Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

Multilateralism delivers: Joint African Union, EU and UN work vital for refugees and migrants

26/09/2019 - 11:50

EU High Representative Federica Mogherini met with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union Commission Amira El Fadil, UNHCR High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and IOM Director General António Vitorino in the margins of the 74th United Nations General Assembly.


The members of the AU-EU-UN Joint Taskforce, established to address the migrant and refugee situation in Libya, reiterated their commitment as well as the need for further strengthened coordinative mechanisms of the Joint Taskforce.

Back in 2017, the setting up of the Taskforce created a new paradigm and strong AU-EU-UN partnership, based on the principle of shared responsibility. It showed in its early days that results can be achieved only by working together. 

The work by the three partners has so far helped over 48,000 migrants to return safely to their home countries and more than 4,000 people in need were evacuated from Libya directly or through Niger to countries of safety. 

This comes in addition to the comprehensive EU support provided to ensure sustainable reintegration of returned migrants and to address the root causes of irregular migration in countries of origin.

"The AU-EU-UN Taskforce represents a unique framework for joint, trilateral action that has proven to be successful in achieving results on the ground", the members of the Taskforce noted in their joint press release.  


They further stated that the "conflict in Libya continues to heavily impact on the already fragile and deteriorating humanitarian situation of many civilians, including migrants and refugees". 

"In this respect, the members of the Taskforce deliberated on how to consolidate cooperation with the Libyan authorities in efforts to scale up assisted voluntary returns and evacuations from Libya, dismantle the existing system of arbitrary arrests and detention of migrants and create alternatives to detention".

This month's initiative by Rwanda, the African Union and UNHCR to set up an Emergency Transit Mechanism in Rwanda that allows for the evacuation of persons in need of international protection out of Libya was welcomed by the Taskforce "as an important gesture of African solidarity".


Main photo: UNHCR/Tarik Argaz