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ACP Secretariat-UNCTAD to host workshop on recognition of qualifications to facilitate movement of natural persons

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Geneva, 02 May 2019 - The African, Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat (ACP), in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is holding an all-day workshop on the recognition of qualifications to facilitate movement of natural persons at the Palais des Nations, Geneva on 3 May 2019. The workshop will provide a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue to examine key issues related to the trade in services-migration-development nexus. It will also look at the challenges and opportunities facing developing countries and options to tackle them.

As a result of the workshop, it is expected that participants would have concrete information to contribute to the High-Level Political Forum Review in July 2019 where governments will be invited to report on the implementation of the migration-related sustainable development goal (SDG) target 10.7 on “facilitating orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people”.

The ACP will be represented by Mr. Felix Maonera, Acting Head of the ACP’s Geneva office. Promotion of preferential trading arrangements is a key aspect of the Secretariat’s mission and an essential element of the post-Cotonou Partnership with the European Union. Speaking about the importance of the workshop for ACP country members, Mr. Maonera said: “The ACP Secretariat considers Mode 4, the movement of natural persons, as the connection with most other services sectors. Linked as it is to migration, Mode 4 gives rise to unique opportunities and challenges. The mutual recognition of qualifications is an ever-present issue, which is addressed in some way or another by several organisations, including the Word Trade Organisation, the International Organisation on Migration, the International Labour Organisation and UNCTAD. Issues of frameworks and systems, assessment parameters and criteria arise equally whether the migration is regional, on-continent or across continents. The ACP Group makes every effort, in all relevant processes, to turn mobility and migration into opportunity and to address challenges through the adoption of effective migration policies.”

Driving home the necessity for recognition of qualifications and skills as a means to reduce inequality within and among countries, Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Director of the Division on International Trade and Commodities, UNCTAD said: "Non-recognition by a host country of skills or qualifications obtained in a home country is a salient restriction to the movement of natural persons delivering services abroad. Thus the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, adopted in December 2018 in Marrakech, Morocco and endorsed by United Nations Member States encourages countries to conclude bilateral, regional or multilateral mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) or to include recognition provisions in other agreements, to provide equivalence or comparability in national systems. Trade in services agreements and MRAs could therefore positively contribute to achieving target 10.7 of the SDGs"

The workshop is intended for experts and policy makers in the areas of services economy and trade, labour and migration from government agencies and institutions, private sector, international organisations, academia and civil society.

Registration is still open at Please contact Liping Zhang or Faustina Wilson-Attobra.


The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) is an organization created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. The ACP Group's main goals centre around the sustainable development of its Member-States and their gradual integration into the global economy; coordination of the activities of the ACP Group in the framework of the implementation of the ACP-EC Partnership Agreements; consolidation of unity and solidarity among ACP states and establishing and consolidating peace and stability in a free and democratic society.

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