First of all, I would like to thank and send my deepest regards to all the persons and organizations who involved in, organized and prepared the First and Permanent Forum of Arab-Afro Dialogue on Democracy and Human Rights December 2009 under the title of “Migrations in the Arab-African World” which has been held recently at the Arab League, Cairo, Egypt from 7-9 December 2009.
However, I just want to send very special regard as a gratitude to the National Council for Human Rights of Egypt (NCHR) headed by both of his Excellency Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali the President and the Vice-President of the forum and his Excellency Ambassador Mokhles Kotb the Vice-President of NCHR who invited us to attend such glorious event.
Notwithstanding exceeding the time permitted according to some long speeches of the speakers, the inauguration was amazing according to the attendance of all of their Excellencies Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Mrs. Irina Bokova the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Abdou Diouf the Secretary General of La Francophonie and President of the Forum, Mr. Ahmed Fathi Sorour the Head and the Representative of the Egyptian Parliament, Mrs. Aisha Abdel Hadi Egyptian Minister of Manpower and Migration, Mr. Federico Mayor President of the foundation Cultura de Paz – Spain, Mrs. Julia Dolly Joiner Commissioner for Political Affairs, African Union Commission and Mr. Bacre Ndiaye Director, Human Rights Council and Treaties Division Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights respectively.
Frankly speaking, it was one of my dreams to enter the premises of the Arab League here in Egypt as a participant in a big conference like this and being existed side-by-side with several Ambassadors, Parliamentary Members, Commissioners and VIPs exchanging and sharing our thoughts, ideas, opinions, dreams and experiences all together and working for humanitarian utility and prosperity.
Without any doubt, I liked a lot that some impressive sentences from the official opening of such conference especially that focused on sharing the responsibility and the commitment to solve all the global socio-economic, environmental and financial crises, then the active dialogue between cultures and the role of UNESCO in this regard and that the main objective of the UNESCO is the Peace which was stated by her Excellency Mrs. Bokova. In addition, what was added by Dr. Ahmed Fathi Sorour about the UN Migration Treaty of 1990 that highlighted on that migration is one of the fundamental rights of the human and the rights of migrants and their families.
Moreover, a big question was tackled in such forum, which supposed to be the more deserving matter, the free transit of people or the free transit of goods? Because this is the dilemma that we are facing in this time being.
Accordingly, due to our objective observation of the topics highlighted in the forum as the first one, the following questions shall be tackled:
1) We should determine evidently the differences among the regular/legal migrant, the illegal/irregular migrant, foreign permanent workers, foreign temporary workers, voluntary migration and forced migration. Because such fundamental concepts shall lead us to a logical and objective methodology of solutions.
2) Is there a need to establish some more unions e.g. Mediterranean Union 2008 after Barcelona Process 1995 when there are no feasibility so far for having such unions, and the peoples of South are suffering more and more, because most of the rational people found such unions or agreements established only for more security of the southern boundaries of the North. (in this regard please read my blog as follows: https://intellecto.wordpress.com/2008/02/05/dialogue-between-euro-med-region-gulf/ )
3) Is the latest legislations that issued by European Parliament at the European Union in June 2008 were fair in respect of the irregular or illegal migration in respect of detaining the illegal migrants for at least 18 months, and then deport and blacklist them from the country of destination for at least 5 years are legal enough. (In this regard please read my blog as follows: https://intellecto.wordpress.com/2008/06/26/detaining-illegal-migrants-is-a-black-scar-in-the-forehead-of-eu/ )
4) In the matter of entry visa, why any ordinary person from South should wait at least two weeks to obtain his entry visa, even if such person is invited by some governmental or non-governmental corporate to attend a forum or a conference at one of the countries of North/Developed countries? However, if someone from any developed country wish to travel to any country of south, it is very easy for him/her to obtain an entry visa at the airport of the hosting county in a lower duties. Therefore, where is the principle of the reciprocity? (Such matter occurred to me at one of the schingen visa countries).
5) The issue of human rights specially migration is totally considered as youth issue, therefore, we have to work strongly on two main dimensions, the first is to disseminate the appropriate awareness among the youth in the Arab-Afro region that shall be fulfilled by applying the codes of the Academic Freedom which we have a lag and lack in it (that means freedom in electing University Board, Deans, Heads of Departments and Students’ Unions and making students get exposed to all political orientations in society, in order to grow their conceptual and cognitive awareness. In addition to applying the codes of recruiting university staff according to the latest Human Resources Methods not according to state security requirements).Whereas the second is to disseminate such culture and awareness through media used by such use especially youtube, facebook, hi5, Taking IT Global and Zorbia sites used by billions of youth worldwide through the internet which was very effective in Obama’s success in the latest US presidential elections.
6) In respect of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, frankly speaking all the participants found it comprehensive and including all fundamental human rights needed worldwide. However, the big problem here is how to convince all the African political regimes to ratify and implement it, this big problem shall be solved in my point of view according to both awareness as mentioned in the above point and alliance between National Human Rights Councils and Civil Society organizations to be as a pressure group on the African governments under the umbrella and support of the United Nations and UNESCO in this regard though well effective methodology based on all of the logical negotiations, affecting the politics of containment, more privileges and incentives granted and given for countries affecting and implementing the charter by granting states, and also giving guarantees that such implementation of charter shall never negatively affect on sovereign states, cultural privacy and identity thereto.
7) There is also a big dilemma concerning how to fund such projects of change, human rights implementation, awareness and migration programs, because most of the countries in this Arab-Afro region are developing and having financial crises. Simply, the parliamentary members and heads of National Human Rights Councils and Commissions should implement the codes of the transparency with their governments and monitoring the ways of spending the public funds by their existed governments. Therefore, the governments should publish the real figures of their both military and police expenditures. Also the same bodies should be connected with the national census centers and authorities of accountability in this regard, in order to unify figures and statistics that shall facilitate monitoring and observing the governments. Accordingly, a lot of funds shall be a available for all sustainable development, human rights and migration programs.
8) Hosting Gulf countries are free to put and promulgate the codes of expatriates residence and working conditions thereof lest occurring to a big change in its demography, because such countries are suffering from less population. However, the governments or municipalities have to monitor the private sector there that violates the labor laws. Also they should cancel the system of Sponsorship/Kafalah, because such system is inconsistent with the codes of the ILO and human rights. In addition, Gulf countries should follow the model of Bahrain in this regard as a unique and respected model.
9) The Articles of Association of some international organizations should be amended in way that may guarantee fair quotas for developing countries to which they can express themselves and their problems much better especially the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB). Whereas such two bodies have to rethink of their economic reform policies addressed to the developing countries in the light of the Global Financial Recession that originally caused by G7 particularly US. Also better more effective monitoring and controlling tools should be implemented on funds and grants given by such organizations to the developing countries to avoid corruption that can be occurred in between employees or commissioners of such organizations and regimes in such countries and ways and program of expenditure/spending have to be clear and transparent.
Last but not least, hope both my questions and solutions meet your interest in this regard, then being implemented in your action plan and finally to meet and welcome your good-selves in Alexandria ”My City”, Egypt in February 2010.
Socio-economic Specialist/Researcher/Legal Translator at (www.eldib.com.eg)
Human Rights Activist/Blogger/Youth Trainer
International Law Association (ILA) Coordinator in Egypt
Work Tel: 002-03-4950000