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Ministerial Conference Launches the Khartoum Process to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings and People Smuggling

The first ministerial conference of the Khartoum Process was held in Rome today. Slovenian delegation consisted of representatives of ministries of the interior and foreign affairs and was led by State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior Andrej Špenga.

The conference marked the official beginning of the Khartoum Process, dedicated to migration problems of the Horn of Africa. The process focuses on the fight against trafficking in human beings and people smuggling. The causes of the deteriorating situation concerning people trafficking and smuggling, particularly from the Horn of Africa, are demographic, political, security and economic factors in the African countries. In their presentations of the difficult migration situation the ministers of the African Union partners (Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Egypt) emphasized the importance of the Khartoum Process, especially from the point of view of countries of origin and transit, and their willingness to cooperate with the EU in tackling the problem of illegal migration and other negative manifestations of this phenomenon. 

The ministers and other heads of delegations from EU member states as well as Switzerland and Norway drew attention to alarming situation from the migration, security and humanitarian point of view. The participants agreed that, in the framework of implementing the declaration to be adopted, the Khartoum Process must create effective tools and achieve concrete results in finding sustainable solutions. This view was shared by representatives of international organisations (IOM, Frontex, Europol, African Union, UNODC). They presented the measures which they can provide within their competence for the implementation of the process.

The contents of the declaration were generally harmonised at the meeting of senior officials the evening before the Conference. The Declaration was unanimously adopted.

An invaluable contribution to coordinated approach of the EU to migration management was last night's meeting of ministers. The ministerial conference of the Rabat Process was followed by an informal meeting of ministers of foreign affairs and ministers of the interior of the EU member states, which was devoted to a discussion of the current development and planning of the EU migration policy in the field of internal and external dimension of migration and asylum.  

State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior Andrej Špenga thanked the Italian presidency for organising this debate. "This discussion is important and comes just at the right moment, when we are faced with new manifestations of persecution linked to people trafficking and smuggling and organised forms of crime. Migration management needs to be adapted to new conditions in the sense of partnership with third countries in accordance with the principles of global approach to migration and mobility. The Treaty of Lisbon has introduced new tools, which enable better coordination of the external and internal dimension of migration and asylum. The institutional structure of the Council of the European Union needs to be adapted to this goal," Špenga said.