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The European Union Head of Delegation to Liberia Ambassador Hélène Cavé calls for increased collaboration and engagement amongst all stakeholders to adequately manage the issue of migration together, describing it as a shared and common responsibility of countries of origin, transit and destination.

Ambassador Cavé recently at a meeting with key stakeholders working on migration issue, held at the European Union Delegation in Monrovia.The purpose of the meeting was to highlight the main conclusions of the Senior Official Meeting on the Joint Valletta Action Plan that took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 14th and 15th November, in which a Liberian Delegation participated, and to reflect on migration issues in Liberia and the region.

At the Valletta Summit in November 2015, leaders from the European Union and Africa agreed in the Joint Valletta Action Plan (JVAP) some principles for cooperation between Africa and Europe on migration, including solidarity, partnership and shared responsibility.

The JVAP is based on a comprehensive approach, covering all aspects of migration. It addresses five priority areas: enhancing the development benefits of migration and addressing the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement; legal migration and mobility; protection and asylum; prevention of and fight against irregular migration, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings; and facilitating return, readmission and reintegration of migrants.

To sustain the implementation of the Joint Valletta Action Plan, the EU and its Member States launched the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, to address the root causes of instability, forced displacement and irregular migration, and to contribute to better migration management, according to Ambassador Cavéin.

Friday’s meeting brought together Ambassadors and other representatives of diplomatic missions of EU Member States in Liberia, including France, Germany, Ireland and Sweden, as well as Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU).

Liberian authorities were represented by Hon. Trokon T. Kpui, Deputy Minister of State Without Portfolio; Hon. Rev. Festus R. B. Logan, Executive Director and Commissioner of the Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRC); Col. Moses Kat-DozYebleh, Acting Commissioner General of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS); and Mr. Martin Scott-Tabi, Senior Desk Officer of the Bureau of European Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) was represented by its Senior Regional Migrant Protection and Assistance Specialist for West and Central Africa Mr. Michele Bombassie. Several Liberian Civil Society Organizations were also present.

Several stakeholders highlighted the need to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement in Liberia, by fostering sustainable development, economic growth and job creation, particularly for the youth, and the need to strengthen the national capacities of Liberia and other countries in the region to manage migration flows adequately.

They also highlighted the need for Liberia to be included amongst countries that benefit from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, and the importance of enhancing awareness on the dangers and risks associated with irregular migration, including exploitation and abuse.

Ambassador Cavé thanked the participants at the meeting for their contributions to this valuable and useful dialogue, and said that the EU Delegation, together with EU Member States, would continue to engage constructively with key stakeholders working on the issue of migration in Liberia and the region.

–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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