I speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia[*], Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Ukraine align themselves with this statement.
The EU and its Member States recognize the central role of voluntary and sustainable return among solution strategies for displacement. We underline the need to assess vulnerabilities of both refugees and host communities. Developing adequate solution strategies should include the effective use of data and statistics.
We would like to reaffirm the primary goal of bringing about conditions that would enable refugees to return in a safe, dignified and human manner to their countries, while respecting non-refoulement. Everyone has the right to return to his or her country.
The EU and its Member States would like to underline that return needs to be part of an overall recovery strategy to ensure its sustainability. As many returnees opt to return to urban areas, providing support to relevant authorities is a priority. Countries of origin are encouraged to take adequate measures ensuring respect of the right to effective remedy.
Where a crisis has led to forced displacement, we recommend the following aspects be taken into account:
Finally, we encourage all relevant stakeholders to raise the importance of preparedness for return and reintegration, including:
Thank you, Mr./Ms Chairperson
[*] The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.