IOM DG-Elect Outlines Way Forward for Sustainable Management of Migration
Geneva/Rome — International partnerships, enhanced labour mobility plans and policies are needed for the sustainable management of migration, IOM Director General-Elect Amy Pope told attendees at the International Conference on Development and Migration held yesterday at the Italian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Rome.
‘’Evidence shows that well-managed migration spurs economic development. Considering the demographic trends and the changing global labour market, we must start now to create more comprehensive, inclusive, and strategic migration solutions and integrate more strategic and humane mobility policies into regional and national adaptation plans,’’ Pope said.
The Conference, organized by the Italian government in order to address migration challenges such as irregular migration and forced international displacement, including their root causes, brought together representatives from European, African and Middle Eastern countries involved in the management of migration flows.
In an international context characterized by economic crises, conflicts, and natural disasters, migration is proving to be one of the most important geopolitical phenomena of the century.
The adverse effects of climate change and environmental degradation, in particular, are increasingly driving migration and internal displacement. ‘’Last year, natural disasters displaced 32.6 million people: 7.5 million in sub-Saharan Africa alone,’’ said Pope. ‘’But this is just the beginning. The UNFCCC estimates that more than 300 million people live in communities that are extremely vulnerable to climate change.’’
‘’We know from collective experience that if people no longer have a home or a way to earn a living, they will move. This is human. Migration is the first and most humane adaptation strategy.’’
Migration, if properly managed, can contribute to the development of all countries – whether host, source or transit – involved in this phenomenon, and societies at all levels.
‘’We should invest in skills development and recognition,” affirmed Pope, “ensure that labour mobility plans and policies reflect realistic labour needs and future shortages; and envision how regional free movement, family reunification and circular migration will all play a role in the development of a global blueprint for development, not only for Europe but also for Africa.’’
Pope stressed the need for strategic, forward-looking and mutually beneficial partnerships to harness the benefits of migration. ‘’No government or international organization can do this work alone. We need to invest in partnerships in all sectors of society, we need the private sector to invest, recognizing that they benefit from good migration management, and we need the support of civil society.’’
Pope also emphasized the need to strengthen measures to prevent and curb irregular migration flows while preventing loss of life, particularly in the Mediterranean, where nearly 2,000 deaths have already been recorded since the beginning of the year.
‘’At the heart of this work is a moral truth: as human beings who respect and honor the rights and dignity of all people, we cannot turn our backs on the hundreds of people dying in the Mediterranean, sacrificing their hopes and dreams at the hands of traffickers who exploit and abuse them. We must work together to build more innovative and viable solutions.’’
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