By April 20, 2018 Read More →

Migration’s contribution to Prosperity, Development and International Unity.

Thursday, April 19, 2018 UNHQ, NYC

The UN is focusing a lot on the condition of migrants and in improving their lives. The UN Department of Public Information organized this event to look at the current situation and explore ways to make migrants feel comfortable and a sense of belonging. H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the UN, said, “migration is a positive phenomenon. It powers economic growth, reduces inequalities and connects diverse societies.”

Haha Diallo, Public Information Officer in the NGO Relations Section of the DPI, making the opening address.

Hawa Diallo, Public Information Officer in the NGO Relations Section of  DPI, making the opening address.

Statistics show that there are currently 258 million people living in a country other than their country of birth and that 3.4% of the world’s citizens are international migrants.

The narrative on migrants needs to change. They are human beings in search of a better way of life and are entitled to it. People migrate for a number of reasons:

  • higher education
  • job opportunities
  • permanent residency
  • safety and security

Migration should not just be seen as a security issue but as a developmental process. Mr. Bela Hovy, Chief of the Migration Section at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, stated “human movement is closely linked to human development.” He observed that migration growth is faster that local population growth and is usually within their region of birth. Therefore, opportunities offered to migrants will contribute to the development of the country as a whole.

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H.E. Maria del Carmen Dominguez, Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Chile to the UN, observed that even though the percentage of migrants in Chile is small, they tend to take jobs that the locals prefer not to do, such as farming. However, the Government offers assistance to those who have the will and drive to become more skilled.

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The concern about language was voiced a lot as this is one of the many ways to help migrants feel more at home in their adopted country. There is a language app available for this purpose.

It was refreshing to hear of success stories of migrants reaching out to fellow migrants helping them in their adaptation. Manal Kahi, Co-founder and CEO, Eat Offbeat, employs chefs who have migrated to the USA. This is a great asset for the restaurant as it offers international cuisine, much to the pleasure of her customers and clients!

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Manyang Reath Kher, Humanity Helping Sudan, launched a coffee brand, 734, proceeds of which go towards supporting farming enterprises, allowing refuges to live a more meaningful and aid-free life.

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Each one and each culture has beauty that can enhance our own. By remaining open, realizing that there is a reason in the bigger scheme of things, why migration is taking place, our capacities grow, hearts melt, and boundaries widen.  Why not give migrants a chance? After all, NYC was built on migration!

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