Summary of SIMN IV International Forum on Migration and Peace

Day 1, June 20, began with opening remarks from Father Leonir Chiarello, the Executive Director of Scalabrini International Migration Network, who discussed the Forum’s goal to “promote a better governance for international migration.” Speakers were Jan Eliasson, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General; Mercedes del Carmen Guillén Vicente, the Assistant Secretary for Population, Migration and Religious Affairs of Mexico; Nicholas DiMarzio, the Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn; and Alfredo Gonçalves, the First Councillor & Vicar General of Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo.

In the first panel, on “Economic Security and Social Security: the Challenges of Inequality and Social and Economic Integration of Migrants,” featured speakers were Luis Fernando Carrera, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala; Fatima Shama, the Commissioner from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs of NY; Olaf Jacob, the South American Coordinator for Konrad Adenauer Stiftung; and Maria Tangonan, the Kairos Youth Coordinator of The Filipino Pastoral Ministry.

The Forum’s second panel of the day was: “Human Security, Human Development and Human Rights: Trends and Challenges for International Migration Policies.” This panel featured speakers were Mercedes del Carmen Guillén Vicente, the Assistant Secretary for Population, Migration and Religious Affairs for Mexico; Emilio Álvarez Icaza, the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; Donald Kerwin, the Executive Director of the Center for Migration Studies of New York; Colleen Thouez, a Senior Research and Training Advisor at UNITAR; and Ilma Paixão, the general manager of the Langer Broadcasting Group.

After a short coffee break, the Forum resumed with the third and final panel of the day: “South-South and South-North Migration: Policies and Civil Society Participation.” Featured speakers included Paulo Sérgio de Almeida, the President of the National Immigration Council for Labor Ministry of Brazil; Jorge Martínez, a researcher at the Population Division of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; Gabriela Rodríguez, the Director of Centro Internacional para los Derechos Humanos de los Migrantes in CR; and Nimbe Gonzalez, the Director of the Department of Social Services at the Casa del Migrante Tapachula.

Day 2, June 21, opened with “North-North and North-South Migration: Migration Policies and Civil Society Participation.” Speakers were Joseph Chamie, Former Director of the United Nations Population Division; Charles Wheeler, the Director of National Legal Center for Immigrants for the CLIN; Sara Campos, an independent writer and consultant; and Cecilia Imaz, a Professor-researcher from the National University of Mexico.

In the final panel of the Forum, titled “Toward an International Governance of Migration: Citizenship and the Inclusion of Migrants,” speakers included Mårten Grunditz, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sweden to the UN; Yanerit Morgan, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Mexico to the UN; Michele Klein Solomon, the Permanent Observer of the IOM to the UN; Fatima Shama; and John Bingham, the Coordinator of Civil Society Days. After the closing of the final panel, Father Leonir Chiarello took to the podium to share his thanks for all those who attended and participated in the conference, as well as all those whose support was integral to its success, adding: “Migrants are key actors in global development by building inter-cultural bridges.”