Almost two years after the height of the European refugee crisis in summer 2015 the issue of refugees and migration has not become any less important. The international community must learn from recent years and establish joint guidelines, said Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel at the 3rd Berlin Round Table on Refugees and Migration. He also added that Europe must strengthen its commitment and speak with one voice to overcome the causes of displacement on a lasting basis. “We can only prevent flows of refugees from the African continent and the Middle East if we work together to combat climate change, rearmament and religious fanaticism,” said Gabriel.
Louise Arbour, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for International Migration, and Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, took part in the Round Table, as did William Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The European Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, also travelled to Berlin.
Germany chairs dialogue forum
In addition to tackling the causes of displacement, it is important to provide the countries affected with support in coping with migration flows, said a statement issued after the meeting. The overall common goal is to alleviate people’s suffering. The aim is thus to work more closely together at international level. The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) provides one way of doing this. Germany currently chairs this informal dialogue forum, which is open to all United Nations member states.