The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on April 27-28, 2017 convened a technical meeting to work-out modalities of the launching of the High Level Panel on Migration in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The High-Level Panel on Migration (HLPM) was set up by the African Union and the United Nationsin 2016 through UNECA. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf chairs the panel, which comprises Liberia, Canada, China Malta, and Norway as well as the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Migration Organization (IMO) has been named to Chair the HLPM beyond 2017. The HLPM will be launched in Monrovia on June 6, 2017 and President Sirleaf will continue to chair the process after her tenure at the presidency, until July 2018.
According to a dispatch from Addis Ababa, the technical meeting was attended by delegations from Liberia, Canada, China and Norway with representatives from the ILO, the AU, the IOM. President Sirleaf was represented by Dr. Abdoulaye W. Dukule and Hon. Moiba Fofana, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy in Ethiopia and African Union.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Abdalla Hamdok, Interim Executive Secretary of UNECA welcomed the Technical Committee and pledged his fullest support to President Sirleaf and the Panel. Mr. Hamdok underscored 5 critical points that should serve as guidance namely: Integration of population issues into migration; Collection and understanding of data; Coherent policy on migration for win-win situation; Address free movement of people and labor mobility; and Develop a framework to guide the panel.
Also, making remarks, Dr. Dukulé conveyed special greetings from President Sirleaf and added that the President attaches great importance to the issues of migration and its impact on social development, citing Liberia as an example of migratory trends. He said the President also would like the HLPM to pay close attention to the linkages between migration, governance and human rights, especially regarding women and children. Dr. Dukule concluded by extending the President Sirleaf’s invitation to members of the Panel who will all receive personal invitation letters from her for the launching of the Panel in Monrovia onJune 6, 2017.