International conference on Migration - President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania has assumed office as the new African Union (AU) chairperson with a proposal for the holding of a “major international conference” on migration and its impact on African economies. President Abdel Aziz, who was elected to the post at the ongoing 30-31 Jan. AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Thursday, said the conference could be convened under the auspices of the AU to debate the impacts of migration not only on African economies and societies but also on those of the countries of destination.
Addressing the summit, the new AU chairperson explained that the main goal of the proposed gathering would be “to draw up a shared vision on this phenomenon and to minimise its tragic dimension”.
He recalled that the creation of AU in 1999 was the expression of African leaders’ commitment “to revitalise the role of our organisation with a view to responding to the new continental and global challenges, in particular the issues of security, economic and social development'.
Therefore, he said, it is important today to develop continental approaches allowing to unite “our efforts and those of our in international partners” given the nature of some trans-boundary threats.
“This requires that our continent takes its rightful place on the international scene particularly in the Security Council of the UN”, in addition to the great efforts made at the level of each country, President Abdel Aziz suggested.
On its part, the AU Commission (AUC) said it is working with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Regional Economic Communities (REC) to promote Regional Consultative Processes on migration in Africa, embracing dialogue between and among relevant stakeholders from concerned states and organisations.
Also, the AU has decided with the European Union to have “an inward assessment” of the shortcomings on the movement of persons between the two regions, in the aftermath of the “unfortunate' Lampedusa incident, the AUC said.