By Lydia Asamoah/Beatrice Asamani Savage, GNA
Accra, Aug. 14, GNA - Canada is working with Ghana, as part of spearheading a global partnership, to build pragmatic comprehensive systems that would plan and manage migration to become safe, orderly and beneficial to stakeholders around the world.
In view of this Mr Ahmed D. Hussen, the Canadian Minister of Migration, Refugees and Citizenship, has visited Ghana to engage government officials, civil society groups and other relevant organisations to find common grounds and share experiences for this cause.
The United Nations expects countries to dialogue and develop positive synergies towards the adoption of the Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration at its conference to be held in September, 2018.
Mr Hussen told the Ghana News Agency, in an interview, that it was very important for nations to urgently engage one another to develop a successful and workable compact so that the criminal enterprises in migration would be eliminated to safeguard the wellbeing of the vulnerable.
The Minister said Canada wanted all the 193 countries who committed themselves to the Compact on 16th September 2016 to work hard towards meeting the deadline.
The issue of migration, he emphasised, was as important today as before and deserved topmost attention.
“I think right now, there are more people on the move than at any other time since the Second World War.
”There’re more than 60 million migrants moving, of which 24 million are refugees and 40 million are internally displaced people,” he said.
Mr Hussen said: “Migration is as old as humanity, people will always move, the question is how you manage the challenge?”
“That’s why it is important for countries to share experiences and develop common positions on, for instance, how to treat children, who are the most vulnerable or to undercut criminal gangs.”
He said migration should also become beneficial to both source and host countries as legal migrants contributed to taxes, filled labour gaps with their talents and skills and enriched their host communities with their diverse values of humanity.
Ghana, which was a major source and destination of migrants, he said, had to be more actively involved at the bilateral, regional and global levels to have their concerns addressed.
Ghana is a Member of the High-Level African Panel on Migration under the auspices of the UN, which is chaired by the President of Liberia, and has been making contributions towards an African position.
On why Canada has received global commendation for its efficient management of migration, Mr Hussen said Canadians were very welcoming and generous; while the Government invested significantly in the processes of integration and settlements as well as safeguarding the rights of migrants.
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated clearly that one of his priorities is encouraging the legal migration of skilled workers and welcoming tourists, business visitors and international students,” he stated.
“I am here to inform Ghanaians about the prospects and to invite them to take advantage of the opportunities available for our mutual benefit,” he said.
Mr Hussen expressed Canada’s willingness to help Ghana to develop better-planned and managed systems to integrate migrants who arrive from the Sub-Region to her benefit.
He said Ghana had always been a good ally of Canada in championing global matters of sustainable development since they both shared common values of human rights, democracy, and good governance in a safe and peaceful world.
Madam Heather Cameron, the Canadian High Commissioner, at a reception, in May, to mark Canada’s 150th Independence Anniversary; and 60 years of Diplomatic Relations with Ghana said Canada chose to become a multicultural society and bilingualism at the time of its founding; and it had demonstrated its tolerance and goodwill through the years by encouraging legal and safe immigration.
This year, it would welcome nearly 300,000 permanent residents and more than 25 million visitors, including Ghanaians.
Over the past many months, it had also given refuge to more than 40,000 Syrian refugees, who had been assisted by volunteers and ordinary citizens.
More than 1,300 Ghanaians, she said, were also studying in Canada.