On 28 September 2015, Foreign minister Dr. Tedros met with Ms. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission in New York.
Their discussion covered regional political and security matters and ways to work together in managing irregular migration coming from the Horn of Africa region. Ms. Mogherini noted that the EU has recently allocated a Euro 1.8 billion trust fund for the Sahel, North Africa and the Horn to promote economic and equal opportunities, security and development and address the root causes of migration from Africa. “We are refining methods and working on packages to cooperate with Ethiopia and countries of the region to address the root causes of irregular migration”, she added.
Dr. Tedros emphasized the importance of cooperation, underlining that migration had become part of the serious global political agenda. Stopping the flow of irregular migration needed to address the root cause which, he said, “is mainly associated with poverty and addressing inequality through job creation.” He explained Ethiopia’s efforts to dismantle human trafficking networks stretching from the Horn of Africa to North Africa and Europe, and highlighted the need for strong cooperation to do away with these networks which were making billions of dollars by smuggling humans. Ethiopia, as part of its efforts to dismantle these criminal networks, had recently detained over 200 suspects. He also explained about the awareness creation action undertaken by Ethiopia’s National Council on Illegal Migration, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen.
Dr. Tedros also noted the efforts made in job creation and the results achieved in easing urban unemployment. Ethiopia, as a country of origin of migrants, over the last year alone, he said, had managed to create 2.6 million jobs in Small and Medium Enterprises. Dr. Tedros detailed Ethiopia’s flagged unique situation as a country of origin, of transit and of destination for migrants and refugees. Ethiopia, he said, is one of the main refugee host countries, with some 700,000 refugees in the country at the moment. He hoped that EU cooperation and support to Ethiopia would take all this into consideration.