IOM and Ideation Worldwide Present Ideas in Action Summit in New York

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Photo: Abdirahman Olow / IOM 2017

New York, 22 April — The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Ideation Worldwide, alongside UN Habitat and other notable agencies convened in New York on April 22 an Ideas in Action Summit: Reform Refugee Response, to discuss and present new ideas for solving displacement issues faced by individuals living in refugee settlements.

Featuring a range of interactive speeches from experts in the field, including keynote speaker Anthony Kwame Appiah, a professor of Law and Philosophy at New York University, the summit will explored the current refugee crises including European migration, displacement of refugees in the Middle East and the transition of temporary refugee centres in Africa to permanent settlements.

“IOM is pleased to partner with Ideation Worldwide on the Ideas in Action Summit, with a view to fostering cooperation and partnerships and strengthening global refugee response” said Ashraf El Nour, Director of IOM’s Office to the United Nations in New York. Mr. El Nour spoke on the Middle East's complex migration movements, and the rise of the human cost of such movements today, in addition to the role taken by the international community to address the situation of Syrian refugees at the Summit. 

Felipe Decorte, Director of UN Habitat, remarked on the importance of good invesments such as investing in sewage facilities that will have long term paybacks and benefits for host communities. With more refugees living in urban settings, Decorte underscored the importance of designing solutions to manage specific realities. 

Samar Sukkar of Jordan spoke on Jordan's experience of hosting Syrian refugees. There are currently 658,015 registered Syrian refugees in  Jordan today. Sukkar detailed Jordan's education systems for Syrian refugees. Sukkar stressed the importance of words for actions, and urged that we must ensure we get results at the Summit. 

Syrian Artist, Mohamad Hafez, noted that refugees have a lot of hope for tomorrow. Hafez stressed the importance of creating forums that would allow for different conversations to take place. Furthermore, Hafez highlighted the value of using previous migrants as role models for refugees and recently arrived migrants. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Photo: Abdirahman Olow / IOM 2017

A photo exhibit by IOM drawing attention to the plight of migrants in vulnerable situations around the world was on display at the Summit. The photo exhibit emphasized the growing scale of new forms of migration-related humanitarian challenges, both internally and across borders.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Photo: Abdirahman Olow/ IOM 2017

The highlight of the summit, Place and Displacement, is an inaugural competition which aims to challenge students and young professionals all around the world to create interdisciplinary design and policy solutions to address refugee livelihoods in Kenya, Jordan and Germany. Three winning submissions selected from hundreds of entries by an expert jury made up of diplomats, architects and development practitioner split the top prize money at the Summit. 

Event Date: 
Saturday, April 22, 2017 -
09:00 to 17:00
New York University Law School