Aug 22, 2012, 10:22 AM
Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations
Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, is deeply
saddened by the news that some 62 migrants, mostly Gambians, lost their lives
on Wednesday 4 December when their makeshift vessel, attempting to reach
Spain’s Canary Islands, capsized off the coast of Mauritania.
The Special Representative expresses his solidarity with the government and the people of The Gambia following this worst migrant tragedy of West Africa this year.
The Special Representative commends the government of The Gambia for the swift measures taken, and encourages all national stockholders to redouble their efforts in addressing this complex challenge.
The Special Representative commends the support extended by the Mauritanian authorities to the survivors, and calls on regional and international leaders to uphold their engagement to stop death and despair along migration trails.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been providing humanitarian assistance, including medical and psychosocial care to the 78 Gambian and nine Senegalese migrants in Nouadhibou.
The Special Representative calls on all governments to play a vital role in implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration which reaffirms the foundational principles of our global community, including national sovereignty and universal human rights, while pointing the way toward humane and sensible action to benefit countries of origin, transit and destination as well as migrants themselves.
The Special Representative reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to support the governments of the region in their tireless efforts to improve the life condition and shape a prosperous future for their populations.