Monday, November 03, 2008

RP selected as target country for global initiative on migration and development

GMANews.TV - Wednesday, October 29

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines was selected to be a target country for the 15-million-euro (P950-million) global joint initiative of the European Commission and the United Nations that intends to produce a new way of making migration work for development.

Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, head of the delegation of the European Commission to the Philippines, on Tuesday said that the country was selected to be one of the 16 target countries of the joint initiative which is fully funded by the European Commission and implemented by the UN Development Program. "The Philippines was selected as one of the (target) countries because of the sheer size of the Philippine diaspora," he said during a press conference at the Philippine International Convention Center.

He said that there are currently 10 million Filipinos who are working overseas, which was the total population of the Philippines 19 years ago. In other words, he said that the Philippines has a lot of ideas and best practices to share with other countries of origin in terms of migration. "There are a lot of good ideas in the Philippines (that) we can share globally, the Philippines can benefit and the Philippines can contribute," said MacDonald.

The 15 other countries selected were Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Georgia, Moldova, Ecuador, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Cape Verde, Mali, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. Meanwhile, the initiative aims to create forums where practitioners can meet and exchange knowledge with the aim of facilitating migration and development interventions.

A fair in Brussels, Belgium will be held during the first week of December where practitioners will be asked to showcase the best migration practices of their countries, while a Web site will be created to serve as a platform to share news and information regarding existing migration and development initiatives.

During the same month, a call for proposals will be launched, showcasing an allotted fund of €11 million or P690 million for concrete project proposals for the facilitation of migrant communities, migrant rights, and their remittances. The grants will provide €50,000 to €200,000 (P3.3 million to P13.4 million) to support concrete interventions and partnerships of the selected proposals.

On the other hand, Peter Sutherland, special representative of the UN secretary-general on migration, said during the same press conference that such an initiative is "an opportunity but is also a challenge to produce results." "I think we owe it to the each other or more particularly we owe it to the migrant community to make effective use of the resources at our disposal, whether it is in government, the UN, or non-governmental organizations," he said.

Meanwhile, UN Population Fund Representative Suneeta Mukherjee on Tuesday supported this by saying that countries reap economic benefits from the labor of its people in foreign lands so people should strive to protect their interests at home and overseas in return. "We must remember that the tree that gives us fruit and the crop that gives us harvest needs protection. They need to be looked after, they have rights," she said.

She said that this first joint program between the European Commission and the UN represents a major innovation in strategic partnerships at a global level. "Through this program, we hope (to) address decision makers and keep them fully informed of the good practices of migration and development," she said. -


Rights: GMANews.TV

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