International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees
29 JUNE 2017
Berlin, Germany – Migrants, refugees and various support organisations gathered in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday morning for the Migrants and Refugees Speak Out Street Event, asserting their right to be seen and heard, and challenging the legitimacy and capacity of the UN Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in addressing the roots of forced migration.
The event, spearheaded by the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) and Migrante Europe, in co-operation with various local, European and international organisations, was part of the International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees and coincided with the official opening of the 10th GFMD Summit Meeting in Berlin, attended by high-level and senior government policy makers.
In her opening speech, Luz Miriam Jaramillo of the International Migrants Alliance Europe stressed, “The flow of people is highly regulated with rules imposed by one state on the other, further reinforcing the guaranteed benefit of capitalists and corporate interests through cheap, skilled, and easy to exploit labour.”
Supporting organisations of the Speak Out event included international groups Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants, Churches Witnessing with Migrants, civil society organization IBON International, global anti-imperialist alliance International League of Peoples’ Struggle, and International Women’s Alliance; and Germany-based formations such as women’s organizations Courage and Gabriela Germany, Coalition Against Trump (Berlin), Democracy in Europe Movement 25-Berlin, and Die Linke Internationals.
“Migration is not a tool for development. Migration is a failure of the developmental process. Migration is not an opportunity. It is the problem” shared Hameed Khasawnih of Democracy in Europe Movement 25-Berlin.
After the morning programme, the contingent marched towards the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building where the GFMD opening session was being held to present their manifesto. Annette Groth, a member of the federal parliament of Germany (Die Linke) received the manifesto, together with a personnel from the German federal foreign ministry. They held a dialogue with the group where Ms. Groth expressed her party’s sustained support on the calls of migrants and refugees to the GFMD.
“Address the root causes of migration! Nothing about us without us!,” cried Sadeqa Siddiqi of the International Migrant’s Alliance – Canada as she read the IAMR’s manifesto in front of the Foreign Ministry.
“We should begin with the premise that any discussion about migration and social development should fundamentally involve the refugees, migrants, and other social sectors most affected by the continuing global economic crisis, extreme poverty and unemployment, wars of aggression, and impacts of climate change.
“The migration and development discourse within the GFMD should be fuelled by the direct participation and genuine voice of migrants and refugees. Only their active participation can guarantee that policy proposals generated will eventually resolve the root causes of forced migration, displacements and dislocation of peoples,” she added.
IMA Europe, Migrante Europe and the rest of the supporting organisations vowed to continue the dialogue, calling for a networking meeting today Thursday 29 June 2017 to plan their next steps.
Vice Chairperson for External Affairs
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NB: Photos, videos, including full text of speeches and the manifesto submitted to the GFMD will be available at our official website: www.iamr7berlin.wordpress.com