As Delivered

Bom dia! Good Morning.  It’s a pleasure to be included in the consultation regarding Cabo Verde’s efforts in developing its migration management profile.  I wish we could be together in Praia today.

Today, we are also thinking about all Cabo Verdeans affected by the massive flooding, including the loss of life, thousands of displaced families.  We applaud the brave first responders, bringing aid to those in need and volunteers who are comforting those who are suffering.  The United States supports our national and international humanitarian partners.  And on behalf of the people of the United States, I want to let you know that our hearts are with you during this difficult time.

I want to thank Minister Fernando Elísio Freire, our wonderful Director General António Vitorino, all the government officials, UN representatives, the national media, and all others for being here this morning to discuss migration management in Cabo Verde.  I also want to thank the International Organization for Migration, a key implementing partner, for co-hosting this inter-ministerial event on Migration Governance Indicators (MGIs) in 2020.  As a key funder of this effort, the U.S. Government looks forward to working together with all of you on this important topic.

As you all know, the United States and Cabo Verde share strong ties and a long history – one that dates back to the 18th century when American-flagged whaling ships began recruiting Cabo Verdeans, who were known for being hardworking, diligent, and reliable.  Last year, we celebrated this longstanding relationship, which has evolved into a deep and mutually beneficial partnership in several areas, including maritime security, economic growth, a shared commitment to good governance, and strong democratic principles.

Today, Cabo Verde – with its solid democracy, and strong commitment to the rule of law and investment in human capital – is a powerful and stabilizing force in the region.  We applaud the Government of Cabo Verde’s efforts to undertake its migration management assessment during this devasting COVID pandemic, and for continuing its good work on adapting migration policies to the realities of migration in the country.  The United States looks forward to IOM and Cabo Verde’s assessment results and continues to support your efforts in improving migration management domestically and overseas.  Your willingness to review and revise immigration policies regularly is commendable.

In choosing to conduct IOM’s evaluation, Cabo Verde is boldly assessing its capabilities and capacities by aligning with 90 internationally recognized standards.

Since 2017, my Bureau, the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, in the U.S. Department of State has funded 36 assessments of countries’ migration management frameworks using migration governance indicators.  Indeed, 11 governments globally chose to use the results to improve their migration policies.

You are in good company—more than 1,000 government officials globally and more than 1,000 IOM officials use the MGI results for project development and capacity building support.  Since 2018, my Bureau’s regional migration programs reference the MGI assessments in justifying governments’ capacity building needs.

Through my Bureau, the U.S. State Department leads our coordination of international migration-related diplomacy and capacity building worldwide.  We work with governments to aid vulnerable migrants and to make sure migration is well-managed and legal.

The IOM Migration Management Framework, a multiregional program funded by my government, builds on prior U.S.-funded projects to develop research and pilot a tool for use by governments that request base-line assessments of migration management practices, policies, and strategies.  Sixty-eight countries have participated in MGI assessments since 2015.  We are pleased that other donors, including the European Commission, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden continue to support MGI assessments at national and local levels.

As the United States considers further funding for the MMF in FY 2020, we welcome burden-sharing initiatives with host governments and the donor community and engage with UN partners to optimize the use of U.S. public resources.

As we recognize Cabo Verde’s leadership in migration management, I want to take this time to again congratulate two Cabo Verdeans – a prosecutor and a member of the judiciary police – who were named Trafficking in Persons Report Heroes this year for their role investigating  the country’s first forced labor case.  The United States appreciates the strong support we have received from Cabo Verde on humanitarian issues, valuing its partnership with Cabo Verde and IOM working closely programmatically in validating and adopting standard operating procedures on anti-trafficking in persons. We commend Cabo Verde’s hard work to improve its TIP standing.

Thank you all very much for all your work as we advance our shared humanitarian and migration management goals.

U.S. Department of State

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