PH and US Co-Chair in Brussels the 2nd Regional Consultation under MICIC Initiative covering Eastern European and Central Asian Region
Embassy Officials in Brussels joined Secretary Imelda M. Nicolas, Chairperson of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), in the 2nd Regional Consultation under the Migrants in Countries (MICIC) Initiative with focus on Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Brussels on 23-25 June 2015, the Consultation was co-chaired by the Philippines and the United States, sponsored by the European Commission, and organized by the International Center for Migration and Development (ICMPD).
In his welcome remarks, Mr. Robespierre L. Bolivar, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Philippine Embassy/Mission, said the Philippines has much to contribute in light of the considerable experience it has gained in international migration governance. Mr. John Sammis, Deputy Chief of Mission from the US Mission to the EU, emphasized in his welcome remarks that addressing the needs of migrants in countries in crisis entails a collective responsibility.
During the Plenary Session, Secretary Nicolas presented the outcomes of the 1st Regional Consultation of the MICIC Initiative held in Manila on 23-24 March 2015. The Consultation covered South, South East and East Asia and the results substantially helped in the discussion covering Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The Consultation covering Eastern European and Central Region was guided by a draft discussion paper produced with the assistance of the European Union. This draft paper will be improved based on the results of the Consultation. The paper basically focuses on the analysis of migration trends in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and identifies a number of notable practices that have been implemented by the countries in these two regions, often in cooperation with international organizations. The geographic area covered by the paper includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkeministan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan which were represented in the Consultation. France, Luxembourg, Poland and European Union (European Commission and European External Action Service) officials and international organizations (IOM, IMCPD, UNDP and UN-OCHA) representatives attended the Consultation, together with members of the academe, civil society and private sector.
The two-day Consultation was conducted by dividing the participants into working groups covering three Workshop Sessions (Pre-crisis, Emergency and Post-crisis phases). The working groups discussed and analyzed specific sub-themes relevant to the protection of migrants in crises, identified priorities for action as well as gaps and needs in terms of cooperation at national, regional and international levels. The participants were requested to highlight good practices in their country. Where good practice does not yet exist, they were invited to suggest concrete proposals on how to address the challenges identified.
The MICIC Initiative is a State-led undertaking which seeks to improve the ability and capacity of States and other relevant stakeholders to better manage situations where migrants suddenly ended up in a vulnerable situation in a country in crisis. While this is the overarching goal, the ultimate aim of the Initiative is to produce a set of voluntary guidelines, principles and best practices, laying out the roles and various levels of responsibility of States (host, origin, neighboring), international organizations, and other stakeholders (i.e. employers, NGOs, etc).
The participants were all praises on the Philippines for its best practices in handling migration crises from pre-crisis stage to post-crisis reintegration. END
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