GMF co-hosts migration and development conference
On January 31, 2007, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) co-organised a conference titled "Migration and Development: Using. Oppportunities. Together." The conference was organized by the Ministry for Inter-Generation and Family Affairs, Women and Integration from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and supported additionally by the German Society for the United Nations (DGVN).
During this day-long conference, politicians, corporate leaders, academics, and members of civil society discussed the possibilities and limitations of migration management and its potential for development.
Throughout the conference it was emphasized that migration and global mobility can be a tool in the war against poverty and aid in the promotion of development as long as there is active migration management. Participants agreed that migrants should be seen as potential agents of sustainable development because they strengthen the cooperation and common interests of both countries of origin and destination countries. Migrants can contribute to development in their home countries through money transfers, investment, or the implementation of skills learned abroad. Entrepreneurial know-how and an understanding of democratic values and human rights also help promote development in their countries of origin.
A successful approach to the development-related challenges of international migration requires cooperation at a global level.
Armin Laschet, the Minister for Inter-Generation and Family Affairs, Women and Integration from North Rhine-Westphalia, Professor Rita Süssmuth, former president of the Bundestag, and Ndioro Ndiaye, deputy director of the IOM, opened the conference and their remarks were followed by key speeches from Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, the Minister of the Interior and Professor Norbert Walter, chief economist of the Deutsche Bank Group.
The conference is the first in a series entitled "Migration in Context." The goal of this series, organized by IOM, is to raise public awareness about the positive potential of migration and mobility. GMF and IOM set up a steering committee of 12 high-ranking experts from business, government, academia and the non-profit sector to guide and further conceptualize the conference series.