Speeches

Statement, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Group of Friends Annual Ministerial Meeting

Date: 10/01/15
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

We consider the UN Alliance of Civilizations as more relevant and more urgently needed than ever before. We are living in a period of unprecedented disasters, catastrophes and conflicts; in a period in which there are more people on the move than ever before compounded by rising anti-migrant, anti-foreign sentiment.

Statement, World Humanitarian Summit (WHS): Humanitarian Action: A Forward Looking Agenda

Date: 09/30/15
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

Allow me to begin by thanking the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and the Government of Turkey for organizing this event, and by applauding the Secretary-General for launching the World Humanitarian Summit initiative, and remaining personally engaged throughout the process. Moreover, I would like to commend the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Under-Secretary-General Stephen O’Brien, for his wholehearted investment in the World Humanitarian Summit, and for seamlessly maintaining the strong momentum established by his predecessor. The dynamic process that has unfolded since the World Humanitarian Summit was initiated serves as an auspicious example of what the international community can achieve while working together towards a common goal.

Statement, International Committee of the Red Cross High Level Panel Debate, “Uniting Around the Principle of Humanity”

Date: 09/30/15
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

Allow me to begin by thanking the International Committee of the Red Cross for organizing this event and Peter Maurer, its President, for chairing.  

As humanitarians, it is our duty to address human suffering wherever it is found, to protect life and health and ensure respect for all human beings. This is the principle of humanity; the fundamental idea, which drives all humanitarians in their challenging and increasingly dangerous work. The humanitarian principles, derived from the core principles, have long guided the work of the ICRC and all humanitarians - humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.

Re-thinking the International Response to the Biggest Crisis of Our Time – How to Respond Better to Growing and Evolving Needs - Statement at the Informal Ministerial Meeting on the Syrian Crisis

Date: 09/29/15
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

First, allow me to thank the European Union Delegation to the UN and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for convening this event, which is absolutely essential given that the situation in Syria is, as they rightly describe, the biggest crisis of our time. I would like to also commend Jordan, along with Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, for shouldering such an enormous burden over the last few years while their neighbouring country of Syria has remained embroiled in a violent conflict with no meaningful political progress or end in sight.

Statement, South Sudan Side Event

Date: 09/29/15
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

A year ago, we met here in New York to address the conflict in South Sudan, which had already been in a stalemate for months on end. Since then, matters have only gotten worse; at independence, South Sudan had the world at its feet. Today, South Sudan is on the brink of failure and disorder. Fortunately, since last month, we have a peace accord -- an appeal for the launching of a viable political and peace process. Nothing less would have been sufficient to resolve this senseless, ultimately preventable conflict – a conflict involving ugly ethnic divisions; mass displacement; and widespread disregard – across the board – for international humanitarian and human rights law. Allow me to raise three brief points, or three requirements, in this respect.

Statement, UK Event on Yemen

Date: 09/28/15
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

I would first like to thank the United Kingdom for convening this important meeting of the international community as we discuss the crisis in Yemen now in its sixth month. It remains critical that those of us present on the ground take advantage of this opportunity to fulfil our obligations to the Yemeni and other affected people, and to work together in support of an immediate and longer term solution.

Statement at the UN Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Date: 09/27/15
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

Check against delivery

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour for me to speak to you all today at this momentous occasion.

As we join one another in adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we are committing to a highly ambitious, universal agenda that will guide our efforts to achieve sustainable development over the next 15 years.

It is an agenda that includes many significant and critical issues that were left wanting by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Delivering on a Revitalised Global Partnership - Statement at the UN Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Interactive Dialogue 6

Date: 09/27/15
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

Check against delivery

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development marks a significant watershed in history.

This new, highly ambitious agenda will guide and galvanize our efforts to achieve sustainable development over the next 15 years. The 2030 Agenda grants us all a framework through which we transform our political commitments into successful action – a framework that will maintain pressure on us and tell us how well – or how poorly – we are doing.

Tackling Inequalities, Empowering Women and Girls and Leaving No One Behind - Statement at the UN Summit to Adopt the Post 2015 Development Agenda, Interactive dialogue 2

Date: 09/25/15
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’d like to make three points today to highlight migration’s key role in addressing inequality.  Two points on the relationship between migration and inequality, and lastly, concrete suggestions on what can be done to improve positive development outcomes.  For easy digestion, and memory, I have grouped all three points under the letter “O” -- Origins, Outcomes and Opportunities.

Origins

IOM Director General's Statement on United States' Decision to Accept More Refugees in 2016 and 2017

Date: 09/21/15
Speaker: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration

“We applaud the decision of the United States Government to increase the number of refugees to be resettled in the country in 2016 and 2017. We were hopeful to see the United States doubling its efforts and we are very pleased with the announcement.

The IOM has been working closely with the United States government in the resettlement of more than 3 million refugees since 1975 and it is important that the United States stays faithful to its long tradition of welcoming refugees from around the world.

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