BEIRUT: General Security head Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim said Thursday that migration was a global phenomenon that needed to be addressed by source and destination countries, according to a statement issued by the security body.
“An integrated policy between source and destination countries should be sustainable, especially on the part of source countries, with measures to improve the internal job market to keep citizens in their countries,” he said.
Ibrahim made the comments at the 15th International Summit on Transnational Crime in the Belgian capital of Brussels, which was attended by prominent international figures and will conclude on Saturday.
“Everyone agrees that there is a humanitarian problem motivating emigration especially when entire families are emigrating ” he said, adding that even though public authorities were working to ensure that immigrants had the same basic rights as proper citizens, including education, health, work and shelter, major obstacles still remained with respect to integrating immigrants into the social fabric of the recipient country.
Ibrahim said the issue of migration could fuel existing tensions in some countries, especially when there was an influx of people who were of a different race or religion than the recipient community against a background of economic struggle.
The conference came just weeks after the Indonesian boat tragedy in which dozens of people, including Lebanese citizens, drowned while seeking to enter Australia illegally.
It also tackled issues of national security, with Ibrahim saying the world was witnessing a rise in “organized crime and terrorist activities that are no longer restricted to one geographical area, but extend across borders.”
The General Security chief added that protecting a country did not only entail protecting its borders, because criminal elements did not always operate from within, but from surrounding areas in the region.
A nation has to be protected with a security presence, reinforcements, alarm systems and even the strengthening of internal infrastructure to safeguard against natural disasters, he said.
Ibrahim added that there needed to be an international strategy to provide a general national security framework, one that could be adapted to suit the needs of each country.