The African Union declared 3rd November 2013 to be a continental day of mourning to be observed by all Member States of the African Union, in memory of all the African victims who have lost their lives on October 3rd in the tragic boat accident off the coast of Lampedusa Island in Italy.
African Heads of State and Government made the decision during their extra ordinary Session of the Assembly that was held on October 12th at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Below is the full text of the declaration.
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DECLARATION ON THE LAMPEDUSA (ITALY) TRAGIC BOAT INCIDENT
We, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union, meeting at our Extraordinary Session, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 12 October 2013:
Recognizing the magnitude and impact of migration on development and over the growing number of migrants in Africa and beyond, and the brain drain syndrome that is increasingly becoming a global scourge affecting all countries around the world, especially in Africa;
Gravely concerned with the serious economic and social impact of the recurrence of the phenomenon of illegal or irregular migration currently taking alarming proportions that threaten peace, security and stability which should be adequately addressed through a comprehensive approach to effective border management and within the context of strict observance of human rights and human dignity;
Recalling the Assembly Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.125 (VII) adopted at the Banjul Summit in July 2006 on the African Common Position on Migration and Development;
Underscoring that African inter-state collaboration and discourse can strengthen the capacity of States in migration management, including the development of common approaches towards harmonization of policies, laws and strategies on migration;
1. DEEPLY REGRET the loss of life of over 300 migrants that occurred on 3rd October 2013 in a boat accident in Lampedusa Island and EXPRESS our sincere condolences and deep sympathy to the families of the victims of this incident;
2. COMMIT itself to addressing the root causes of this phenomena of irregular migration from Africa to Europe;
3. REQUEST the Commission to investigate the root causes of migration of young people from Africa so as to recommend appropriate action to be taken by Member States with a view to finding a lasting solution to this persistent problem;
4. URGE Member States, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other stakeholders to take active part in the implementation of Common Position on Migration and Development and promote appropriate policies towards lasting peace, stability, democratic governance, sustainable growth, youth employment opportunities and greater regional integration;
5. APPEAL to the International Community to continue to collaborate and increase their involvement in addressing migration and development issues for the attainment of the objectives contained in the African Common Position on Migration and Development;
6. UNDERLINE the need for a comprehensive review of the issue of migration between Africa and Europe and REQUEST that this item be inscribed on the agenda of the 3rd Africa-EU Summit scheduled to be held in Brussels, Belgium, on 2nd and 3rd April 2014;
7. DECLARE the 3 November 2013 as a day of mourning to be observed by all Member States of the African Union, in memory of the victims of the Lampedusa tragedy.
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