File photo of a Rohingya camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Shared responsibility critical to address challenges of migration governance, Foreign Minister Momen says

Bangladesh has sought an effective and proactive support from the international community to find a solution to the Rohingya crisis apart from management of huge displacement.

“We need effective and proactive support from the international community to manage this huge displacement,” said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.

He said the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) provides a voluntary, non-binding and government-led process to discuss all possible solutions.

The foreign minister said they have first-hand experience as Bangladesh is hosting 1.1 million Rohingyas who were forcibly displaced from their ancestral home and a good number of Bangladesh population is regularly displaced due to erratic climate changes every year.

Dr Momen made the remarks during his intervention at the ongoing 13th GFMD Summit, Future of Human Mobility: Innovative Partnerships for Sustainable Development, being held virtually from January 18 to January 26.

He thanked the current chair UAE for its excellent leadership in organizing the first-ever virtual GFMD Summit amidst the Covid-19 pandemic successfully.

Dr Momen said migration now is a defining issue of their time, a natural global demographic phenomenon and no country can deal with it alone.

“Shared responsibility, cooperation and inclusiveness are critical in addressing challenges to effective migration governance,” he said.

The foreign minister said they should take all measures keeping the ultimate interest of the migrants at the centre of all of their activities.

Also read – Biden to review whether Rohingya persecution genocide

“Of late, we see that migration and displacements are increasingly taking place for reasons beyond the capacity of the migrants like climate change, sudden natural disasters and forced displacement,” he observed.

Dr Momen said the responsibility to decide the future of GFMD lies with them, the participating member states.

“We need to reaffirm our ownership to the GFMD at all levels as it has given us two distinct opportunities. First, it’s outside of UN’s strict discipline and politics and second, it’s the only forum where states can informally interact with civil societies and the private sector,” he said.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the foreign minister said they have witnessed that the migrant workers are the most vulnerable.

To address the gaps to protect migrants during both normal and crisis times, he said GFMD should promote more right-based approach.

“We need to ensure migrants’ rights from the early stage of ethical recruitment to wage, health, job protection and ultimate safe return. For that to happen, international community and all local, regional and global stakeholders should play key role through platforms like GFMD,” said the foreign minister.

He said the GFMD can also substantially contribute towards the achievement of SDGs as the issue of migration is strongly interlinked with other vital issues.

“Moreover, I firmly believe that GFMD can play a crucial role in effective implementation of the Global Compact on Migration which is a landmark initiative for migrants’ protection,” he said.

Dr Momen said they support IOM’s interim support proposal to provide only the essential services to the Chair-in-Office, the Troika, the Steering Group, and the GFMD Working Groups until a suitable alternative is found.

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