IOM Forum for Inclusive Migration Policy Discussions Underway in Geneva

Migration Policy

Geneva – The International Dialogue for Migration (IDM), IOM’s forum for inclusive and global migration policy discussions, is currently underway at the Palais de Nations in Geneva. The focus of the forum is on partnerships and capacity development for effective migration governance.

This is the second IDM session of the year; the first was an opportunity for migration actors from all sectors and levels to discuss capacity development mechanisms and partnerships to advance migration governance, ahead of the Intergovernmental Conference in Marrakesh in December to adopt a Global Compact for Migration.

The meeting started yesterday (08/10) with over 300 participants including senior government representatives; civil society and international organization representatives; academics; and private sector representatives; as well migrant and diaspora organizations with genuine experiences of migration.

IOM’s new Director General António Vitorino opened the session along with Louise Arbour, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for International Migration, and Juan Edoardo Eguiguren, Ambassador of Chile and Chairperson of the IOM Council.

“There is an opportunity for the global community, and this room, to invest in a more optimistic, and constructive, approach to migration. Not by avoiding hard questions, but by leaning into them,” said DG Vitorino in his opening remarks. “Sometimes this will require new and innovative solutions; more often it will require learning from our successes as well as our mistakes, building the capacity to do more, and do it better. By striving for a stronger, more positive, proactive management of migration, the international community can support the millions of individuals who – for a wide variety of reasons – take the courageous step of determining their own futures by crossing borders.”

Speaking on the newly established UN Migration Network, SRSG Louise Arbour added: “We should encourage a focus on those projects which require inputs from a range of UN system entities. The network should not, on the one hand, supplant the mandate-driven work of its members, nor, on the other, should it seek simply to be a grouping of otherwise disconnected projects. Rather, it should seek to maximize impact grounded in a spirit of collaboration and commitment to collective success.”

In his opening remarks Ambassador Eguiguren said: “It is misleading to think that only developing countries need capacity development on migration. On the contrary, many of the developed countries need support to continue developing their capacities to better manage the continuously emerging challenges of mobility and can learn from the many successful practices in place in developing countries. This has been precisely the scope of this forum (IDM), to allow States and other actors from the developed and developing countries alike learn from each other and exchange experiences.”

Other speakers yesterday included the Vice Minister for Salvadorians Abroad; the Ambassadors of Mexico and Switzerland; co-facilitators of the Global Compact for Migration;  the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) co-Chair; the Secretary Generals of the Inter-Parliamentarian Union and of the Building and Wood Worker’s International;  senior Directors at WHO and UNICEF; the Special Representative for Migrants and Refugees of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe; senior representatives from IATA and the Arab Parliament; and senior national experts in health, regional capacity building and research from Mexico, Tanzania and Ghana.

Today (09/10) the discussions will focus on whole of government and whole of society capacity development at the national level, including on tools and mechanisms to measure the impact of capacity development and on meeting the funding challenges of capacity development activities.

The meeting will hear from the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala; the Secretary for Strategic Initiatives of the Presidency of Brazil; senior government representatives from Moldova, Costa Rica, Sweden, Japan, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC); NGO Terre des Hommes; the African Bank for Development; the Global Fund; International Council of Voluntary Agencies; a local NGO active on migrants empowerment (SINGA); and a senior academic from Georgetown University.

The IDM’s highlight session, the “Migrants’ Voice” will feature the personal migration stories and a debate between three founders of diaspora and migrant initiatives to empower migrants and refugees.

The outcomes from this IDM, and the first one held in New York on 26 and 27 March, this year will be captured in a Red Book publication which will be made available at the Intergovernmental Conference in Marrakesh this December.

For more information on the agenda and meeting documents please check the International Dialogue on Migration webpage:

For more information, please contact Azzouz Samri at IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179468, Email:

  • The IDM, IOM’s forum for inclusive and global migration policy discussions, is currently underway at the Palais de Nations in Geneva. Photo: IOM