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Statement by H.E. Ambassador MA Zhaoxu,Head of the Chinese Delegation, during the First Special Session of the IOM Council

Mr. Chairperson,

Director General Swing,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today is a historic moment for both China and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The IOM admits China as a Member State to the organization, which opens a new chapter for the cooperation between China and IOM. This is the inevitable choice of China to become further engaged in global governance and to deepen the international cooperation in migration issues. This is also the achievement of the IOM as it grows.

Pls. allow me, on behalf of the Chinese Government, to thank all the other Member States for your invaluable support in China’s accession to the IOM. I would also like to thank, in particular, Director General Mr. Swing and the Secretariat, for your persistent efforts in strengthening the bilateral relationship and enhancing cooperation level.

Mr. Chairperson,

With the deepening of economic globalization, the scale of global migration has expanded remarkably, resulting in more frequent transnational human mobility. Migration has become an important issue on the global agenda. Promoting orderly migration has been included into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. States, international and regional organizations all attach great importance to the issue, and various cooperation mechanisms have been established. The IOM, the lead inter-governmental organization in global migration, has done a lot of work in the promotion of international dialogue, orderly human mobility and border control cooperation, and in the provision of returns, health care and humanitarian aid to migrants. China pays tribute to all the efforts and contribution.

In the meanwhile, the cause of global migration still has a long way to go. Due to wars, armed conflicts and natural disasters, forced migration has hit record high. In some countries and regions, exclusion against migrants is on the rise. Crimes including illegal migration, smuggling and human trafficking have grown in number. The capacity building of developing countries concerning migration needs to be enhanced.

In light of the recent global migration situation, China believes that the following efforts should be made:

We should treat migration in an open, inclusive and just way. We need to discard the “zero-sum” mentality and fully recognize the important role of migrants as bridges and belts in the economic, social and cultural development of their countries. Migration policies should be incorporated into national development strategies, enabling migration as “positive energy” in the promotion of global economic and social development and the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We need to uphold the principle of mutual respect and benefit, equality, and responsibility sharing. Countries of origin, transit and destination for migration should enhance dialogue and cooperation, broaden regular channels for migration, improve capabilities in migration management, eliminate discrimination and exclusion against migrants and effectively address the negative factors in human mobility. Developed countries should provide developing countries with more financial and technical assistance to facilitate their migration capacity building.

We need to adopt comprehensive approaches in reducing forced migration. We should reflect on the root causes of the refugee crisis in Europe and focus on the key issues such as armed conflicts, social unrest, extreme poverty and civilization confrontation. We should solve disputes peacefully through dialogues and negotiations, make efforts to achieve common development, narrow the gap of wealth among countries and regions, strengthen the capacity in responding to emergencies such as natural disasters and epidemic outbreaks.

China supports IOM in playing a leading role in international migration cooperation and look forward to the early realization of the goals relating to migration in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Mr. Chairperson,

With the deepening of our reform and opening up, China has gained rapid economic and social development, which leads to an increasingly frequent exchange with people from other countries. China is transforming from a country of origin to the combination of country of origin, transit and destination. In 2015, the number of exit and entry of Chinese personnel reached 520 million and the number of entry and exit by foreigners reached 51.92 million. With 62.14 million overseas Chinese, China is now having the largest diaspora in the world.

The Chinese Government attaches great importance to migration management and is devoted to the promotion of orderly and sound movement of migrants. We have formulated laws and regulations including The Exit and Entry Administration Law and The Regulations on Administration of the Entry and Exit of Foreigners, which enhance border clearance capacity building and information technology applications, improve and update the policies facilitating entry, exit and stay, establish a dynamic comprehensive management system for “the entry, stay and exit” of foreigners, and promote the integration of foreigners. China keeps enhancing its capacity in responding to emergencies and in the preventative consular protection so as to strengthen its ability to safeguard the security and lawful interests of overseas Chinese. However, China still faces quite a number of challenges in promoting the integration of migrants, reducing irregular migration, combating human trafficking and smuggling. We would like to enhance exchange and cooperation with international community to jointly address the challenges in an effective way.

Mr. Chairperson,

2016 marks the 65th anniversary of the IOM and China fortunately becomes the 165th Member today. China would like to take this opportunity to enhance exchange and cooperation with the IOM and other Member States in fields such as border control, integration of migrants, combating human trafficking, disaster prevention and reduction and humanitarian aid. We are ready to contribute Chinese wisdom and effort in realizing the aims and principles of the IOM, and in promoting world stability and prosperity.

Thank you!

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