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“Let’s Make the Dialogue a Success: We Owe it to the World’s Migrants,” says IOM at the Opening of the UN High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development

Posted on Thu, Oct-03-2013

United States - As countries gather in New York for the 2nd UN High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD), IOM urges leaders to overcome differences and agree on concrete measures for global action on migration.

“We cannot afford to miss this opportunity,” says IOM’s Director General, Ambassador William Lacy Swing.  “We have a chance to make a difference for millions of migrants and their families.” 

Since the 1st UN HLD in 2006, more countries have come to realize the significance of migration in the 21st century, including as an enabler of development.

“We face a stark choice today: either we can take the ‘low road’ and continue business as usual - a scenario in which migrants are victimized and abused, and traffickers, smugglers, recruiters and unscrupulous employers rake in the profits, while the immense development benefits of migration for migrants and the countries they come from and go to are squandered,” warns Swing.

“Or we take the ‘high road’ for migration governance,” the Director General continues.  “We could make facilitating, not restricting, migration the priority, we could start seeing migration as a process to be managed rather than a problem to be solved, and we could strive to expand the possibilities for people to realize their aspirations and potential through mobility.”

IOM has put forward a series of recommendations for action on international migration to improve outcomes for migrants, countries of origin and countries of destination.  Among these, improving the perception of migrants and migration and countering xenophobia is essential to protecting migrants’ rights.  Under the slogan “It’s Amazing What Migrants Bring,” IOM is presenting an information campaign at the HLD on the overwhelmingly positive contributions of migrants.

As part of its contributions to the HLD, IOM will also present its 2013 World Migration Report: Migrant Well-being and Development, which assesses the impact of migration in terms of individual human well-being, as opposed to measuring only migrant statistics or the economic impact of migration.  It also makes the case for raising the quality of research and data collection on migration as a basis for sound policymaking.

The 2nd HLD takes place at the UN General Assembly in New York on 3-4 October 2013.  To find out more about IOM’s recommendations and contributions to the HLD, visit www.iom.int/cms/hld2013

For more information, please contact Niurka Piñeiro in New York. Email npineiro@iom.int, Tel. +1 202 684 0559.