Ambassador Ehab Badawi, assistant foreign minister for multilateral affairs and international security, stressed that Egypt takes a strategic and comprehensive approach to migration issues.
He said the vision is not limited to security aspects but also takes into account the developmental dimensions of migration and addresses the root causes of illegal migration by providing sustainable development solutions, with an aim to build a strong economic community capable of absorbing returning migrants.
Badawi made the remarks in a speech Monday at the opening session of a regional technical dialogue with stakeholders in North African countries on Goal 21 of the Global Compact for Migration on cooperation to facilitate the safe and dignified return and re-entry of migrants, as well as their sustainable reintegration.
He called for discussing the issue of return, admission and reintegration of migrants, which is an important pillar and aspect of the migration governance process and one of the main goals included in the Global Compact for Migration, at a time when political and economic crises, along with the negative repercussions of climate change, have led to the growing cases of illegal migration in the region.
Badawi said the dialogue is being held within the framework of the importance of cooperation, dialogue and exchange of best practices in order to promote voluntary return and reintegration in a way that preserves dignity and provides opportunities for a better future for youth.
In this regard, he stressed the importance of government participation and adoption of reintegration programs to ensure their suitability to local realities in their economic, social and cultural dimensions.
He explained that it is important to emphasize the promotion of voluntary return and that it should be accompanied by reintegration programs, as this supports the chances of the returning migrant being absorbed into their community and benefiting from their contribution to achieving development.
Badawi added that the success of return and reintegration requires international and national coordination during the pre-return stages, which require building institutional capacities that allow the protection and provision of services to the migrant, which consists of protecting their personal data, ensuring their enjoyment of economic, social and cultural services, the right to consular and legal assistance, and the protection of children and family unity.
He said that due to its geographical location, Egypt is currently facing increasing flows of migrants who were forced to leave their countries as a result of conflicts, economic reasons or the repercussions of climate change.
The number of migrants to Egypt has increased sharply from 6 million in 2018 to 9 million currently – according to a study conducted by the International Organization for Migration in July 2022 – an increase of 50% in just four years, which is putting increasing pressure on and depleting state resources.
He pointed out that Egypt is committed to implementing the Global Compact for Migration and is keen to provide all services to migrants on an equal footing with its citizens and is committed to the principle of accepting the return of Egyptian migrants who prove their citizenship and reintegrating them into society naturally.