STATEMENT OF H.E. OSMAN SALEH

Press Release - Press Release

 

STATEMENT  OF H.E. OSMAN SALEH. MINISTER  OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS  OF THE STATE OF ERITREA. AT THE VALLETTA  SUMMIT ON MIGRATION


11-12 NOVEMBER

Mr. Chairman,

Excellencies  Heads of State and Government, Excellencies  Heads of Delegation,

For over a decade, the issue of migration has featured prominently  on the joint agenda of Africa and Europe. This Valletta Summit, however, is quite different from previous such gatherings, as there is now a palpable sense of urgency and determination  both in Africa and Europe, a greater understanding  on the pressing need for a genuine partnership to address the vital, complex and multi-faceted  challenge of migration.

In the protracted preparations  for this Summit, and despite divergences  in emphasis, a near unanimity of views has emerged on a number of key themes. These are the absolute need to address root causes, the primacy of finding solutions at the source of the problem and the imperative of shared responsibility.  It has indeed become crystal clear that migration cannot be properly understood,  let alone effectively addressed, in isolation from effectively negotiating the global cross-currents  that have a massive impact on our world. Key among these are the cycles of violent conflicts, recurring and unjustified armed interventions,  the accelerating rate of global socio-economic  inequality, the persistence  of acute poverty in the midst of abundant wealth as well as the failure of nation• building on the basis of the dignity, equality and fundamental rights of citizens.

Excellencies,

Over the past few years, my country,  Eritrea,  has faced a serious challenge of illegal migration, human trafficking  and the wilful exploitation of the suffering of Eritrean youth for strategic and political purposes. A very bleak picture of the country, which is in total variance with the reality, has been deliberately painted. Whatever their motivations,  European countries have followed policies that have fed irregular migration, harmed Eritrea as well the interests of the destination countries themselves.

Today, and thanks to sustained engagement  between Eritrea and Europe, and the visit of scores of European delegations to the country, a clearer and more accurate picture of the reality is emerging. Many have begun to appreciate that Eritrea is a nation of rich and heroic history, with a strategic location on the Southern Red Sea and blessed with significant human and natural resources. In spite of the lack of international understanding  and support and in the face of hostilities and pressures,  including the continued violation of the Algiers Agreement, which the European Union signed as one of the witnesses, Eritrea continues to enjoy peace, stability, security and social harmony. It has successfully  kept at bay radicalization,  extremism and terrorism It plays a constructive role for peace and security in the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa regions.

In the critical area of socio-economic  development  and because of an unfavourable  regional and international environment  as well as myriad challenges and obstacles, Eritrea has faced a difficult decade and half and the quality of life of its people has been negatively affected. Nevertheless,  it has made slow but steady progress in health and education and achieved most of the Millennium  Development  Goals. Thanks to sustained investment on human resources development,  agriculture and infrastructure,  the lean years of sluggish expansion are giving way to a new phase of sustained economic growth, which promises tangible improvement  in peoples'  lives. We, in Eritrea, are confident that these developments,  combined with a raft of measures that the government  is taking in the economic, social and political domains that are focused on providing education, training, skills and opportunities  for our youth, will not only enable us to overcome the challenge of irregular migration but to build a solid basis for a just and prosperous  society.

Excellencies,

In conclusion, I wish to assure you that, in keeping with their proud history and political tradition, the people and government  of Eritrea have taken primary responsibility  to address their challenges.

I wish also to convey to Your Excellencies  that in keeping with  one of the key themes of this timely and important Valletta Summit, that is Shared Responsibility,  the people and government  of Eritrea actively seek and warmly welcome partnership  with the European Union and its member and associated states.

I Thank You.

Last Updated (Saturday, 19 March 2016 11:53)