ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Friday December 30, 2011 – High Commissioner Dr Carl Roberts said membership in the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) would help Antigua and Barbuda develop a policy to advance the free movement of Caribbean nationals.
His comments came during an IOM ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland, where the country and nine others were formally admitted as members.
“…Antigua and Barbuda looks forward to further enhancing its developmental policy particularly in advance of the free movement of Caribbean nationals within the sub-group of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and the Caribbean Community,” Dr Roberts told the meeting.
“Membership allows Antigua and Barbuda, with the assistance of the various offices within the IOM, to build up its capacity to handle movement of migrants into and out of the country, to draw upon the research conducted by the IOM in tackling several of the developmental issues we face.”
The diplomat said such assistance is needed in the prevailing financial crisis and downturn in national economies around the world.
Government applied for IOM membership in August. Prior to that, this country received assistance in the area of training from the international agency.
Minister of Labour Dr Errol Cort has said the new status would allow Antigua & Barbuda to better fight the growing problem of human trafficking.
The IOM works in four broad areas of migration management: migration and development, facilitating migration, regulating migration and addressing forced migration, a statement on the agency website said.
The organization has 146 member states with a further 13 holding observer status.