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Statement by Cuba at the 325th session of the Governing Body ot the ILO.

STATEMENT BY HE. MRS. ANAYANSI RODRIGUEZ CAMEJO, AMBASSADOR, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE AT GENEVA, ON THE 325th SESSION OF THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION (ILO).

INSTITUTIONAL SECTION. AGENDA ITEM No. 17: "THE GLOBAL REFUGEE CRISIS AND ITS LABOUR MARKET IMPLICATIONS".

NOVEMBER 6, 2015.

Madam Chairperson; Mr. Director General,

Let me express, on behalf of the governmental delegation of Cuba, our congratulations for the way the work of this Body is being conducted, to which we are giving close monitoring.

The inclusion of this item on the Governing Body agenda is fully relevant today when we witness unprecedented migratory flows. As recognized in the document prepared for this discussion, the ILO has an important role to play and, in that context, we take positive note of the actions already undertaken by the Organization, as well as the outlined strategies to deploy new initiatives for that purpose.

However, the vulnerability of people who are forced to migrate, far from diminishing increases, although entire sectors of the economy depend on its workforce. Many states that have ratified the main international legal instruments in this area show a lack of political will to implement their provisions. Some governments allow the entry of migrants to their countries but do not invest in capacity building nor promote the process of integration that is needed for these people to develop their full potential and make a positive contribution to the societies in which they live.

A few days ago, many of us had the opportunity to hear the special remarks by the ILO Director General before the plenary of the 133rd IPU Assembly, which discussed this issue in depth. On that occasion, Mr. Ryder referred to the fact that today, at a time when the economic case for migration has never been stronger, it seems that the social and political obstacles that limits the integration of these people into society have never been greater either. He starkly described the reality faced, noting that migrants are usually severely indebted with recruitment agencies and other intermediaries; they receive lower wages for equal work with respect to local populations; generally they do not have access to social security benefits that they help to finance; and suffer from lack of recognition of their skills and qualifications.

Today, many of those who flee from poverty and migrate in search of better opportunities are treated as undesirable and all borders are literally closed for them. However, it is a selective closure, which leaves loopholes to attract highly qualified personnel from Southern countries, thereby encouraging the brain drain and further undercapitalizing developing countries of their scarce resources.

In the Note for discussion prepared for this debate we were asked whether the ILO could help to foster and support bilateral, regional and interregional dialogue to identify more legal pathways for migration that mitigate  root causes  of forced migration. Again, I refer to the statement by the Director General on the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, because there he expressed the essence of the answer to this question when he said: "The first thing that we all have to do is to join forces to tackle prejudice, misinformation, and stereotypes".

Current international migration policies are full of contradictions, constraints and challenges. It is imperative to recognize that migration is a transnational phenomenon that requires cooperation among States at the bilateral, regional and international levels. Such cooperation should be achieved through dialogue and genuine cooperation that recognizes the shared responsibility of all States in addressing this issue of global concern and respect their sovereignty and legal equality. In that context, it is unacceptable to use force to contain migration flows. Such measures do not solve the problem and constitute a dangerous escalation for a phenomenon that stems from inequality and underdevelopment.

We harbor no doubt, Madam Chairperson, of that ILO treasures sufficient knowledge and experience for, through the mechanisms already established both at its headquarters and regional levels and through cooperation with other intergovernmental organizations and the United Nations system, to make important contributions and help, within the limits of its mandate, to alleviate the plight in which migrant workers live today.

But we could spend days here answering questions like these without reaching real solutions to this phenomenon. Only by tackling its structural causes, a lasting solution could be found. It is essential to change the current situation of poverty and inequality prevailing in several regions of the world. The actions of destabilization, terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and the wars promoted by aggressor powers must cease.

The full realization of the right to development and the coexistence in a world of peace is the only viable way to balance migration flows globally.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

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