Keynote address by: Ambassador Osman Abufatima Adam Mohammed
Deputy head of Mission at the Permanent Mission of Sudan-Geneva
At the 2018 Africa Link Symposium and Solidarity Awards Event - 8 September 2018, Bern
- Migration as a permanent reality of the world of today, It has been recently emphasized as a threat or a challenge; however, history has shown that migration in many cases was the cause behind the progress of the human civilization including those driven by religious reasons and persecution, and this remain true up to our current era of globalization.
- According to IOM in 2018, there are 258 million migrants and refugees across the world. This number will be further augmented if we add to them seasonal and regional migration waves or even internally displaced persons (IDPs), so we are talking about huge numbers of population affected by this phenomenon within countries and across the globe. These movements were driven by a set of factors including the pursuit of better life for those who move from their homes in search of economic opportunities or even fleeing disasters and crisis to safer places where they can lead better life. Migration brings with it many complex challenges including human rights, economic opportunity, labour shortages and unemployment, the brain drain, multiculturalism and integration, along with the flow of refugees and asylum seekers and its impacts on both receiving and sending societies.
- Challenges stemming from human movements in all its shapes have been recently emphasized and addressed by international and regional groups in order to find lasting solutions to these problems, which was not the result of the sole cause of conflicts in some parts of the world but can be traced back to the era of colonization and beyond. Migration and refugee flows are increasingly been explained in terms of conflicts over resources, whether land and its agricultural yields or water resources. However, these resources have been drastically impacted by climate change and its multiple manifestations attended with. So climate change induced migration is the most vivid crisis of our time. For example water shortages, perpetuated by climate change, resulted in a wide range displacement to nomads and pastoralists in several regions in Africa. Many UN reports indicated that the conflict in Darfur, for instance, was driven by climate change and environmental degradation which threatens to trigger a succession of new wars across Africa.
- It is not always easy to find answers to such complex phenomena like migration. However, the international and regional cooperation is an inevitable way to properly and timely address the issue. Recently it has been part of foreign policy agenda for the current decade. In order to find durable solution to all problems related to migration, it’s recommendable to address the issue in multidisciplinary approach, which doesn’t exclude the benefits of migration to both receiving and sending societies. Thus the mainstreaming of migration into the development cooperation should be highlighted through encouraging the triangular cooperation between Sub-Saharan countries, Southern Mediterranean and European countries on migration-related topics to foster development in regions of origin and transit.
- It’s obvious to include conflict resolution mechanisms as part of the durable solutions for prolonged conflicts, but unfortunately, developed countries does not do enough to consolidate the state of peace after an agreement is reached , in many cases, situation doesn’t improve, it’s even possible for conflicts to erupt once again in more flagrant and violent episodes. The consolidation of peace should be further augmented through ambitions development projects targeting the empowerment of youth, women and other vulnerable minorities of the society, including the creation of jobs. Promoting faster transfer of remittances by migrants to their families can assist in poverty alleviate in their home towns. For instance, remittances from Sudanese migrants in the gulf countries have been a sizeable source of support to the balance of payment of the country.
- Sudan has been historically recipient country for migrants and refugees and stands today committed to cooperate with all stockholders and international community to continue to meet its obligations and to share experience on the challenges and opportunities of migration and displacement. Many meetings and conferences were been conducted to enhance the international and regional cooperation to combat human trafficking. One of these meeting has been hosted by Sudan in July 2014 during which the operation named Khartoum Process has been launched in order to further enhance the
partnership between the AU and EU on migration and human trafficking and other related issues. Unfortunately, despite the agreement made, most of the obligations of the donor countries were not yet met. It’s also pertinent to indicate in this vain that Sudan’s ability to do more in these endeavors, crippled by many factors including its economic situation affected by the prolonged unilateral sanctions imposed by the US on Sudan and the secession of South Sudan and its ramifications.