4th Global Forum on Migration and Development – Switzerland to Chair the Forum in 2011

Press Release, SEM, 10.11.2010

Bern. The 4th Global Forum on Migration and Development is scheduled to take place on 10 and 11 November 2010 in Puerto Vallarta (Mexico), where the representatives of some 150 States will hold discussions on how to enhance international cooperation in the domain of migration and development. The Swiss delegation, to be led by Eduard Gnesa, Special Envoy for international cooperation on migration issues, will be preparing Switzerland’s chairmanship of the Forum in 2011.

Migration is often perceived by the general public primarily as a problem. This view, however, falls short of the mark. Migration can prove to be positive both for the countries of origin and for the destination countries. For the latter, migrants can represent an indispensable economic and social resource, one which may well become even more crucial in the course of demographic developments. Countries of origin can benefit from the remittances which their citizens send and the knowledge that they transfer from afar. The migrants themselves improve their personal living conditions and those of their families.

This aspect of migration encounters an ever-growing interest within the international community. In this connection, the Global Forum on Migration and Development offers States a vital platform for discussion. The Forum was created in 2006 upon the initiative of the then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. It is open to all UN Member States and serves to strengthen the informal exchange of experiences and the cooperation between countries of origin and destination countries.

Switzerland will be participating at the two-day conference in Puerto Vallarta with an inter-departmental delegation headed by Eduard Gnesa, Special Envoy for international cooperation on migration issues. Together with Argentina and Kenya, Switzerland will moderate a round-table discussion dedicated to an exchange of ideas on new instruments for data mining in the domain of migration and development. In addition, Switzerland will also actively participate in other discussion panels dealing with themes such as climate-induced migration, irregular migration, and migration partnerships.

In 2011, Switzerland will be chairing the Global Forum on Migration and Development. Following in the footsteps of Belgium, the Philippines, Greece, and Mexico, Switzerland will preside over the Forum for a year’s term. As Chair, Switzerland will, for instance, be responsible for the overall evaluation of the Forum’s activities over the last four years. Furthermore, in Puerto Vallarta, the Swiss delegation will conduct talks on the possible thematic focuses of the 2011 edition of the Forum.

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