South American Conference on Migration Gets Underway in Paraguay

Posted: 
11/04/16
Themes: 
International and Regional Cooperation

Argentina - The 16th South American Conference on Migration (SACM), the main regional forum for consultation and non-binding governmental dialogue on migration in South America, started yesterday (03/11) in Asuncion, Paraguay. The conference, whose Technical Secretariat is IOM, this year focuses on the theme: Towards Free Movement.

The SACM is a Regional Consultation Process (RCP) created in 1999 and brings together government representatives of the 12 South American countries and is chaired by the Government of Paraguay, currently holding the Presidency Pro Tempore of the Conference. The two-day event is also attended by representatives of civil society organizations and international organizations in their capacity as observers.

The vice minister of Administration and Technical Affairs of Paraguay, Ambassador Terumi Matsuo de Claverol opened the Conference, accompanied by the IOM Regional Director for South America, Diego Beltrand.

Ambassador Claverol stated that the conference was a great opportunity to discuss migration-related matters in the region and stressed that migrants are key factors for development in societies where they are able to integrate.

Beltrand said: “At the first meeting of the SACM in which IOM participates as UN-related agency, we emphasize the positive impact that the conference has had on the development of migration policies with human rights-based approach in South America.”

The agenda includes discussions on the progress made by the countries in the region related to policies and migration management and the analysis of the progress of the South American Human Development Plan for Migration (PSDHM).

Participants will also address issues such as South American integration and strengthening of migration management, including topics such as the role of local governments in migration governance, relationship between migration, environment and climate change as well as consular cooperation in migration emergencies.

IOM also launched a publication that is a historical compilation of 15 years of the SACM. The document analyses the evolution of the regional meeting and its importance as a forum for dialogue for South American governments to achieve consensus on migration policies.

Today, at the end of the Conference, the members are expected to adopt the "Declaration of Asuncion," which will include the conclusions and commitments on migration made in the framework of the SACM.

This is the second time that Paraguay has held the Presidency Pro Tempore. The last meeting in Asuncion was in 2006.

For further information, please contact Juliana Quintero at the IOM Regional Office in Buenos Aires, Tel. + (54) 11 32488134, Email: juquintero@iom.int. Or Lidia Nuñez at IOM Paraguay Tel. +595 21615670, Email: lnunez@iom.int

Representatives of the 12 South American countries meet at the South American Conference on Migration in Asuncion, Paraguay. Photo: IOM