Initiatives for migrants from the Asian region taken under Sri Lanka’s Chairmanship of the Colombo Process (CP) was commended at the Fifth Global Meeting of Chairs and Secretaries of Regional Consultative Processes on Migration (RCPs).
The global meeting organized by the International Organization on Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the League of Arab States, brought together representatives of 18 Regional Migration Processes as well as 14 civil society organizations, and was held in Cairo, Egypt, 21-22 October 2015, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva said.
The Sri Lanka delegation comprised G.S. Withanage Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Employment, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Isantha Dasanayake of the Ministry of Foreign Employment.
Detailing the progress made during Sri Lanka period as Chair-in-Office over the past 2 years, Secretary Withanage observed that Sri Lanka spearheaded a Strategic Vision/Road map that sought to strengthen engagement with countries of destination under the theme “International Labour Migration for Prosperity: Adding Value by Working Together”.
He said the five main thematic areas of focus were; to Develop a Qualification Recognition Processes including transnational accreditation and monitoring, to pomote Cheaper, Faster & Safer Transfer of Remittances, Ethical Labour Recruitment Practices (including promoting Standard Employment Contracts), Effective Pre-departure Orientation & Empowerment, and Enhancing capacities of the Colombo Process participating countries to track labour market trends and the setting up of the Colombo Process Migration Resource Centre (CPMRC) in support of CP goals.
Seeking to ensure tangible benefits accrue to the membership of the CP, through Cooperation within the Abu-Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) in order to enhance cooperation with destination countries in the Gulf region, and to enhance the CP’s cooperation with the EU with a view to secure greater labour market access.
Conscious of the need to strengthen the synergies between international migration and development at the global, regional and national levels, due recognition was also given to migration as a priority in the post-2015 development agenda.
The CP was also working towards enhancing cooperation between the CP and the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and other migration related forums. The CP has also devoted considerable effort to develop a self-funding mechanism that will ensure predictability and regularity of CP activities and meetings.
Secretary Withanage added that the CP is scheduled to have its third Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on 4 – 5 November 2015 in Colombo, where it will take stock of the progress achieved in the five thematic areas under Sri Lanka’s Chairmanship and discuss how to further the implementation of the other areas of cooperation.