Mr. Yorio Tanimura,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Chinese side, I would like to warmly welcome all the delegates attending this Workshop on Operational Cooperation to Combat irregular Migration, Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants.
The topic for discussions in the coming days, i.e. enhancing international cooperation to combat effectively illegal migration, trafficking and smuggling of human beings, is no doubt very important. It is all too evident that in both regional and global context irregular migration, trafficking and smuggling of human beings pose grave threats to social stability and give rise to a multitude of social problems. Such trafficking and smuggling have already been widely regarded as heinous criminal activities. Today, as globalization picks up speed, these activities are increasingly running rampant, thereby seriously impeding friendly exchanges among peoples. This cannot but cause serious concern for the international community.
Numerous and complex factors lie behind irregular migration, trafficking and smuggling of human beings. They include the unreasonable international political and economic order, socio-economic development gaps among countries, the spread of organized transnational crimes and the difference in migration policies and in ways of dealing with illegal immigrants and smuggled persons by different countries. Therefore, to address these problems will be a long and hard battle for the international community.
East Asia, which is one of the most densely populated regions in the world, and Oceania have been suffering from irregular migration, trafficking and smuggling of human beings for years. Countries in the region and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have made unflagging efforts to seek effective solutions. The Manila Process launched by IOM in 1996 provides an important means in this regard. In this framework, all parties concerned have exchanged experiences and information, and worked out measures to combat irregular migration, trafficking and smuggling of human beings. It is heartening that such cooperation has been gathering momentum.
The Chinese Government has always attached great importance to measures against irregular migration, trafficking and smuggling of human beings. We have greatly enhanced our legislation, law enforcement, administration and other measures to address both the symptoms and the cause of the problem. Remarkable results have been achieved. We have also carried out exchanges, consultations and cooperation with other countries and relevant international organizations on the basis of mutual respect and equality. We are ready to further strengthen such cooperation. In this connection, I am pleased to inform you that China has recently become an Observer to IOM.
The parties to the Manila Process may find themselves at different socio-economic development levels and affected to a different extent by irregular migration, trafficking and smuggling of human beings, their determination to combat such activities is firm and their common grounds are expanding. I am convinced that, through cooperation, new progress will be made in our joint efforts. I wish the workshop a great success.