministries and contact Persons in respective RECs MS as part of the follow up mechanism on migration issues.

The consultation visits have allowed the AU Commission to assess the level of implementation of the AU policies, and to discuss on how to harness and increase the efforts RECs further. Recommendations were also made for joint activities. In the long-term with the implementation of the recommendation made in the reports, the consultative visit will help to spearhead harmonization of policy and legislative framework on migration of RECs. Furthermore, a report on the consultation visits has formed a basis for consolidation of Strategic Plan and Budget for 2009-2012 with activities and budget. Draft concept papers and proposals are also produced and presented for H.E the Commissioner’s consideration and approval. Moreover, the report of the visit and the consolidated plan of action will be submitted to the EU as part of progress report on the European Commission Support Programme. The output and outcome of the visit includes:
• The AU policies disseminated to the RECs and participants in the consultation;
• Reports produced on the level of advancement of RECs on migration;
• Copies of the policy documents of RECs collected;
• The AU and RECs instruments and policy documents on migration popularized;
• Mutual understanding on priority concerns, future challenges and needs of migration at the continental, regional and national level shared;
• Areas of priority of the RECs and specific countries set;
• Support for a common reporting mechanism and format between AU and RECs solicited;
• Migration focal Ministries and RECs Contact persons identified;
• Areas of future cooperation identified and proposals presented for consideration;
• A better understanding of the RECs protocols and Regional Migration Approaches for the MS created; and
• A report on the current state of affairs of migration prepared and the future desired status identified and action plan is consolidated.

The following documents were also used and widely distributed in the consultation process.
• African Common Position on Migration and Development
• Migration Policy Framework for Africa
• Joint Africa-EU Declaration on Migration and Development
• Ouagadougou Plan of Action on Trafficking in Human Beings Especially Women and Children

In early 2008, two missions to Brussels and Geneva were conducted to discuss on Policy Coherence for Development and Migration with EU Commission and International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), Europol and Frontex. The mission to Brussels was successful in imparting the concerns and positions of AU Commission on EU policy (particularly on brain drain and migration) coherence with Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Poverty Reduction Strategies. On the other hand the mission to Geneva has led to discussion on how to coordinate the AU work with International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) particularly on African Migration Routes to EU member states through Mediterranean and Gulf of Countries.

The AU Commission has also disseminated the core contents of the Tripoli Joint Africa-EU Declaration on Migration and Development and three other major Migration policy and legislative documents. These includes Policy Framework for Africa, the African Common Position on Migration and Development, and Ouagadougou Plan of Action on Human Trafficking, Especially Women and Children in four global conferences—The African Migration Alliance Workshop, Abuja Inter-parliamentarian Conference, Yemen international conference on irregular migration, and African Diaspora, the Second Meeting of the Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD), the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Training of Trainers, IGAD Border Management Workshop, Dakar Regional Conference on Irregular Migration, the Sixth African Development Forum, Consultative Visits to IGAD, to the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS), the Republic of Senegal and Popular Democratic Republic of Algeria, and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Read the summary -doc
Read the full report – doc

More about the event, please visit AUC website – html

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