On 13 January 2017, the Colombo Process (CP) Member States signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Organization of Migration (IOM), operationalising a self-funding funding mechanism for the CP.
Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka in Geneva, in his capacity as the Chair of the Geneva-Based CP Member States and Bruce Reed, the Director of the Resource Management Department of the International Organization of Migration (IOM), signed the MOU enabling the CP to conduct regular proceedings of this Regional Consultative Process on the Management of Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia.
Colombo Process (CP) established in 2003, brings together 12 South and Southeast Asian labour sending countries in a member state-driven non-binding regional consultative process on migration to facilitate dialogue and cooperation on issues of common interest and concerns relating to labour mobility.
The self-funding mechanism initiated and negotiated by the CP Member States in Geneva, was unanimously adopted by the 12 Member States at the last CP Ministerial Meeting in August 2016. It sets out the modalities for the funding of regular Senior Officials’ and Ministerial Meetings through equal annual contributions by each of the participating countries; thereby ensuring the sustainability of this state-led policy dialogue. The MOU mandates IOM to be the Administrator of this Fund according to the needs and requests by CP Member States.
Speaking at the brief signing ceremony, Mr Reed said “The CP self-funding mechanism is quite unique among the many RCPs throughout the world. The establishment of this mechanism demonstrates the CP Member States’ strong commitment to this process and the continued relevance of its goal to work towards enhancing the protection and provision of services to its migrant workers.”
Ambassador Aryasinha, stressed: “The self-funding mechanism represents a significant achievement by the CP and will help the CP to continue discussing and initiating tangible actions, without being overly dependent on external funding. He said this will facilitate the CPs task on ensuring orderly, safe and regular labour migration for the benefit of Asian migrant workers and their families.”
The 12 CP member states are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka