High Level Geneva Conference on Migrants and Cities

Switzerland - IOM will bring together ministers, mayors and high level officials in Geneva on 26-27 October 2015 to debate for the first time in a global policy forum, the complex dynamics of human mobility in cities. The High-level Conference on Migrants and Cities (CMC) will assess how challenges can be managed and development opportunities maximized.

With urban population expected to reach almost 70 per cent of the world’s population by 2050, migration is a significant component of cities. Migrants play an important role in the global shift to cities and in driving cities’ development agendas. However, this role seems to be largely overlooked in the global debate on urbanization and development.

Mayors are at the forefront of migration governance, as they are responsible for making and implementing policies and meeting migrants’ needs in their cities. However, their voice has been missing from the global debate on migration and urbanization, and barely present in international policy.

Local authorities, and particularly mayors, are increasingly facing the complex challenges of managing human mobility in cities. The conference will therefore examine issues including integration, inclusive urban planning, migrants in vulnerable situations in cities, and multi-stakeholder partnerships for migration management, including the diaspora’s role in promoting cities’ co-development.

The CMC will take place in the framework of the International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) – IOM’s main forum for migration policy dialogue. It follows the successful Diaspora Ministerial Conference held in June 2013 when 600 participants, including 60 ministers and high level government representatives debated the potential contribution of the diaspora to development.

IOM has invited delegates including mayors, ministers in charge of cities, high level government officials, local authorities, international organizations, UN agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector, experts, researchers and academics to take part. Many have already confirmed their participation.

The conference will also see the launch of IOM’s World Migration Report 2015 – Migrants and Cities: New Partnerships to Manage Urban Mobility. The report explores how migration and migrants are shaping cities and how the life of migrants is in turn shaped by cities, their people, organizations and rules.

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For further information please contact Azzouz Samri at IOM HQ, Tel: + 41 227 179 468, Email: or IDM Workshop at