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17 May 2018

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IOM DG William Lacy Swing is interviewed by MPI Senior Fellow Kathleen Newland. Photo: MPI

“The Missing Piece in the Globalization Mosaic”: A Conversation with IOM Director General William Lacy Swing

Washington DC (MPI) – On one of his last official trips to Washington, DC before his term ends in September 2018, Ambassador William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), sat down with Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Senior Fellow Kathleen Newland to discuss IOM’s accomplishments during his decade at the helm, negotiation of the UN Global Compacts dealing with migration and refugees, and challenges facing IOM as it joins the UN system.

What follows is a transcript of the conversation.

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  • Irish Times reported that IOM is urging EU and Balkan states to help Bosnia manage thousands of migrants who are already in the country and hundreds more who arrive each week, as they try to reach wealthier countries in the heart of Europe.
  • UPI and Euronews reported that dozens of refugees seeking asylum in Europe have died this year in the blistering heat of Africa's Sahara Desert and thousands more are trapped there.
  • Nigeria’s Breaking News spoke to a Nigerian returnee participating in a reintegration training programme in Lagos. She left behind a solid livelihood for the promise of a better life that never materialized.
  • American University Radio reported that Italian authorities are trying to stop a Nigerian criminal gang called Black Axe which is involved in the sex trafficking business.
  • Prensa Latina reported that the European Commission warned about the migration situation in the Mediterranean route, and asked Member States for more active participation in the protection of borders.
  • CNN reported that Venezuelans will head to the polls Sunday to elect a new president. The winner will inherit a country in the middle of a deep economic and social crisis, with an estimated 1.6 million people having fled the country between 2015 and 2017.

  • The New York Times reported that stockpiles of donations for refugees have gone unused as the United States’ acceptance of refugees has slowed nearly to a halt.
  • Reuters reported that with hundreds of migrants and asylum seekers packed in tents alongside a Paris canal and under a nearby bridge, charities are warning of the risk from drowning and violence if the authorities do not act to tackle makeshift camps.