We live in a world on the move – with more and more people living in, or moving to, cities. The year 2010 was the tipping point – the year 2010 was the first in recorded history that more people were found to be living in cities than in rural areas. By 2014, 54 per cent of people across the globe were living in cities (UN DESA, 2014). And, more than 78 per cent of the developed world’s population reside in cities.
Statement at the Annual OSCE Mediterranean Conference - “Common security in the Mediterranean region – challenges and opportunities”
I would like to mention three points today in regard to the link between migration and common security in the Mediterranean region. The world is on the move, and human mobility is occurring in a world in disarray.
I. Scene setter
Common security in the Mediterranean means, among other considerations, adapting current migration policies to global migration realities and trends. This presents both challenges and opportunities but, first, the situation we face on all sides of the Mediterranean and globally constitutes a “perfect storm”.
Remarks at the 133rd Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly - “The moral and economic imperative for fairer, smarter and more humane migration”
It is a great honor and privilege for me to be invited to this 133rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. IOM, and I personally, are proud of our relations with the IPU and its distinguished President and Secretary General, my friends Saber and Martin. It was only when I first became an Ambassador in 1979 that I came to appreciate fully the role and key importance of the Parliament to diplomacy.
It is an honor and a pleasure for me to be asked to join you today at the Nansen Global Consultation.
We live in an era of unprecedented human mobility with more than one billion people on the move in our world of seven billion. Our world currently faces major refugee and migration movement, and climate change is among the root causes of the record number of persons forced to migrate. Climate change endangers livelihoods through its impact on land, desertification, water stress, droughts, and recurrent and intensified natural disasters, including floods.
As gender equality issues are central to the causes and consequences of migration, and thus to effective organizational responses, IOM has committed to make gender equality and GBV mitigation a priority in its emergency response operations. This is particularly important, as crisis-induced population movements expose vulnerable people, especially women and children, to gender-based violence.
We consider the UN Alliance of Civilizations as more relevant and more urgently needed than ever before. We are living in a period of unprecedented disasters, catastrophes and conflicts; in a period in which there are more people on the move than ever before compounded by rising anti-migrant, anti-foreign sentiment.
Allow me to begin by thanking the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and the Government of Turkey for organizing this event, and by applauding the Secretary-General for launching the World Humanitarian Summit initiative, and remaining personally engaged throughout the process. Moreover, I would like to commend the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Under-Secretary-General Stephen O’Brien, for his wholehearted investment in the World Humanitarian Summit, and for seamlessly maintaining the strong momentum established by his predecessor. The dynamic process that has unfolded since the World Humanitarian Summit was initiated serves as an auspicious example of what the international community can achieve while working together towards a common goal.
Statement, International Committee of the Red Cross High Level Panel Debate, “Uniting Around the Principle of Humanity”
Allow me to begin by thanking the International Committee of the Red Cross for organizing this event and Peter Maurer, its President, for chairing.
As humanitarians, it is our duty to address human suffering wherever it is found, to protect life and health and ensure respect for all human beings. This is the principle of humanity; the fundamental idea, which drives all humanitarians in their challenging and increasingly dangerous work. The humanitarian principles, derived from the core principles, have long guided the work of the ICRC and all humanitarians - humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.
Re-thinking the International Response to the Biggest Crisis of Our Time – How to Respond Better to Growing and Evolving Needs - Statement at the Informal Ministerial Meeting on the Syrian Crisis
First, allow me to thank the European Union Delegation to the UN and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for convening this event, which is absolutely essential given that the situation in Syria is, as they rightly describe, the biggest crisis of our time. I would like to also commend Jordan, along with Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, for shouldering such an enormous burden over the last few years while their neighbouring country of Syria has remained embroiled in a violent conflict with no meaningful political progress or end in sight.
A year ago, we met here in New York to address the conflict in South Sudan, which had already been in a stalemate for months on end. Since then, matters have only gotten worse; at independence, South Sudan had the world at its feet. Today, South Sudan is on the brink of failure and disorder. Fortunately, since last month, we have a peace accord -- an appeal for the launching of a viable political and peace process. Nothing less would have been sufficient to resolve this senseless, ultimately preventable conflict – a conflict involving ugly ethnic divisions; mass displacement; and widespread disregard – across the board – for international humanitarian and human rights law. Allow me to raise three brief points, or three requirements, in this respect.