VALLETTA, Malta, May 24, 2016/APO (African Press Organization)/ —
Six months after the Valletta Summit of Migration there are concerns that the Mediterranean could again be the epicentre of irregular migration-flows. With this in mind, the Foreign Minister of Malta, George Vella, and the Director General of ICMPD (International Center for Migration Policy Development) (www.ICMPD.org), Michael Spindelegger, opened the organisation’s “Coordination and Cooperation Center for Migration in the Mediterranean” in Valetta. All future ICMPD activities in the Mediterranean will be coordinated and promoted from this new hub.The focus of ICMPD’s regional activities will be on various migration dialogues and technical assistance as well as the relationship between the countries of the Mediterranean.
Half a year after the Valletta Summit of Migration, ICMPD addresses the most urgent aspects of irregular migration and forced displacement from its new Coordination and Cooperation Center for Migration in Malta. At a regional level, the Euromed Migration Programme aims to establish a framework that develops and implements evidence-based migration and international protection policies. At a national level, this will initiate the development of a rights-based migration system for Libya as well as the improvement of border management in Lebanon. The “City-to-City” project, implemented by ICMPD, looks at opportunities of migration in between eight urban centers in Europe and North Africa and the Middle East and will develop new ideas for and success stories of migration in between major cities.
In the words of ICMPD’s Director General, Michael Spindelegger: “The opening of the ICMPD’s first regional office in Malta highlights our concerns regarding the migration issues in the Mediterranean. Together with local and international partners we will bring a valuable contribution to finding solutions and advancing new policies in the migration field in Europe and beyond.” Welcoming the novel presence of ICMPD on the island, the Maltese Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Vella, emphasized the importance of the active involvement of ICMPD in solving one of the most pressing issues facing the European Union today: “We are very honored that ICMPD chose Malta for its first regional office and we are confident that our joint efforts will soon bring about much awaited results for the current migration and refugee crisis.”