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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Egypt Hosts "Regional Dialogue on Migrants Return, Readmission, Sustainable Reintegration in North Africa"


Mon 18 Sep 2023 | 04:58 PM
Ahmed Emam

In collaboration with International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the support from the European Union, the Government of Egypt is hosting  “The Regional Dialogue for North African countries on Migrants Return, Readmission and Sustainable Reintegration” from the 18th to the 20th of September 2023 in Cairo.

The dialogue features representatives from the governments of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia who work closely on implementing readmission and reintegration programmes and policies, in addition to UN agencies, the European Union, Civil Society Organizations, experts and other stakeholders.

According to a statement recently  issued by IOM, this Dialogue brings together multiple stakeholders to discuss and share their experiences on safe and dignified migrants return, readmission and sustainable reintegration. It also aims at improving mutual understanding and supporting the exchange of good practices among North African stakeholders, through sharing relevant information on current challenges, policies, effective responses, and achievements with regard to migrant return and reintegration.

In his address, H.E Ambassador Ehab Badawy, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Multilateral Affairs and International Security Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt, said: “The political and economic crises, in addition to the impacts of climate change, have led to a significant increase in the flows of irregular migration in the region, and death rates in the sea and desert have risen to unprecedented levels since 2017, reaching about 3,800 cases in 2022, which is a real tragedy on a humanitarian level, where many young lives and dreams have been lost, who could have contributed to building a better future for their countries.”

In turn, Mr. Othman Belbeisi, IOM MENA Regional Director, said: “We look forward to learning from the respective governments and partners, on innovative ways to strengthen inter and intra-regional cooperation, facilitate access to documentation, and support national protection services to provide necessary assistance to migrants and nationals within the process of return and reintegration.”

It is clearer than ever that given its transnational nature and its considerable impact on a multitude of players migrants return and reintegration should be approached in a holistic manner and within the broader context of migration governance. A truly effective governance can only be established through the complementarity of efforts and coordination among state and non-state actors on both national and international levels.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), adopted in 2018, includes an objective (objective 21) to facilitate safe and dignified return and readmission, as well as sustainable reintegration of migrants.

Objective 21 was one of the most reported on objectives by countries during the regional review of the GCM in the Arab region, which was dedicated to discussing the implementation of the GCM.

The dialogue in Cairo, seeks to build on these discussions in order to help strengthen regional cooperation and shared understanding of the topic as the best way to tackle challenges associated with the subject matter, as well as identifying needs and potential responses to enable participating countries to better plan and design future actions and enhance migration governance.

It builds on the results achieved during the Regional Forum on Safe and Dignified Return and Sustainable Reintegration in North Africa in May 2021, and on the Regional Workshop on an Integrated Approach to Reintegration in the Middle East and North Africa organized by IOM in Cairo.

Topics on the dialogue agenda include how return, readmission and reintegration programmes can respond to the current migratory trends, and understanding how reintegration can work for local development and developing capacities.

Recommendations, best practices, and lessons learned gathered during the dialogue will feed into programming as well as policy and advocacy efforts dedicated towards member states, networks, donors, and other relevant stakeholders to ultimately contribute towards good migration governance, specifically related to safe and dignified return and sustainable reintegration of migrants.