New York, 15 September 2006 Press release

Winkler: "Migration to be tackled jointly"


State Secretary Hans Winkler at the UN General Assembly in New York

New York, 15 September 2006 - In a high-ranking discussion on "Migration and Development" at the UN General Assembly in New York, State Secretary Hans Winkler stressed the importance of further intensified cooperation at the global level, which would have to be complemented by specific efforts at the regional and sub-regional levels. In his speech the State Secretary referred to the Conference on Migration and Development held in Rabat in July. "There are good prospects if the migration issue is tackled jointly in dialogue by the countries of origin, transit and destination. Lasting improvements can be achieved only through a holistic approach that takes account of both security and development cooperation aspects. However, it would be illusory to believe that all problems of migration can be resolved at the same time. The joint efforts by European and African countries must now focus on the implementation of the Rabat action plan," emphasised Winkler.

"As far as the current refugee situation is concerned, it is important that African and European states coordinate their actions as far as possible in the fight against human trafficking, illegal migration and the development of border protection," said Winkler. In that connection the State Secretary emphasised the importance of respecting the human rights of refugees, stressing in particular the protection of female migrants, who often suffered doubly from discrimination, on account of their gender and their status.

"In the long run it will be vital to examine the reasons that people flee their countries of origin together with the African countries and to empower them to put a halt to uncontrolled migration. In this context infrastructure improvement, basic and further training, job creation, a sustainable economic development, but also the fight against environmental destruction must be at the forefront of cooperation," said Winkler.

Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Office of the State Secretary
Mag. Katharina SWOBODA
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3469
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-3469