International coalition of organizations adopts the 2017 Geneva Declaration “Mobility and human solidarity, a challenge and an opportunity for Europe and the MENA region”
18 December 2017, GENEVA – A declaration entitled “Mobility and human solidarity, a challenge and an opportunity for Europe and the MENA region” has been adopted today on the occasion of the 2017 International Migrants Day.
Eleven co-signatories representing international organizations, NGOs, centres of excellence, think tanks and global spokespersons from the Arab region and the West have united their voices in calling for increased cooperation and coordination between global decision-makers to address the adverse impact of the refugee and migrant crisis.
This declaration was debated during the concluding session of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue’s (hereinafter “The Geneva Centre”) panel debate held on 14 December 2017 at the United Nations Office in Geneva on the theme of “Migration and human solidarity, a challenge and an opportunity for Europe and the MENA region.” The conference included renowned spokespersons from IOM, UNHCR, the Norwegian Refugee Council, the International Catholic Migration Commission, the Sovereign Order of Malta, the European Centre for Peace and Development and the Geneva Centre.
The 2017 Geneva Declaration has been signed by the following signatories:
- (1) H. E. Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim, Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue;
- (2) H. E. Ambassador Idriss Jazairy, Executive Director of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue;
- (3) Monsignor Robert J. Vitillo, Secretary General of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC);
- (4) Dr. Roberto Savio, Founder and President Emeritus of Inter Press Service (IPS). Director for International Relations of the European Centre for Peace and Development;
- (5) H. E. Ambassador Marie-Thérèse Pictet-Althann, Permanent Observer of the Sovereign Order of Malta;
- (6) Dr. Alfred de Zayas, United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order;
- (7) Mr. Edouard Rodier, Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Europe Office (NRC);
- (8) H. E. Ambassador George Papadatos, Head of the European Public Law Mission in Geneva;
- (9) Mr. Ramesh Jaura, President of the Global Cooperation Council and the Director General Chief Editor of the International Press Syndicate;
- (10) Mr. Halle Jørn Hanssen, journalist and author based in Norway;
- (11) Mr. David Koros, Director of the African Centre Against Torture (ACAT).
The objective of this declaration is to highlight that States and decision-makers in the Arab region and the West are morally and legally bound to enhance human mobility. It behoves them to respond with a unified voice to the tragedy of those millions of people on the move in in the Middle East and North Africa region.
It also calls upon all States to contribute to the realization of the Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees. The declaration notes inter alia that all member States of the United Nations must contribute to the realization of a common framework to respond to the plight of migrants and refugees.
The Geneva Centre’s Executive Director commended the adoption of the joint declaration on the occasion of the 2017 International Migrants Day. “The declaration is a symbol of unity” – he said – “of the efforts of decision-makers from the Arab region and the West to identify joint solutions to the refugee and migrant crisis.
“It endorses the view that mobility can become the driving-force of social progress, emancipation and sustainable development. The protracted migrant and refugee crisis can only be addressed if involved parties work towards achieving common goals. The declaration contributes greatly towards achieving a common platform conducive to peace and stability on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea,” said Ambassador Jazairy.