THE Eritrean Delegation to the meeting of the EU-Horn Africa Ministerial Conference in Rome has denounced human trafficking activities and would reinforce its struggle against the crime.
The delegation headed by Foreign Minister Osman Saleh underscored the need to draw up both concrete time framework and tangible action measures against the malaise.
Pointing out that Eritrea is exerting persistent efforts to create ground for education and work opportunities for the youths, the delegation again called on European countries to rectify their misguided policy regarding the issue.
Representatives of 28 EU member states and 10 African states, namely Eritrea, Libya, Republic of Sudan, Egypt, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya and Tunisia participated in the Conference.
Meanwhile, during its stay in Rome, the Eritrean delegation held talks with Ms. Federica Mogherini , the EU Foreign Policy Chief, and the Italian Internal Affairs Minister, and the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister, as well as the Vice Ministers of Justice of both the UK and Norway focusing on development and human trafficking.
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The following is full statement made by H.E. FM Osman Saleh at the EU-Horn of Africa Ministerial Conference on Migration and Human trafficking, Rome
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On behalf of the people and government of Eritrea, I wish to thank the African Union, the European Union and the Italian Presidency for taking this timely initiative to address the critical issue of migration and the crime of human trafficking, which is profoundly affecting millions of people and nations throughout the world.
I wish to make four main points and I will be very brief.
1) Conferences, like this one in Rome, as well as those that preceded it and those to follow, are important to highlight the critical nature of the issue and to create a broader understanding and a sense of urgency. Eritrea, however, wishes to focus on and stress the crucial need to take concrete measures and within specified timeframes to make a positive difference for irregular migrants and victims of human trafficking as well as address the legitimate concerns of the countries of origin, transit and destination.
2) We in Eritrea are determined, and are already taking appropriate action, to develop the political, economic, social and cultural environment that would provide opportunities for our young people to live and thrive in their own country. We are engaged in a sustained and promising effort to transform our economy and develop our human resources, specially the education, health, skills, fortitude and initiative of our youth. We have a specific program to bring tangible change in the lives of our people within three to five years, positive change which will also have a significant impact on current migration patterns.
3) Eritrea has embarked on and is determined to work in, close and mutually beneficial, partnership with regional countries to address the problems of irregular migration and the crime of human trafficking. More broadly and importantly, Eritrea is actively engaged in promoting regional cooperation and integration, as a strategically-located, maritime country, it stands to gain from regional peace, stability and cooperation.
4) Eritrea values its partnership with the European Union and is determined to work with the EU and all European countries to tackle irregular migration and human trafficking and to address their root causes. We call for an urgent review of European migration policies towards Eritreans, as they are, to say the least, based on incorrect information, something that is being increasingly acknowledged.
Crucially, we call on the EU and all European countries to increase their all-sided engagement and cooperation with Eritrea and the entire Horn of Africa region, in a partnership focused on peace, security, trade and investment that will benefit both the region and Europe.
Those are my four points. Let me conclude by thanking everyone present here today and reaffirming that you will find in Eritrea an effective and hugely constructive partner.
I thank you!