Statement of India delivered by Mr. Anil Kumar Rai, Counsellor (Humanitarian Affairs) during the 7th meeting of Budapest Process Working Group on Silk Route Region, at Dhaka on 9 November 2015.

7th Meeting of the Budapest Process Working Group on Silk Route Region, Dhaka 9-10 November 2015

 

Statement byIndia

 

Distinguished Chairman, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

For us in India, the history of Silk Route dates back more than 1600 years ago when a 65 year old Chinese Monk named Fa Xian (Fa-Hien)made his maiden pilgrimage to India to look for Buddhist scriptures. The route along which he travelled was later called the Silk Route and the route he choose to go back to China via Indian Ocean was named Maritime Silk Route.

 

2. For Indian civilization, Silk Route embodies the spirit of peace, cooperation, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning and hard working. Perhaps the most lasting legacy of Silk Route has been its role in bringing cultures and people in contact with each other and facilitating exchange of scientific views, arts and literature as well as crafts and technologies. One of the most famous technical advances has been propagated worldwide by the Silk Route was the technique of making paper as well as the development of printing press technology.

 

3. With this brief background, India is happy to be part of the Seventh Working Group Meeting on the Budapest Process on the Silk Route region. The theme of the meeting 'Silk Route Partnership for Migration' which is the third priority area of the Istanbul Ministerial Declaration has come up at a time where the world is looking for ensuring fairer, humane and smarter migration; and deliberating upon developmental and protection dimensions of migration. Recently concluded GFMD has endorsed the need for ensuring migration as a tool for development.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

4. With over 28.5 million strong overseas Indians, including Indian nationals and Persons-of-Indian Origin, presently residing overseas and almost equal number of migrants, including irregular migrants, making India their home, India emerged in recent times as an important country of origin as well as of destination for migrants.

 

5. The migratory flows from India have undergone changes due to pervasive economic restructuring under globalization that has created opportunities as well as challenges. While there is a growing recognition of opportunities that migrant offer to economic growth, development and stability in host and home counties, the public perception of migrants remains hostage to powerful and misinformed assumption and negative stereotypes of migrants in the host country.

 

6. In order to streamline the migration process and ensure benefits to migrants and their families, the Government of India has taken concrete steps in providing policy directions in terms of recruitment procedures, social security coverage, streamlining of employment contracts and other welfare measures.

 

7. Under the able leadership of Hon'blePrime Minister Modi, India has undertaken many flagship programmes directed towards making India a 'skill capital of the world'. This is based on the broad parameters of providing high quality skill sets, globally recognized certificates, efficient and effective immigration services and universal coverage of financial inclusion. I am happy to inform that during the last one and half year, we have managed to open more than 185 million bank accounts, free of charge. This has helped us to move closer to the goal of universal banking coverage to all families in India. Recently launched payment banking through cell phone companies will bring the banking facilities at the doorsteps of every individual. The success of these projects has ensured that receiving and sending of remittances, access to savings and investment instruments etc. are available to all.

 

8. Our efforts would be for early realization of SDG target 10.7 which states, 'facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies'.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

9. India's strength in terms of availability of young and highly skilled workforce is widely acknowledged. This strength can be leveraged by countries of Budapest Process to meet their labour and skill shortages.

 

10. It is widely acknowledged that labour mobility is an important component of long-term solution for sustaining global growth rates in the face of factors like demographic asymmetry and globalization of economies. To facilitate the process of labour mobility, we are using a framework bilateral cooperation for maximizing benefits from labour mobility and minimizing its risksthrough Human Resources Mobility Partnershipwith key countries of destination in the EU.

 

11. A human resources mobility partnership has been signed with Denmark. Negotiations with the Netherlands have also been concluded. India is discussing similar human resources mobility partnership with a number of countries of the Budapest Process, including France, Switzerland, Sweden and European Union.

 

12. We believe that Human Resources Mobility Partnershipcan effectively address the migration issues in a comprehensive manner. It provides an opportunity to both partners to jointly develop and implement good practices in labour migration. It is important to position international labour mobility as a win-win for the countries of origin, the countries of destination and the migrant workers.

 

13. Since India and the EU countries have complementary needs, the proposed Human Resources Mobility Partnerships is expected to help immenselyboth sides.

 

14. All member states of Budapest Process and relevant stakeholders have to work with a spirit of cooperation on the lines of commitments agreed under 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda with an objective to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration through implementation of planned and well managed migration policies; and work towards eliminating the barriers to migration.

 

15. In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, we are confident that the deliberations and outcome of this meeting will contribute to maximizing the benefits of migration for all stakeholders. We also would like to convey our appreciation to the host country Bangladesh, and to the ICMPD, the Secretariat of the Budapest Process.

 

Thank you.

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