Ministerial-Level IOM Council Marks Organization’s 60th Anniversary and Looks to the Future of Migration

About 50 government ministers, deputy prime ministers and deputy ministers will be among those attending IOM’s 100th Council next week to mark the Organization’s 60th anniversary and to look to the future of migration.

The IOM Council, taking place in Geneva between 5-7 December, will be the largest ministerial gathering in the Organization’s history.

Keynote speeches will be made by Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the President of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly and Peter Sutherland, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Migration and Development on 6th December.

A statement by IOM Director General William Lacy Swing, focusing on the future of migration or the so-called "third wave" of globalization will set the stage for the Ministerial segment of the Council on the same day.

Complementing those insights will be the official launch of the World Migration Report 2011 which this year focuses on
Communicating Effectively about Migration given the all too-often biased, polarized and negative debate on migration and migrants.

The launch of the report, which advocates the need for migrants to have a greater say in the migration polemic in a bid to more clearly illustrate the human dimension of this global phenomenon, will be followed by a special panel of
Migrants’ Voices.

Sharing their experiences and thoughts on how migration has shaped our world, panellists include Oxford University Professor Ian Goldin, the well-known basketball player Dikembe Mutombo, the Sierra Leonian Deputy Foreign Minister and one-time migrant, Ebun
Aforo-Jusu, journalist Katie Nguyen, a Vietnamese refugee and Eric Urfer, director of the Yverdon Conservatory of Music.

Meanwhile, at least 14 new countries have applied for membership to IOM at this special Council. Their admission on the first day of the gathering will increase IOM membership from 132 countries to 146.

These include Antigua and Barbuda, Chad, the Union of Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guyana, the Holy See, Maldives, Micronesia, Mozambique, Nauru, South Sudan, Seychelles and Vanuatu.

In addition, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the East African Community (EAC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the NGO Committee on Migration, will be
admitted as Observers to IOM.

"The admission of so many new Members and Observers at this Council not only underlines IOM’s significant growth in the past 10-15 years, but also the critical importance of migration to global development. There is a clear and growing recognition that despite
the many economic challenges the world is currently facing, migration is here to stay and that we all need to work together to ensure its success in the future," says IOM Director General William Swing.