International Organisation for Migrations - 88th Session of its Council.

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Doru-Romulus COSTEA,
Permanent Representative of Romania

Geneva, 2 December 2004

Monsieur le Président,
Monsieur le Directeur Général,
Vos Excellences,
Mesdames et Messieurs,

Permettez-moi de commencer mon intervention en adressant nos félicitations au Président et aux autres membres du Bureau pour leur élection. Nous les souhaitons vivement plein succès pour l'accomplissement de l'important mandat avec lequel ils ont été investis. Nous tenons à féliciter en même temps le Président et les membres du Bureau sortant pour leurs efforts déployés tout au long de cette année et pour les résultats importants obtenus pendant leur mandat.

Mr. Chairman,

The enlargement of the IOM membership proves that IOM has become one of the most relevant and visible international organizations. We take this opportunity to welcome the new members who joined us on this Council Session: the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Estonia, the Federative Republic of Brazil and Turkey. We also welcome the representation, as observer, of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Mr. Chairman,

We fully share the view that migration is one of the major issues that will inevitably shape our future - indeed, it does have a sizeable impact on the lives of millions of people as we speak. The agenda of this session allows for a better approach of the complex dimensions of the migration phenomena. One of the papers that were prepared by the Secretariat highlights major developments in the areas of migration and the various initiatives that are approaching it. While wholeheartedly commending the readiness of the international community to look into as many sides of this issue as possible, it is no less true that practical steps are badly needed. Let me voice our hope that the efficiency of these multiplying initiatives will belie the old Romanian saying about the umbilical cord of the newborn baby that was left uncut because of the too many midwives.

The Romanian authorities are consistently implementing a two-pronged national migration policy: the transformation of the irregular migration into a legal one and combating irregular migration.

The first prong was the establishment [by the Government's Decision no. 1326/2004] of the Department for Migrant Workers, as a new administrative structure of the Ministry for Labour, Social Solidarity and Family. The main objectives of the Department are to prevent irregular labour migration through raising awareness campaigns that focus on the risks and the negative aspects of this phenomenon; and to protect the rights and liberties of the Romanian workers abroad as per bilateral agreements with the host countries.

As for the second prong, the Romanian Government adopted in April 2004 the Romanian National Strategy on Migration [Government's Decision no 616/2004] with the goal to prompt a unitary policy in the fields of migration, asylum and social integration of aliens and to bring the domestic legal framework in line with the international law and the EU acquis. It describes the new institutional framework for the implementation of the policies in these fields and defines the internal co-ordination mechanism of the implementation institutions. In September 2004 the Government approved the structure of the inter-institutional cooperation mechanism and adopted an Implementation Action Plan for the next 12-month period.

Throughout this process, IOM has provided valuable support most particularly through technical assistance in planning, development of national strategy, project design, evaluation and implementation programs. One concrete result of this important contribution is the status of Permanent Observer accorded to the IOM Office in Romania in the inter-ministerial Romanian Working Group for preventing and combating trafficking in human beings.

Mr. Chairman,

Romania considers that organized crime, terrorism, corruption and trafficking are threats to democratic stability, rule of law, market economy and the development of civil societies. Illegal immigration, trans-border crime coming from and through our region represent a significant challenge for both our countries and our friends in the UE member states and international organizations. In this context at the regional level Romania enhanced its cooperation in strengthening vulnerable border services; intensifying law enforcement co-operation; pooling information and experience.

Romania, as Chairmanship-in-Office of South-East Cooperation Process (SEECP), put forward clear and attainable objectives and ways of action in the area of security and Justice and Home Affairs related to migration phenomena. Based on the Joint Declaration of the SEECP Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs on a Joint Campaign to Fight Organized Crime and Corruption in South Eastern Europe presented in May 2004, a SEECP Consultation Group for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption has been created. Its first report will be presented tomorrow in Brussels by the SEECP Romanian Chairmanship in office at the JHA ministerial meeting in the UE - Western Balkans Forum. The report will reflect the development of the regional cohesion at political and technical level. For the first time, the region will speak with one voice.

Romania is also the coordinator of the Working Group for combating the trafficking in human beings of the Southeast European Cooperation Initiative (SECI) Centre and of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSECO) Working Group for combating organized crime. In this capacity, Romania strongly supported the finalization of the negotiation of the Additional Protocol for combating terrorism of the BSECO Convention for combating organized crime. This document will be open for signature in the next BSECO Ministerial Meeting that will start tomorrow in Athens.

In this general context we welcome the IOM project "Combating trafficking in Women in Bulgaria and Romania" proposed in the Programme and Budget of the organization for 2005 and we stand ready to discuss the possibility for the extension of this programme both at national and regional level.

We take also this opportunity to underline the Romania's determination to support the enhancement of the international cooperation on the bi- and tri-lateral bases in order to address the causes of mass migration, including poverty and conflict. As it was mentioned on the first day of the Council session by the distinguish representative of the United Kingdom, the Minister of State for Citizenship, Immigration and Nationality, the communications cooperative initiative developed under REFLEX Program has had excellent results and represents a model followed by other countries in our region.

Mr. Chairman,

One of the key factors in migration management is partnership. It covers the cooperation patterns between the countries of origin, transit and destination, between states and international organizations in defining and implementing global and regional policies in the field of migration. In this respect, Romania, proposed the thematic debate during her presidency of the Security Council on the "Cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in stabilization processes." We considers that the different situations around the world in the field of managing migration prompt us to act more efficiently for enhancing the cooperation of IOM with other regional organizations.

We are confident in the capacity of the IOM to improve regional and international partnership in the field of migration management and we stand ready to bring our contribution to furthering this important objective.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman

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