Foreign Minister Gabriel calls for a new global attitude towards migration. Representatives from 140 countries met in Berlin on Wednesday (28 June) at the Global Forum on Migration and Development.
Foreign Minister Gabriel has called for a fundamental rethink in worldwide migration policy. “A just world with just migration will not come about if more and more walls and fences are built”, said Gabriel at the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) on Wednesday (28 June). He said that not only countries of origin, but also countries of transit and destination would need to reassess their migration policies. “No country can isolate themselves forever. This is an illusion that is being propagated by nationalists”, said Gabriel.
Achieving a fair balancing of interests
High-ranking representatives from some 140 countries met to discuss the Global Compact on Migration at the Global Forum on Migration and Development under the chairmanship of Germany and Morocco. This worldwide social contract seeks to facilitate a fair balancing of interests between migrants and their countries of origin and destination. The GFMD is an initiative of the member states of the United Nations and was established in 2007. Germany and Morocco assumed the co-chairmanship of the body in 2017 for a two-year term.
Immigration as an opportunity
“What we need in order to make a success of migration policy are not only bans, but also regulations that allow us to use migration as an opportunity”, said Gabriel. The Foreign Minister added that this was not just a question of taking moral responsibility for people in need, but was also in the economic interests of the majority of countries of destination. The decline in the birth rate, which has continued for decades now, is a cause for concern for strong economies such as Germany. Without migration, it will not be possible to meet labour force demand in the future.
Legal migration options and cooperation with repatriations
Gabriel emphasised that human trafficking rings that unscrupulously exploit people’s hardship must be stopped. A more open migration policy was indispensable for this, he said. “Legal immigration opportunities must be created in order to counteract illegal migration”, said Gabriel. Only with transparent migration options and legal immigration opportunities would it be possible to prevent people from having to put their fate into the hands of human traffickers. Moreover, he pointed out, incentives could be created for countries of origin, also with regard to the repatriation of rejected asylum-seekers.