Tackling Root Causes of Migration Critical to Ending Crisis

Nov 12, 2015

Ending the migration crisis in Europe will require a broad coalition of countries and international organizations to tackle the causes of the mass migration while creating more avenues for legal migration, said United Nations development chief Helen Clark

“Around our world, more and more people are on the move, looking for safer and more conducive environments in which to live and find work,” Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said. “Ending the migration crisis requires addressing the push factors and allowing for more channels of legal and orderly migration. For this to happen we need many stakeholders to join these efforts.”

She was speaking at the opening of the Valletta Summit on Migration hosted by the European Union (EU) and the African Union in Malta from 11 – 12 November to discuss migration issues with African countries and other key countries concerned with the issue. 

More than 750,000 migrants are estimated to have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), but exact numbers are unclear as some may have passed through borders undetected. 

“Indeed it is part of the human story from time immemorial to move in search of a better life,” Clark said. “But having better prospects at home makes the decision on whether to migrate a matter of choice – not a decision which is forced on people because of lack of hope of ever getting ahead where they are.”

The participants in the summit adopted a final declaration in which they committed to addressing ‘the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement resulting from state fragility and insecurity, as well as from demographic, economic, and environmental trends.’    

They agreed that rekindling the hope of African youth was critical to their commitment to reduce poverty, promote peace, good governance, rule of law, and respect for human rights while supporting inclusive growth, and creating decent jobs. The EU recently created a 1.8 billion euro Emergency Trust Fund for Africa to fund these types of initiatives.

“There is no magic wand here – the answers lie in the building of peaceful and inclusive societies which offer people opportunity and security,” she concluded. 

Click here for more information on UNDP’s work on migration in Europe.

Contact information

In Brussels, Ludmila Tiganu at Ludmila.Tiganu@undp.org and at tel: +32 471 70 29 03 

In New York, Dylan Lowthian at Dylan.Lowthian@undp.org and at tel: +1 212 906 5516

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