18 September, 2006
Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis addressed the UN General Assembly on Friday night in the framework of the UN's high-level dialogue on international immigration and development, stressing that if immigration is handled appropriately and effectively it will have a positive impact for both the country of destination and the country of origin.
Valinakis stressed the importance of such a dialogue, reminding that it was during the Greek European Union Presidency that the Council had adopted for the first time (in May 2003) conclusions on immigration and development, including a series of specific measures.
The deputy foreign minister further stressed the need for the recognition and tackling of the causes of immigration and the development of cooperation with Third World countries to curb poverty and for good governance and human rights protection.
Valinakis pointed out that illegal immigration has taken on "great and uncontrollable dimensions" and that it is a matter of "top priority" for the Greek government, pointing to the fact that the length of the Greek coast exceeds 16,000 kilometers.
He and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis will be participating in the UN General Assembly's 61st session and will be having a series of contacts with ministers, deputy ministers and representatives of the international organization’s member-states.
Source: Athens News Agency