Ghana would on Monday September 19, join other global Heads of States and Government, at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s High Level Summit, to discuss and address the issues large movements of refugees and migrants.
The Summit, which would be held in New York, would be the first of Heads of State gathering on refugees and migrants in the UN, provides a historic opportunity to improve the international community’s collective response.
Ms Evelyn Sarpong, the Reference Assistant Officer In-Charge of the United Nations Information Centre at a news briefing in Accra on Wednesday, said the Summit would also discuss and adopt a declaration on a Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, and further strategies towards the acceptance in 2018 of the current draft Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
She said the briefing was to throw more light on, and create public awareness on the forthcoming Summit, which would create a platform for Ghana’s delegation to be led by the Ministry of the Interior to present the country’s position on the large movements of refugee and migrants.
Dr Kofi Anani, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Refugee Board, said the magnitude of the refugee and migrant situation calls for shared responsibility as no one country could do it alone.
He said Ghana has already taken a bold step towards addressing the problem by developing a comprehensive National Migration Policy, appointed a an Executive Secretary for the Ghana Refugee Board, strengthened the institutional capacity and develop strategic plan for refugee management, while leveraging international to deal with the challenges.
He said refugee and migration issues are no longer considered as humanitarian issue but also a developmental one.
He called for public private partnership in addressing the challenges, which involves the human rights, education, health, shelter and food security of affected persons and vulnerable groups especially women and children.
Ms Kazumi Nakamura, the Project Manager of the Ghana Integrated Migration Management Approach of the International Organisation for Migration, said the summit comes at a time when global perception of migrants have grown and are increasingly informed by xenophobia.
According to her the Summit would focus the world’s attention on the challenge of global migration as a reality to be managed rather than as a problem to be solved.
She said it would also provide an opportunity to identify measures and approaches that support comprehensive, collective actions to address the conditions that create or increase large movements of migrations, as well as to address migrant vulnerabilities and the risks to which migrants are exposed before departure, in transit and on arrival.
She said the IOM look forward to concrete, tangible outcomes form the Summit, especially on the agreement to develop a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which represents a framework for comprehensive international cooperation on migrants and human mobility.
Ms Nakamura said the only way to realise and maximise the development potential of migration and to reduce the incidence and impacts of large or forced movements is to adopt comprehensive, coherent and development-conducive migration and related policies at national, regional and international levels.
She called for hard work in unity globally, to create lives of safety and dignity for all, leaving no one behind and celebrating the richness and vibrancy that migration could bring.