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Lampedusa tragedy highlights need for more effective EU immigration policies, says development organisation

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worldvisionAs European Commission President José Manuel Barroso visits Lampedusa on 9 October, the site where more than 100 East African refugees recently drowned, World Vision is calling on the EU to review its approach to immigration and development policy.

“This desperate tragedy has highlighted once again the need for a unified and humane EU policy on refugees and asylum seekers – an issue raised at a recent EU Justice and Human Affairs Council meeting,” said World Vision’s EU representative, Marius Wanders. “Those who died in this awful situation were a part of the ‘human tide’ from south of the Sahara and among the lives lost are those of innocent children.”

World Vision is calling on the EU to reassess its treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, as well as commit to aiding people in their countries of origin.

“It is not enough to crack down on the smugglers who lure Africans onto their unseaworthy boats, or discuss changes in border control policy. The tragedy begins when people put their lives on the line, because they feel they do not have a choice or any prospects for survival,” says Wanders.

“Eritrea and Somalia have been ravaged by conflict and hunger. If further tragedies such as Lampedusa are to be avoided, then the EU and its member states will have to make a long-term commitment to promoting social and economic transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

“The Post 2015 global development framework currently being negotiated at UN level provides an opportunity for the EU and other major powers to commit to a sustained engagement with the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa to eradicate poverty and to promote their economic development over the coming years,” he says.

“If the EU develops more effective immigration and development co-operation policies, we will avoid having to witness many more desperate migrants meeting their deaths in the same tragic manner as those who recently died off Lampedusa.”

Development

Kazakh president sets out five priorities for #Kazakhstan’s 'Third Stage of Modernization' 

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In his annual address to the nation, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, announced five main priorities as part of what he described as “Kazakhstan’s third stage of modernization”. The priorities are aimed at ensuring economic growth and supporting the country to become one of the top 30 most developed countries in the world by 2050.

The five priorities are: Acceleration of technological modernization of the economy, improved business environment, macroeconomic stability, improved quality of human capital and institutional reforms, including improved security and more action to tackle corruption.

President Nazarbayev said in his annual address: “I am setting the task of ensuring the implementation of the Third Modernisation of Kazakhstan. It is necessary to create a new model of economic growth that will ensure the country's global competitiveness.”

He added: “This modernization is not a plan to combat current global challenges, but a reliable bridge to the future, to meet the objectives of Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy. It will be carried out on the basis of the 100 Concrete Steps Plan of the Nation.”

The Head of State also instructed the Government to developa package of measures for the technological re-equipment of basic industries by 2025.

The annual address followed a special announcement given by the President last week, in which he set out bold plansto increase the powers of parliament. President Nazarbayev stated that these constitutional reforms are aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan, as the Government will be accountable to parliament.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed a constitutional reform aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan. During a special televised address to the nation on 25 January, the President announced a number of functions that would be transferred either to the Government or Parliament. Public discussions on the proposed constitutional reforms will take place for the next month, concluding on 26 February. After this, the reforms will be presented to Parliament.