Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands visited Ghana 15 – 16 April 2016 on behalf of EU High Representative Federica Mogherini

By Delegation of the European Union to Ghana

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Mr. Bert Koenders, visited Ghana from 15 to16 April 2016 on behalf of the High Representative of the European Union for ForeignAffairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, FedericaMogherini. Mr. Koenders led a team to discuss with Ghanaian counterparts issues in theframework of the Ghana-EU High Level Dialogue on Migration.

As part of his visit, Mr. Koenders met with Ghana's Minister of the Interior, Mr. Prosper Baniand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Hanna Tetteh.

He thanked the Government of Ghana for her hospitality and highlighted the good partnershipbetween the EU and Ghana.

Mr. Koenders welcome the recent adoption of the National Migration Policy for Ghana,providing the framework for addressing migration in line with Ghana's sustainabledevelopment objectives.

Herecalled the Valletta Summit of November 2015 as a fair andbalanced approach to migration agreed upon by African and European Union leaders andhighlighted the convergence of the Valletta Action Plan and the National Migration Policy asa good basis to build concrete cooperation measures.

The Minister underlined the necessity of a swift implementation of the Valletta Action Planinitiatives aimed inter alia at enhancing mobility for students, skilled workers andentrepreneurs stressing that "irregular migration costs many lives and puts young people atthe mercy of unscrupulous traffickers. This is why curbing irregular migration is a priorityfor both the European Union and Ghana aswell as for the wider region".

"Migration should be based on mobility mechanisms which take into account respect forhuman rights. At the same time reinforced efforts on border management and increased speed and efficiency of procedures for return and readmission are needed", he stated. Mr. Koenders recalled the current financial support provided by the EU in terms ofprogrammes for addressing the root causes of irregular migration, providing assistance to theGhanaian authorities in developing and implementing migration policies for migrationmanagement, and fostering regional cooperation on this crucial matter.

He stressed that the high level mission on Migration confirms the common effort to tacklemigration challenges.