The Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Vincenzo Amendola, traveled to Morocco, where today he participated in the 5th Euro-African Conference on migration and development (also known as the Rabat Process). The event saw the participation of delegations from 58 countries from the European Union and Africa. The Rabat Process was initiated in 2006, and is a regional forum for cooperation and dialogue on migration issues between the European Union and third countries. It represents one of the two platforms that monitor the implementation of the Joint Action Plan of La Valletta (adopted during the Summit on Migration held in Malta in November 2015). The other occasion for dialogue with the main African countries of origin and transit of illegal migrants, is represented by the Khartoum Process (that Italy is chairing in 2018) and pertains to the Mediterranean and Eastern Africa.
The Action Plan was discussed and approved four years after the Ministerial Conference held in Rome in November 2014. The Plan focuses on five pillars: the advantages of migration in terms of development and the fight against the root causes of the forced displacement of people; legal migration and mobility; protection and asylum; prevention of illegal migration, migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings; and the repatriation, readmission and reintegration of migrants.
The participation of Italy in the Conference proves the dynamism of the Euro-African dialogue on migration and development. It also shows that the 4th Ministerial Conference, which Italy hosted, has fulfilled its task. It is an achievement that could not be taken for granted after the increase in migration flows recorded in past years.
Italy has chosen to keep investing in dialogue and cooperation because migration, if well managed, can be a driving force for the development of all countries. Additionally, Italy has strengthened its relations with Africa, which go well beyond mere migration issues, and include a large variety of dossiers.
Undersecretary Amendola pointed out that to fulfill our goals funding is key. The EU emergency trust fund for Africa represents today the main tool to support not only the Join Action Plan of La Valletta, but also the activities set out in the Action Plan of Marrakech. It should be supported and strengthened in order to promote a common management of migration flows, with a spirit of real partnership among all members of the Rabat Process.
The admission of Libya as Observer State of the Rabat Process is also to be considered of the utmost importance. Italy commends this decision, for it contributes to the gradual reintegration of such an important partner within the framework of the regional dialogue on migration issues.