5 May 2016, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States at the United Nations 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.
Let me begin by reiterating the gratitude of the European Union to the co-facilitators. Your efforts to reach a consensus, that we feel very close, are much appreciated. The European Union considers that the circulated draft contains most comments expressed by Member States in a balanced manner.
Having in mind the time pressure at the high level event and the importance of hearing all voices, we welcome the innovative solution of having parallel sessions of the plenary of equal status if necessary. Indeed, this high level meeting is a unique opportunity to gather all views, including those from the civil society. We strongly support the approach of the draft resolution for its participation, including its footnote calling for the publicity of the general basis of any objections, as we consider it is a compromise and established practice.
The EU and its Member States acknowledge the capital of trust that the co-facilitators have gathered at this and other processes. Therefore, we look forward to the initial draft and successive drafts of the outcome document, as stated in the previous draft, under their skilful leadership.
As regards the roundtables, we consider that they are in line with the report of the Secretary General “In safety and dignity: addressing large movements of refugees and migrants”. We suggest the addition of smuggling, human trafficking and international criminal networks among the issues addressed at the roundtable on international action and cooperation on refugees and migrants. As to the first round table we would suggest to speak about conflict prevention and resolution and add lack of good governance. Moreover, we would like to highlight the importance of integrating migrants into their host societies in the second roundtable. Finally, we would like to see a reference to the obligation of all states to readmit their own nationals, including the facilitation hereof, in the discussions about responsibility sharing for refugees and respect for international law. This aspect includes the creation of conditions for the safe and voluntary return of refugees and migrants to their home countries.
Allow me to conclude by thanking you for taking on this challenging task. We encourage you to lead us promptly in this final step of the agreement on the modalities in order to start the negotiations of the outcome document, where we look forward to keeping our active and constructive engagement.
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