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Youth and migration governance: IOM Dialogue 2019 underway in New York

NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 27 – Youth and migration governance. The first International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) of 2019 is taking place at United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York on 28 February alongside two other events on migration planned between 26 and 28 February: the General Assembly’s high-level debate on international migration and development on the 27th, and UN DESA’s symposium on international migration and development on the 26th.

Today, 1.8 billion young people in the world have a tremendous and essential role in migration policy discussions. Of the 258 million international migrants, approximately 11 per cent of them were aged 15 to 24 in 2017. It is essential to include their voices and contributions in decision-making process and to recognize their demand worldwide for better rights and opportunities for development, IOM representatives affirmed during IDM sessions held last year in New York and Geneva. IOM representatives called for a greater engagement with youth in migration governance efforts.

“It is vital and in the best interest of governments that we include their voices in policymaking and give them a real stake in guiding their futures. Together, we will support the United Nations Youth Strategy’s efforts to amplify youth voices and promote their involvement in global migration processes,” said the Director General of IOM, António Vitorino.  

IOM has been actively working on youth and migration issues and this IDM will provide a global, diverse and inclusive platform for discussions to engage youth with not only decisionmakers in migration, but also with other key actors in migration and related-areas, at all levels.

The dialogue will promote best practices and recommendations on all areas relevant to youth and migration, including but not limited to involvement of youth in migration policy-making processes, adaptation and resilience among youth migrants, empowerment of youth as agents of integration and actors of development, exploring efforts to re-frame the current toxic narrative and hate speech against migrants, particularly migrant youth who are often targeted through social media, as well as youth migration in the era of advanced technology.

María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, António Vitorino, Director General of IOM and Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, will open the dialogue with keynote remarks.

The dialogue will include the views of youth and government representatives, including Mohamed Bangura, Minister of Youth Affairs in Sierra Leone, Santiago Javier Chavez Pareja, Vice Minister for Human Mobility of Ecuador, Chair of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) 2019, and Aya Chebbi, African Union Youth Envoy and from among many other youth representatives and high-level representatives of governments, local authorities, parliaments, academia and civil society.

On the same day at 1:15pm, IOM and the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UNMGCY) are co-organizing a side event on youth leadership at UN HQ. An all-female, all-youth panel will explore how and where youth can actively influence discussions on migration, as a part of a whole-of-society approach building on key outcomes and recommendations from the 2018 Marrakech Youth Forum, and strategies for youth to better engage in migration governance.

This IDM and the following one in Geneva on 15 and 16 October 2019 aim to generate informative discussions that governments and other partners can employ in designing appropriate policies to manage youth migration and youth engagement in sustainable development strategies especially as countries are assessing progress towards several of the SDGs relevant to migrants and migration in July 2019 at the UN’s high-level political forum on sustainable development. The results and recommendations from IDM will be captured in the IDM Red Book which will be shared broadly.

For more information on the agenda and meeting documents, please check the International Dialogue on Migration webpage: https://www.iom.int/idm-2019-youth-and-migration-engaging-youth-key-partners-migration-governance . (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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