First International Dialogue on Migration of 2018 Underway in New York: IOM

IOM DG William Lacy Swing speaks at IDM 2018 in New York. © IOM

New York – The first International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) of 2018 – IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s major forum for policy dialogue – is currently underway. The first of the two dialogues to be held this year, this week’s discussions (26-27/03) are focusing on partnership and taking place at United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York.

“The IDM was established some 17 years ago to be a very large and welcoming meeting place, where our Member States can interact directly and openly with other relevant actors on migration governance, exchange views, and promote understanding of migration dynamics,” said IOM Director General, Ambassador William Lacy Swing, in his opening remarks.

Noting the timely focus of this year’s IDM on inclusive and innovative partnerships for effective global governance of migration, Ambassador Swing stated that the first-ever Global Compact for Migration “deserves close, concerted action from the international community as a whole to ensure successful review implementation and follow-up.”

Louise Arbour, the United Nations Special Representative for International Migration added, “The Secretary-General’s Report Making Migration Work for All called for the Global Compact to provide a positive agenda that would focus on helping migrants fulfil their potential, promote regular migration and address effectively the challenges of irregular migration.”

Among the participants of IDM are national and local governments; multiple ministries; civil society; the private sector, migrant and diaspora organizations; academia; the media; and others. Discussions explored different partnership models that exist in the field of migration and showcase their value by presenting some of the migration management tools developed through cooperation among different actors.

“The 50 million children who have migrated across borders or been forcibly displaced represent an incredible pool of talent and potential. These children must be front and centre of the global migration agenda this year,” said Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. She urged all stakeholders to “make 2018 a year where we as a global community come together to scale up solutions for people on the move.”

“I do believe that topic chosen could not be more appropriate and timely. It is essential that actors come together to find partnerships which are inclusive and innovative,” said Guy Ryder, Director General, International Labour Organization (ILO). He added it was important to set the tone for more constructive dialogue which will take real leadership from all concerned.

IOM recognizes the paramount importance of cooperation and has been working in close partnership with all relevant stakeholders, including fellow UN agencies in areas such as migration and development, migration and climate change, children, trafficking and smuggling, labour and health.  

Julie Bolcer, Deputy Commissioner, Policy and Communications at NYC Mayor's Office for International Affairs said, “Our message is: Cities are ready to help, we have the expertise, and we know that in order to achieve an inclusive and human-centred global compact for migration, our voices need to be heard.”

Various issues were elaborated including the importance of partnerships in making data available for migration policymaking, achieving the migration-related Sustainable Development Goals and enhancing migrant worker protections and eliminating forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking.

The Dialogue will conclude today (27/03) focusing on topics such as partnership frameworks in place to effectively respond to the needs of vulnerable populations, the role of local authorities and cities in the migration management, and the whole-of-society partnerships while exploring methods of engaging non-State actors for good migration governance.

Watch today the IDM live from 10am EDT in the six UN official languages:

For more information, please contact IOM in New York:
Azzouz Samri, Tel: +41 794 425 228, Email:
Rahma Gamil Soliman, Tel: +1 917 515 7454, Email: