High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development: Statement by Dr. Götz Schmidt-Bremme, Director for Legal and Consular Issues including Migration at the Federal Foreign Office
"Madame Chair, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to express my government’s condolences to those affected by the tragic events off the coast of Lampedusa - only the last one in a long, by far too long series of catastrophes in the Mediterranean Sea.
The German government warmly welcomes the UN High-level Dialogue as a good opportunity to foster the international debate on migration and development. Germany is convinced that this second High-level Dialogue will be a pioneering landmark for the future of migration policy.
Commissioner Malmstroem and the EU-Presidency already outlined the EU approach on international migration and development. Sharing those points, I would like to add some aspects from a particular German perspective:
When discussing migration, Germany is currently focusing on the tragic situation of many millions of Syrian. Germany is sending a strong signal of solidarity in providing substantive humanitarian assistance to the neighboring countries. Furthermore, we guaranteed tens of thousands of Syrians a stay in Germany.
From a German perspective – a country with substantial immigration experience and a profound demographic change – human mobility is an increasingly important global reality that clearly affects the future of both developing and developed countries.
Germany has shaped its migration policy in close cooperation with partner countries guided by fair and mutual consideration of interests. In addition, the government aims to implement a coherent policy, combining labor market, foreign, security and development policies.
My delegation welcomes the positive remarks of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Migration, Peter Sutherland, concerning the efforts of Germany in this field.
And rest assured, Germany continues to ensure equal chances, participation, and integration of all persons with a migrant background in the social, economic and cultural life of Germany. Important areas of engagement are the integration and self-organization of migrant women, the integration of young migrants into school and professional education as well as into the labor market, the better recognition of foreign diploma, to name just a few.
Since 2006, the German government has been hosting ‘Integration Summits’ on a regular basis. A National Integration Plan has served as a basis to actively support the integration of migrants, and in particular to allow them to develop their potential to the maximum extent possible.
In order to implement the above mentioned core principles, the German government is convinced that sending and receiving countries require international exchange and an open debate over their national experiences and strategies in order to elaborate a development-friendly migration policy.
The government facilitates knowledge transfer through returning experts whose work is relevant for the development of their countries of origin; it provides advice to migrants who wish to invest or start a business in their countries of origin; and it co-funds development projects planned and carried out by migrant organizations. In addition, the government offers migration policy advice to Germany’s partner countries, for example via integrated experts working in migration administrations abroad.
Germany is party to Migration Partnerships with Armenia, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and the Kingdom of Morocco. Our good experiences with these partnerships encourage us to deepen this path of bilateral and regional dialogue and hands-on cooperation in the field of migration and mobility.
Madame Chair, Ladies and Gentlemen,
More than ever, Germany is aware of the fact that well-managed migration is a win-win situation for both migrants and their countries of origin as well as for Germany.
And thus, migration is clearly linked to development and should be taken into account in the context of the post-2015 preparations as an enabler of inclusive and sustainable development.
Thank you for your attention."