European Union External Action

AU-EU-UN Taskforce, one year on - joint work delivers results

04/12/2018 - 10:32
News stories

In the margins of the 5th AU-EU Summit the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations agreed to put in place a joint Taskforce to save and protect the lives of migrants and refugees along the routes and in particular inside Libya. Until today joint work by the AU, EU and UN has supported more than 39,000 migrants to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.

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When addressing the Members of the European Parliament in December 2017 High Representative / Vice-President Mogherini highlighted that "there is new awareness, and a new determination to act" which helps to save and protect lives – the EU's most urgent priority. 

Joint efforts already showed at an early stage that the trilateral cooperation will make a difference for the most vulnerable ones.

 

 

Only a few weeks after the creation of the Joint Taskforce in November 2017 over 3,000 had been assisted to return voluntarily from Libya which brought up the number of migrants which have been assisted by the International Organization for Migration to over 16,500 persons, compared to 2,700 for the whole of 2016. 

In addition to the over 39,000 migrants assisted by the AU, EU and UN since the beginning of 2017, UNHCR has evacuated more than 2,400 people in need of international protection, of which more than 1,900 under the Emergency Transit Mechanism, in view of further resettlement: 

This renewed impetus to join forces continues to govern the tripartite cooperation.

At the last College-to-College meeting in May 2018, the AU and the EU further agreed to continue and consolidate the important work done by the Taskforce as well as to organise a joint workshop on reintegration, with the support of the UN Migration Agency (IOM).

The two-day workshop which took place last week focused on exchange of good practices, identified challenges and lessons learned as well as opportunities to strengthen efforts in order to achieve sustainable reintegration of migrants returning from various regions. Economic, social and psychosocial dimensions of reintegration, as well as the different levels of intervention – individual, community and structural – to foster sustainable reintegration were high on the agenda.

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration has helped more than 55,000 migrants with post-arrival reception and reintegration assistance. 

At this autumn's 73rd UN General Assembly the three partners welcomed the results achieved and encouraged further efforts to dismantle trafficking and criminal networks who take advantage of people in despair. Contacts between relevant AU and EU entities which are active in the fight against migrant smuggling are being facilitated.

For Federica Mogherini "the trilateral cooperation has created an unprecedented mechanism for cooperation between our continents, a system where we identify our common interest, our common priorities, and work together on concrete, practical, sustainable win-win solutions".

The EU will continue to be a steadfast partner in the common work to protect the lives of migrants and refugees.

 

Main image : UN