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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

ACP Group of States and IOM Strengthen Cooperation

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing and the Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States Mohammed Ibn Chambas have signed on December 17, an agreement at the ACP Headquarters in Brussels committing the two bodies to closer cooperation on a wide range of migration-related issues. The agreement aims to provide practical assistance to the 79 ACP Members States to help them optimize the benefits of migration for poverty reduction and sustainable development. “Migration has always played a crucial role in shaping ACP societies. It is now our duty to ensure that its negative effects are reduced and to do our best to make migration as positive force for development,” said ACP Secretary General Mohammed Ibn Chambas.Director General William Lacy Swing said the agreement illustrates the importance given by IOM to migration in the African, Caribbean and Pacific region. “Our partnership with the ACP Secretariat and Group of States demonstrates our common will and determination to realize the many potential benefits of migration. The signing of this agreement will help us to take another step towards this goal.”Cooperation between IOM and the ACP Group of States has already led to the launch on 25 October of the Observatory on Migration, an initiative of the ACP Secretariat empowered by IOM and funded by the European Union with the financial support of Switzerland. The Observatory aims to establish a network of research institutions and governmental entities dealing with migration in the six ACP regions, namely West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Activities will start in 12 pilot countries (Angola, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Tanzania, Timor-Leste and Trinidad and Tobago).Although much of the global focus on migration is on human mobility from the South to the North, almost half of all emigration from developing countries is to other developing countries – South-South migration. Yet little is known about this phenomenon which, for example, has traditionally been used in many African countries as a livelihood strategy. Africa is also home to the largest numbers of internally displaced people and refugees. The Caribbean and Pacific regions too are marked by inter-regional migration.

Source: IOM