Addis Ababa, November, 04 2019: Over one third of the world’s forcibly displaced persons are in Africa, including 6.3 million refugees and asylum seekers and 14, 5 million IPDs, thus Africa has no option but to double its efforts to address these phenomena. Accordingly, the adoption of Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration respectively, underscores the recent global shift to put the refugees, asylum seekers, Internally Displaced persons (IDPs) and migration topics at centre stage in policy discourse in Africa and beyond. Furthermore, to advance the aspirations of Agenda 2063, the AU Assembly adopted the Common Africa Position on Humanitarian Effectiveness, which articulates Africa’s new humanitarian architecture with a view to address the root causes and achieving durable solutions. Against that backdrop the 3rd African Union(AU) Specialised Technical Committee(STC) on Migration, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons began at the experts level in the Headquarters of the African Union Commission.
The objectives of the STC under the theme “The Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa” is to consider and recommend to the Executive Council several key policy and operational documents in the field of Migration, Refugees and IDPs. Specifically, the meeting will seek to achieve the following:
Consider and validate the report on the implementation of the Theme of year “ The Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa ”;
Consider and Validate the Report on the implementation of the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the Roadmap for its implementation;
Consider and decide on the Draft Structure and budget for the establishment of :
a) The African Centre for the study and Research on Migration, in Mali;
b) The African Migration Observatory ,in Morocco;
c) The Continental Operational Centre for Information sharing, in Khartoum;
d) The African Humanitarian Agency.
Consider and adopt the following:
a) On the Implementation of the Global Compact on Migration in Africa:
i. Report of the Senior Officials meeting Draft Plan of action for the implementation of Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Position.
ii. Draft Plan of Action on the implementation of Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Position in Africa.
b) On the Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFOM):
i. Reports of the 5th Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFOM) that was held in Cairo, Egypt on 14-16th September, 2019.
ii. Draft Terms of Reference of the Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFOM)
In his welcome remarks, Dr. Khabele Matlosa, the Director for Political Affairs Department at the African Union Commission thanked all experts for attending the 3rd Session of the STC on Migration, Refugees and IDPs.
“Agenda 2063 resonates well with the 2030 global agenda on sustainable development. Evidently, the seven aspirations of Agenda 2063 and the seventeen sustainable development goals (SDGs) may not be fully realised if the African continent does not address the challenges posed by humanitarian crises and forced displacement. “ said Dr. Khabele Matlosa. He further added that “Aspiration 3 of Agenda 2063 envisions ‘An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law’. Aspiration 4 envisages ‘A Peaceful and Secure Africa’. Both aspirations 3 & 4 dovetail neatly into the sustainable development goal (SDG) No. 16, which aims to ‘promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development’, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”.
Dr. Matlosa highlighted the key achievements of the AU Commission since the last STC. “The third meeting of the ordinary Session of STC on Migration, Refugees and Internally Displaced persons will focus on an important legal instrument that will contribute to the Migration governance within and outside the continent, progress report on the implementation of the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in Africa and the African Passport and also the establishment of the African Humanitarian Agency which will help to coordinate and manage humanitarian situations on the continent as well as on the realization of the Aspirations of the Agenda 2063 and its first 10 years implementation plan”. The Director provided an overview of the agenda of the Meeting, and stressed that the importance of the topics to be discussed was self-evident. Dr. Matlosa concluded by encouraging all experts to contribute fully to the discussions and wished all participants a warm welcome on behalf of the Commissioner for Political Affairs and the Commissioner for Social Affairs.
Speaking at the opening ceremony the Chairperson of the outgoing STC Bureau , represented by Mr. Francois Regis Gatarayiha, Director General of Immigration of Rwanda, welcomed the Experts to the meeting and the Headquarters of the African Union. The Chairperson of the outgoing STC Bureau reminded that the 3rd Session of the STC takes place at the AU Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons. “The session is also being held 18 months after the negotiation of the Protocol on Free Movement of persons, and its recommendation for adoption by the STC. So far, the Protocol has been signed by 33 AU Member States (MS), and 4 Member States deposited their ratification instruments with the AUC, namely: Rwanda, Niger, Mali and Sao Tome and Principe” said Mr Francois Regis Gatarayiha. The Chairperson of the outgoing STC Bureau reminded that Protocol on Free Movement of persons requires 15 ratifications to enter into force and encouraged AU Member States to increase the rate of ratification to enhance free movement and mobility in Africa. As the term of Rwanda is coming to an end, The Chairperson of the outgoing STC Bureau recalled key achievements obtained with the support of MS, namely the adoption of the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons, the negotiation of the Global Compact on Migration under a common African Position, the discussion and initiatives taken to address the situation of stranded migrants in Libya, to which Rwanda contributed by hosting 189 refugees and asylum seekers. The Chairperson of the outgoing STC Bureau concluded by thanking all MS for their support throughout these 2 years and reiterated the commitment of Rwanda to support the STC in the advancement of its agenda.
The STC experts’ session will continue between 4-6 November 2019 to be followed by the ministerial session on 7-8 November 2019. Media representatives are invited to cover the ministerial session opening starting from 9:00 a.m.
NOTE TO EDITOR:
The STCs, which are technical organs of the Union, were established under Article 25 of the African Economic Community Treaty (the Abuja Treaty). With the transformation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) into the African Union Commission (AUC), in order to have specialists from all corners of Africa discussing the cooperation in different fields to enhance the integration between the Member States of the Union.
The African Union’s Specialized Technical Committees are statutory policy organs of the Union in accordance with Article 5 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union. Functions of Specialized Technical Committees are elaborated in Article 15 of the Constitutive Act and are among others, the preparation of projects and programmes of the Union and it submission to the Executive Council; to ensure the supervision, follow-up and evaluation of the implementation of decisions taken by the organs of the Union.
For more information regarding the STC on Migration, Refugees and Internally Displaced Personskindly contact:
Mr. Olabisi Dare| Political Affairs Department, African Union Commission|Tel. + (251) 11 551 7844| E-mail: DareO@africa-union.org
Ms. Rita Amukhobu| Political Affairs Department, African Union Commission| Tel. + (251) 11 551 7844| E-mail: AmukhobuR@africa-union.org
Mr. Sabelo Mbokazi| Social Affairs Department, African Union Commission| Tel. + (251) 11 551 7844| E-mail: MbokaziM@africa-union.org
For media inquiries, contact:
- Mr. Gamal Ahmed A. Karrar| Communication Officer| Directorate of Information and Communication, African Union Commission | E-mail: GamalK@africa-union.org 2. Mr. Yusuf Mohammed | Communication Expert | Department of Political Affairs, African Union Commission | E-mail: Mohammedy@africa-union.org