Fifteenth Coordination Meeting on International Migration Implementing the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants

Date Publish: 
Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 10:00
Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM)
New York, United States of America

Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Thursday, 16 February 2017, 10:00-13:00, in Conference Room 8, UNQ

Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,


It is an honor and pleasure to be here today, to moderate this discussion on the implementation of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.

We have all had some time now to reflect on (a) what an accomplishment the NY Declaration is for migrants and refugees, as well as (b) to reflect on the importance and enormity of the challenge that lies ahead of us in the coming 20 months.

For all of us here, a great deal of responsibility rests on our shoulders, on the elaboration of a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.  This is an ambitious task and also an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of migrants.

Allow me today to briefly elaborate on IOM’s vision for a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

IOM’s vision is for a world in which migration or human mobility is well-governed, in which migrants move (a) as a matter of real choice and not desperate necessity; and (b) in which the rights of migrants are protected throughout their migratory process; and migration benefits all of society. 

IOM’s vision for a Global Compact for Migration is threefold:

  1. Place migrants, their rights, needs & capacities, at the heart of our efforts. The Global Compact should offer practical solutions on how to balance the rights of migrants with the State prerogative to manage migration.
  2. Address the relationship of migration -- as a quintessential cross-cutting phenomenon -- to development, humanitarian, economic, social, climate change and peace & security agendas;
  3. Develop a truly comprehensive approach, ensuring the participation of the numerous stakeholders involved in such an endeavor, including migrants themselves.

It will soon have been five months since the International Organization for Migration joined the UN system.  One of the first concrete tasks with which Member States entrusted us as part of the UN family, was to work jointly with the soon to be appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General on International Migration on the Global Compact.

Member States also called for an inclusive, transparent, and state-led process -- one in which everyone has a voice.

Let me reassure you, IOM is ready to take up the role with which MS entrusted us.  In an inclusive, transparent and consultative spirit, IOM has already begun preparations:

  • Many IOM country offices are already in touch with their host governments on holding national multi-stakeholder consultations. 
  • IOM is already working with the many RCPs to support their contributions to the process, and will organize a Global RCP meeting in October in Geneva in order to collect and sum up those inputs.
  • IOM is already working with several of the Regional Economic Commissions to jointly plan their regional meetings, including with other GMG agencies.
  • The IOM International Dialogue on Migration will be scheduled for April in New York and July in Geneva this year and dedicated to supporting the GCM process. We are now considering what topics would be most useful to focus the dialogue on in order to support the Global Compact for Migration process.

The development and negotiations of the Global Compact for Migration is an ambitious undertaking to be accomplished in this short timeframe. To succeed, we must join forces and continue strengthening our partnerships.

Let me now introduce our esteemed panelists:

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