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UAE participates in UN meeting on migration and refugee movements

posted on 03/10/2015: 1201 views

NEW YORK: The United Arab Emirates took part on Thursday in a high-level meeting converged by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon high- at the UN Headquarters on migration and refugee movements.

The UAE statement in the meeting was read by Ahmed Al Jarman, Assistant Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, who thanked the Secretary General for convening such an important meeting which tackled migration and refugee movements from the perspective of the 2030 sustainable development agenda. He said there was a pressing need at the current stage to discuss root causes of migration increase and the refugees crisis, the worst of its kind since the World War II.

Al Jarman noted that human movement had always been a key factor for the progress of mankind, exchange of knowledge, expertise and cultures, and realisation of development. However, recent years saw an alarming rise in immigration and displacement, forced by economic difficulties, national calamities and conflicts, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa region, due to the conflicts, extremism and terrorist acts by extremist groups like Daesh (ISIL) and Al Qaeda.

He renewed UAE's commitment to international humanitarian and developmental responsibilities and said the country was keen on playing a positive role in the regional and international efforts to deal with such challenges, within the international laws and conventions. He also referred to the UAE as one of the world's top countries in providing development and humanitarian aid to the developing countries and the affected countries in both material and kind.

"Thanks to the environment of moderation and tolerance, the UAE has become one of the world's top countries in attracting foreign labour of different skills and experiences from all countries of the world. there are over 4 million people of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds who work and live in the UAE under temporary contracts, on the basis of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) treaties, ratified by the UAE, as well as the bilateral agreements the country had signed with the respective labour exporting countries," he said.

Al Jarman said that transfers by foreign workers which reached over US$ 20 billion by 2015, usually go as a effective financial resources for development in those countries, adding that the UAE has continuously sought to develop laws and legislations to guarantee respect for the labour's rights.

He said the Middle East was facing the worst refugees crisis due to conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, with the number of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries reaching 4 million.

He stated that the GCC countries received since the outbreak of the crisis in Syria in 2011 about 2.8 million of the Syrian brothers and were careful not to treat them as refugees by finalizing their legal conditions to enable them to move freely and streamline residency procedures for those wishing to stay in the GCC countries. The GCC countries have also worked on ensuring those Syrian people enjoy free health services, access to the labour market and free education in public schools. They also secured seats for them at the universities and allowed the Syrian workers to bring in their families from Syria and the Refugees camps and renewed expired contracts.

"Since the onset of the crisis in 2011, the UAE has welcomed more than 250,000 Syrian nationals who enjoy full rights to free healthcare, education and work in accordance with the residency system in the country. The country also contributed more than US$ 600 million in humanitarian and development aid to Syrians in refugee camps. The UAE also funds the Mrajeeb Al Fhood camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan."

Al Jarman concluded the statement by saying that dealing with the migration and asylum challenges should be based on the principle of addressing the causes which are poverty, conflicts, extremist violence by committing to enhancing international cooperation for development, resolving conflicts through peaceful means and promoting values of tolerance, moderation and respect for sovereignty.

He also said the international community should shoulder the joint responsibility of protecting the affected people and providing emergency humanitarian relief to them and supporting the host countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


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