Speeches

Introductory Statement, United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) Symposium on “Environment and Displacement: Root Causes and Implications”

Date: 05/25/16
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

I am honored to take part in this symposium on environment and displacement. I do so as the Director General of an Organization that is deeply interested and invested in the issue on human mobility,  environmental degradation and climate change. Since the early 1990s, IOM has been advocating for better understanding of the complex linkages between migration, displacement, environment and climate. IOM has been publishing on the effect of climate change on migration for several decades. Only last week, I was in Paris to co-launch – together with Science Po the first ever Environmental Migration Atlas in French, with English and Spanish editions to follow. What was a marginal topic back then has now acquired very high visibility. But it has always been clear to us that these issues are of utmost importance.

Introductory Remarks, Global Forum on Migration and Development Thematic Workshop on Migration for Harmonious Societies

Date: 05/18/16
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

Introduction

Social diversity is a defining feature of our world today, much of which (although not all) is a consequence of migration.

I am, therefore, pleased that we have been given the opportunity to discuss how to ensure that our societies are harmonious in the midst of their diversity. I am particularly honored and pleased that the GFMD Chairperson, a distinguished colleague and good friend, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque, one of the leading global voices in the field of international migration is presiding over our discussions.

Remarks: “Migration in the 21st Century: thoughts and prospects 2050"

Date: 05/17/16
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

It’s a singular honor for me to be included in today’s important Migration Conference. Deputy Prime Minister Reynders shared with me and others as early as last year’s UNGA, and later at Istanbul, his plans to hold such a major conference as an integral part of Belgium’s chairmanship of the IOM Council.

Statement, Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism: the Way Forward - High-level Segment Session 1: “National and Regional Perspectives – Ministerial Segment”

Date: 04/08/16
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

I wish to thank the Swiss Federation for hosting us, and commend the Secretary General for the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.

All around the world refugees and migrants are among those most directly affected by conflict coupled with violent extremism. The Plan of Action calls our attention to the 60 million whom conflict and violence have been displaced.

And beyond the displaced, there are many others who have moved or are on the move – all vulnerable to extremism, xenophobia or discrimination.

Remarks, Bali Process 6th Regional Ministerial Conference

Date: 03/23/16
Speaker: William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

It is an honor to be here with you today at the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime. IOM is proud to have been associated with the Bali Process since its inception. I have had the honor of attending every Bali Ministerial consultation since I assumed my current post in October 2008; four altogether. It is reassuring that the Bali Process is continuing to try to retain its regular schedule of a ministerial meeting every two years.

Remarks, ILO Governing Body’s High-Level Panel Discussion: “Addressing the Impacts of Refugees and Other Forcibly Displaced Persons on Labour Markets”

Date: 03/21/16
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

It is an honor and privilege to take part in this ILO Governing Body’s 326th Session, and I wish to thank ILO General-Director Guy Ryder, our friend and neighbor, for organizing this important event. I am delighted that the theme for this panel discussion will focus on “Addressing the Impacts of Refugees and Other Forcibly Displaced Persons on Labour Markets”.

Opening Remarks, High-Level Event on IOM Crisis Response

Date: 03/14/16
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

Welcome. It’s an honor and privilege to be here with all of you today. This event comes at a pivotal time for our organization –

(1) We are experiencing a time of unprecedented simultaneous, complex and protracted crises and human mobility. (2) We just had a year of extraordinary breakthroughs in the field of migration: Sendai, SDGs and Paris UNFCC agreement. (3) We are now in a year of critical summits and decisions. (WHS; Sept. 19; “Grand Bargain”. The time is now for us to reflect on where we stand and where we need to go in responding to migration crises as one Organization.

OSCE Security Days - Panel Discussion: The Way Forward: The Role of the OSCE and International Partners

Date: 03/04/16
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Introduction

It is a distinct honor and privilege to be invited to this OSCE Security Days event on ‘Refocusing Migration and Security: Bridging National and Regional Responses.’ I wish to thank, my colleague and friend, Mr. Lamberto Zannier and the OSCE team for organizing this important event.

I would like to make three points:

Remarks, Side-event to the 31st Session of the Human Rights Council on “Migrants and the Right to Health”

Date: 03/03/16
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

I wish, first of all, to congratulate the High Commissioner for Human Rights for hosting this timely side-event on ‘Migrants and the Right to Health’. It keeps up the momentum this theme is gaining globally. I also congratulate the Permanent Mission of Thailand – in particular Ambassador Thani Thogphakdi for his leadership and commitment in championing the health of migrants and express gratitude to all the other co-hosts: Mexico, Bangladesh, Ghana, the Philippines, and Thailand.   

Closing Remarks - International Dialogue on Migration in New York

Date: 03/01/16
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Minister Sylla, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’d like to begin my closing remarks by thanking all of you for your contributions over the past day and a half.

We’ve heard a great deal about the opportunities that migration presents to countries of origin, transit and destination, and about the challenges we face in the pursuit of safe, orderly, regular and responsible migration.

From the conversations we’ve had over the past two days, let me make three observations:

1 - People

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