STATEMENT BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE ORGANISATION OF AFRICAN, CARIBBEAN AND PACIFIC STATES (OACPS) ON INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS DAY
Brussels, 18 December 2020/OACPS: In the context of the annual observance of International Migrants Day on 18 December, on behalf of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) the Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, recalls that on this day nations unite to applaud the vitality and resilience of migrants as well as to reaffirm their commitment to protect the human rights of all migrants.
The Secretary-General recognises the invaluable contributions of the 272 million migrants that account for 3.5% of the world’s population. He acknowledges the different contributions made to the development of their countries of origin, including through finance, investment, transfer of knowledge, expertise and technology, cultural linkages, networks and mechanisms, as well as through national reconciliation processes.
H.E. Chikoti welcomes the choice of this year’s theme for International Migrants Day, “Reimagining Human Mobility” which clearly outlines that, now more than ever, there is an urgent need for solidarity with migrants, in view of the closure of borders and travel restrictions due to lockdown measures imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. He highlights and applauds the role of migrants who have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, through their work in health services.
Secretary-General Chikoti calls on the international community to continue to protect and uphold human rights and fundamental freedom of migrants, regardless of their status. He further calls on them to discourage the policies that promote xenophobic rhetoric, discrimination and intolerance.
The Secretary-General reiterates his support to Members of the OACPS in their efforts to promote and protect human rights of all migrants. On this day he calls on all to commit to coherent, comprehensive and human-rights-based responses guided by international law and standards and a shared resolve to leave no one behind.