13 May 2016, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States delivered by H.E. Ambassador João Vale de Almeida, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the Informal meeting on the High-level Event on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants
Excellences, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
Again let me begin by reiterating the gratitude of the European Union to the co-facilitators. Your efforts to reach a consensus and all your work during the last weeks are much appreciated. The new version of the draft reflects broadly the position expressed by member states during our last discussions.
We appreciate the extension of the list of speakers in the opening plenary; engaging the most relevant UN actors on migration and refugee issues, while at the same time giving a voice to civil society and the private sector.
We acknowledge the need for every member state to deliver its statement during this event. It is important that all voices are heard. At the same time, we see the time pressure the event is facing. As already expressed last time, we therefore welcome the innovative solution of having parallel sessions of the plenary of equal status – rather than extending the meeting for another day.
The EU strongly supported the original approach of the draft resolution, which aimed for a transparent selection process for NGOs and encourages its participation. This especially included the original footnote calling for the publicity of the general basis of any objections for the rejection of an NGO, which is already a compromise from our side and established practice. We have consistently recalled that the process of admission of NGOs to participate in this and similar meetings should be completely transparent and should allow for the full involvement of the General Assembly. The proposed changes fall back behind former agreements and we would like to reiterate our support to use the language as originally proposed by the co-facilitators.
As regards the roundtables, we would like to thank you for taking into account many of our concerns and proposals. We have noticed that there is no more mentioning of readmission in round table four, and we would like to propose to reintegrate this as a key word.
Allow me to conclude by thanking you for taking on this challenging task. We look forward to constructively engage in the negotiations of the outcome document.
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