The Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees, Ambassador Drahoslav Štefánek, hosted the second meeting of the Focal Points Network, composed of some 40 members from relevant ministries dealing with migration issues at national level.
“This Network is a good example of how the Council of Europe is working closely with its counterparts in the member states, and how, in a concrete way, it can offer adequate support through its expertise and by creating this platform for sharing good practice examples from the field. I am also pleased to inform that the Focal Points Network constitute the fourth pillar in our new Action Plan, currently under preparation, addressing vulnerabilities throughout the asylum and migration procedures,”, said the Special Representative.
The Special Representative opened the meeting by briefing about the activities of his office, his updated mandate and new Action Plan currently under preparation. The Director of Human Rights, Mr Christophe Poirel, gave a presentation on respecting the Council of Europe standards in times of the Covid-19 pandemics. Other Interventions included presentations from the Committee for the prevention of torture (CPT), Social Charter and the Human Rights Policy and Cooperation Department.
Participants from the member states engaged in the discussion and many good examples and recent developments were shared during the meeting. During the event, the challenges due to the Cocid-19 pandemic were raised and it was decided that the meeting should be held twice a year.
The aim of the Network is to exchange good practices and enhance co-operation between the different stakeholders and the Council of Europe. The Network was created as a result of an informal exchange of views on migration in the Committee of Ministers in 2018.