Abidjan, 29 November 2017
The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini met this morning in the margins of the African Union/European Union Summit to discuss concrete steps to address jointly the dramatic situation of migrants and refugees victims of criminal networks, in particular inside Libya.
They agreed to put in place a joint EU-AU-UN Task Force to save and protect lives of migrants and refugees along the routes and in particular inside Libya, accelerating the assisted voluntary returns to countries of origin, and the resettlement of those in need of international protection. This action will build on, expand and accelerate the ongoing work done by countries of origin, and the IOM, with EU funding, which allowed so far the voluntary return to their countries of origin of 13 000 migrants since January.
The work of the Task Force will be closely coordinated with the Libyan authorities and be part of the overall joint work that the African Union and the European Union, and the United Nations, will intensify to dismantle traffickers and criminal networks, and to offer opportunities of development and stability to countries of origin and transit, tackling root causes of migration.
The United Nations, the African Union and the European Union agreed to upgrade in a systematic manner their trilateral cooperation and to meet on a regular basis at the highest political level, notably in the margins of the UN General Assembly.
Margaritis SCHINAS (+ 32 2 296 05 24)
Catherine RAY (+32 2 296 99 21)
Christina WUNDER (+32 2 299 22 56)
Esther OSORIO (+32 2 229 620 76)
For the African Union Commission:
Ebba KALONDO: kalondoE@africa-union.org
For the UN:
Stephane DUJARRIC: firstname.lastname@example.org