L-R DARRELL SEXSTONE MS. ADE MAMONYANE LEKOETJE

Abdoulai G. Dibba

The Ministry of the Interior in collaboration with the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), on Tuesday June 26th, held a consultation forum on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), at a local hotel in Kololi.

According to the Oganisers, the objective of the consultation is to support the Government of the Gambia in the development of a National Coordination Mechanism on migration.

In her statement at the opening session, Ms Ade Mamonyane Lekoetje, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Gambia, asserted that migration is a cross-cutting topic and therefore addressing issues related to it, demands collaboration and partnership among a multitude of stakeholders within the country; that the Gambia must have a common voice and shared understanding of migration realities at the national level, before eventually cascading it to the regional and local level; that this can be done by establishing a proper coordination mechanism on migration management.

Ms Lekoetje concluded by pointing out that the UN System in the Gambia through its Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF 2018-2021), remains committed to assisting Government and the people of the Gambia, to address the governance of migration in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensure that no one including migrants who remain the most vulnerable in society, is left behind.

On his part, Darrell Sexstone, Programme Manager of the EU Delegation, indicated that the topic of migration is complicated, sensitive and often very political; but that overall, the basic and fundamental idea of the people moving from one place to another, is completely natural.

He saidd the European Union is a staunch supporter of the process for a Global Compact on Migration and is committed to making the GCM a success; that the development of GCM must be through an open, transparent and inclusive process of consultations and negotiations and the effective participation of all relevant stakeholders and concluded that the IOM is in a better position to talk about their project; that however, cutting through the project is a central focus on the rights, well-being and personal development of migrants through three main objects:

  1. Support the Gambia to improve the reintegration of returning migrants and to strengthen national structures and capabilities in terms of managing reintegration in a dignified and sustainable manner;
  2. Enable migrants and potential migrants to make informed decisions about their migratory journey and to sensitise communities on migration and
  3. Strenghen migration data and communication on migratory flows, routes and trends, as well as on the needs and vulnerabilities of migrants in the targeted countries, in order to support evidence based policies and programmes design.

In declaring the consultation open, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Interior Bulli Dibba, stated that the Global Compact for Migration will be the first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the patronage of the United Nations to cover all dimensions of international migration, in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

PS Dibba said Government is committed to a migration governance system, that would ensure social protection, freedom of association and the right to migrant workers to organize and participate in decisions that affect their lives.

Interior PS Dibba concluded that the GCM presents a critical opportunity for the international community to move away from reactive approaches, and look forward to a common future in which migration will be safe, orderly and regular.

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