The 100th Session of Committee Executive of the International Organization for Migration



GENEVA -11 June 2003 -

Mr. Chairman,
Mr. Director General,
Dear colleagues,

Please allow me to begin by congratulating you and your Bureau for your election and whishing you success in your work. I would like also to thank the Director General for his Report on the work of IOM in 2002. Indeed, we have seen, in the past year, an increase in the volume, substance and scope of IOM's activity, its broadened complexity and the reconfirmation of the willingness of more and more states to join the IOM family.

We welcome the fact that very soon the number of IOM members will exceed the hundred mark. This is clear testimony of our common objective and commitment to take part in international dialogue and cooperation on migration, developed within the organization. Moreover, the delegation of Romania welcomes the way IOM has been involved over the past year, in the management of the migration on all three lines of the organization's activity: intervention to provide assistance in case of emergency, special sectorial cooperation programs at national and regional level, and projects for the research and study of the causes and effects of migration, as well as of the major trends of migration in the world today.

Mr. Chairman,

The global dimension of IOM's activity has led us, ineluctably, to a discussion on the functional relation between the organization and the UN system. A refection process on this issue is currently underway and Romania is ready to contribute to the achievement of important goals such as an increased efficiency of international action in respect to migration and the preservation of the flexibility of IOM's actions.

Mr. Chairman,

We appreciate the activity IOM has undertaken and continues to do so for the consolidation of policies and the implementation of programs to limit the destabilizing effects of migration - especially irregular migration - which are being felt in many of our countries. We are committed to working with IOM and member states in addressing this issue in a constructive and forward looking manner. As the Director general mentioned earlier, Bucharest hosted earlier this year a Regional Workshop on irregular migration in the Black Sea region, with a particular focus on its security dimension. This is indeed a topic of particular interest and concern in the region and we feel the exercise was a most useful one not least in term of helping build an effective pattern of information, dialog and cooperation among the countries in the region.

The delegation of Romania wishes however to emphasize the way IOM has concurrently developed its activity in terms of harvesting the positive dimension of migration. The definition and implementation of labor migration programs, remittances, as well as the elaboration of studies on the relationship between migration and development represent viable directions in the consolidation of IOM's activity. These issues are likely to contribute in an essential manner to the discussions on possible migration management at an international level and to cast off the pessimist thinking in respect to the latter typically based on a single - security related perspective. In our opinion, the mobility of the work force today, in itself an omnipresent and extremely complex phenomenon, has its own contribution bring to a harmonious international development and the creation of simultaneous benefits for migrants, destination and states of origin alike. The government of Romania manifests its interest to benefit from IOM's expertise in these fields and is ready, by direct cooperation with the organization, to contribute to the development of international expertise on the matter.

Mr. Chairman,

Romania also follows, with a direct interest, IOM's counter trafficking activity. This phenomenon, which in spite of multiple programs implemented nationally and regionally, continues to affect the entire region of Central and South-Eastern Europe, and it represents a priority on the agenda of my country. This is why we appreciate the development of IOM counter trafficking programs (a budget raise of over 50% in 2002 as compared to the previous year), reflecting the impact of the matter on numerous other member states. In this context, we believe that the prevention dimension developed by IOM, mainly through awareness-raising campaigns for potential victims, claims duration and consolidation. We all agree that it is easier to prevent rather than solve a problem and we are confident that these efforts shall soon bear fruit. This is to the direct benefit of both migrants, most often illegal, risking smuggling and recruitment in organized crime networks, and states. At the same time we advocate the importance of the second pillar of the action which our states develop by cooperation with the IOM, that is efficient protection, victims assistance and reintegration programs, which we feel should be consolidated in the future.

Mr. Chairman,

Please allow me, in conclusion, to express our trust that the current session of the Executive Committee, will contribute in a realistic and pragmatic approach, to the promotion of a useful and intense dialogue with IOM representatives, on personnel, financing and general functioning of the organization. These issues are not secondary and most often general objectives depend on the level and capacity of practical implementation, particularly at such a time of deep and far-reacting reform.

Thank you for your attention.

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