Euro-Maghreban meeting on migration to be held in Tunis
Maghreb-European Union, Politics, 4/29/2002
A Euro-Mediterranean meeting on migration and migration-related issues will be held in Tunis shortly.
The announcement was made by director general of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Brunson Mckinley, at a joint news conference Saturday with Moroccan minister of human rights Mohamed Aujjar.
The meeting to be held at ministerial level will bring together the five states forming the Arab Maghreb Union (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, and Libya) and 5 south European countries (Spain, France, Italy, Malta and Portugal), said Mckinley.
The IOM will contribute to the organization of the meeting as a neutral facilitator, he said.
Speaking at the news conference, Aujjar voiced concern over the security approach adopted by European nations to handle migration issues. Such an approach is not enough to solve the problems of migration, he said, insisting on the need to adopt a more humane approach based on solidarity and development.
As to McKinley's visit to Morocco, Aujjar described the visit as "very successful" and the talks he held with Moroccan officials as "fruitful." This visit opens new prospects to cooperation between Morocco and the IOM and enables to promote the defense of migrants' rights, he said.
The dynamic triggered by this visit shall have "a positive impact on emigrant's protection policies and on the evolution of the culture of tolerance," he insisted.
Mckinley's visit highlighted by the signing between Morocco and IOM of a memorandum of understanding providing for the setting up in Morocco of a resource center for migrants rights, which will be the first institution in the world to specialize in migrant workers' rights.
The IOM also concluded a partnership convention with the Hassan II Foundation for Moroccan Expatriates on the creation of an observatory of Moroccan expatriates, whose number nears 3 Millions.
During his stay in Morocco, the OIM chief held talks with several Moroccan officials, including the Prime Minister, the minister of the interior, the minister of employment, professional training, social development and solidarity, and the chairman of the Human Rights Advisory Council, who is also Chairman of the International Committee of coordination of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights.
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