King Mohammed VI of Morocco on Monday submitted to the African Union a paper laying out a common African vision on migration and the related stakes and challenges facing the continent, at a time thousands of Africans die in the Mediterranean while undertaking the perilous voyage to Europe.
The Monarch had been entrusted with the migration issue at the 28th AU Summit, held in Kigali, in Rwanda in January this year.
The paper, dubbed ‘Vision for an African Agenda for Migration’ was given to Guinean President Alpha Conde and chair of the African Union (AU) Monday at the opening of the 29th AU summit.
The document was handed by Prince Moulay Rachid, who is representing the Monarch at the AU Summit, marking Morocco’s return to its African institutional family.
The preliminary note of the paper lists the steps that should be taken to tackle migration, notably through the adoption of national strategies, improvement of sub-regional coordination, and pooling of continental and international efforts.
The document urges African countries to combat trafficking and to create conditions propitious for the integration of migrants and for the preservation of their rights. It likewise calls for collective efforts at the sub-regional and continental levels to ensure an adequate management of migration, ensuring smooth migration across the borders of the continent and beyond its boundaries.
With regard to international partnership, the paper stresses the need for African countries and the African Union to assess and respond to the challenges and opportunities of migration. As a global issue, migration must be the subject of partnerships in which Africa will have to fully play its role, the paper notes, pointing out that migration, despite the challenges it poses to host countries, could yield benefits if well managed.
In the speech he addressed to his African peers Monday, King Mohammed VI said when dealing with the question of migration, “What we need to do, above all, is to change our perception of migration and see it not as a constraint or threat, but as a positive element. Since time immemorial, has migration not been a factor of rapprochement between peoples and civilizations?”
“Addressing the challenge of migration requires an innovative approach that allows us to assess its causes and impacts and to consider possible solutions, above all by creating synergies between development plans and migration policies,” he said.
The King urged African leaders to pool efforts to develop, he said, “an African Agenda on this question that includes a common vision of the ways and means of dealing with the question of migration, both within our continent and in international forums”.