IOM press briefing notes 31 Oct 2003: Zambia
ZAMBIA - MIDSA Workshop on Forced Migration - The Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA) held a workshop this week on Forced Migration in the Zambian capital, Lusaka.
The three-day event brought together 15 governments in the region and observers from the diplomatic missions, United Nations agencies, the African Union, and NGOs. The participants discussed recommendations on how to address various aspects of population displacements.
During the IOM-supported event, the challenges related to the nature of population flows and the insufficient legislation and technical capacities to meet them were also considered.
The group recommended that regular meetings be established between national refugee commissioners and others involved with displaced persons to better monitor situations and coordinate responses. They also agreed that guiding principles on internal displacement should be included in national legislations.
The need for regionally coordinated repatriation agreements and legislation was also on the agenda. It was also suggested that countries in the region, together with countries affected by population displacement and donors, consider comprehensive plans of action to assist in the relief, recovery and effective reintegration of displaced persons and returnees.
The IOM Regional Representative for Southern Africa, Hans Petter Boe said, "MIDSA is a process that continues to evolve and to attract governments and civil society in the region. The international community by and large favours regional approaches, and indeed the MIDSA formula is taking root in West and East Africa."
IOM offers its expertise and acts as an honest broker in regional consultative processes in the Western Mediterranean, the Americas and Asia.