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Deputy Minister Landers receives Regional Representatives of IOM and ICRC

30 March 2016

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Mr Luwellyn Landers on 30 March 2016 received the letters of appointment of the Regional Representatives of international organisations based in Pretoria, South Africa: Mr Josiah Ogina: Regional Representative of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM); and Mr Vincent Cassard: Head of the Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Deputy Minister Landers congratulated the Heads of the Regional Offices on their appointment as approved by the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation. The Deputy Minister in his welcoming remarks said South Africa would remain committed to participate in United Nations endorsed, as well as regional and continental processes specifically related to humanitarian assistance and challenges on the Continent, in the Region and globally. He highlighted that in this regard South Africa will play its role at the World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey in May 2016 and is looking forward to engage and work with all role players and including from the respective organisations, which are true crusaders for humanity.

Photo (l-r): Deputy Minister Landers is pictured with Mr Josiah Ogina: Regional Representative of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Mr Vincent Cassard: Head of the Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Amb. NKM Seleka, Director: Humanitarian Affairs. - by Jacoline Schoonees

The Deputy Minister also acknowledged the role of and assistance provided by these organisations during the 2015 outbreak of violence against foreign nationals. In this regard, the rapid humanitarian response provided including support to local government with temporary shelters, food and facilities for the displaced and voluntary repatriation as required were invaluable and helped to stabilise the situation. Mr Ogina and Mr Cassard committed the continued co-operation with and assistance by their organisations to Government in ensuring integration of foreign nationals at all levels especially in local communities.

Furthermore, Deputy Minster Landers amplified the fact that the organisations need to work with the Government and to advise also by giving constructive criticism on how to address the irregular migration challenges in the country and the region. This would be very valuable especially as South Africa is in the process of a substantial migration policy review.

South Africa’s peacekeeping efforts in the context of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), which have ensured the protection of civilian populations in conflict zones on the Continent, were lauded and encouraged. The ICRC in this regard commended South Africa’s role as bridge builder on the complex issues of Strengthening of IHL and Health Care in Danger during the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement during December 2015 in Switzerland.

Deputy Minister Landers concluded by stating that DIRCO remains available to engage on issues of mutual interest and concern, and that the Government was looking forward to building on the existing good relations, while strengthening the level of engagement in future.  

by Ambassador NKM Seleka - Director: Humanitarian Affairs, DIRCO

 

 

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