The high-level panel discussion will provide a unique opportunity to discuss perceptions and realities of migration with the OSCE Secretary General, Ambassador Thomas Greminger and the Director General of the International Organization for Migration, Ambassador William Lacy Swing, together with OSCE Institutions and key experts.
The political discourse about migration has changed significantly in the past few years. Already before the so-called “migration crisis”, the representation of migration as a threat to social cohesion and security had increasingly monopolized the public debate in many countries in the world, including in the OSCE region.
Within this discourse, the evidence-based facts about migration are often overlooked, while divisive messages are growingly dominating the public representation of the phenomenon.
The gap between reality and perception has widened, with the reinforcement of stereotypes, misconceptions and prejudices about migrants. The growing negative attitude towards migrants in much of the world has made approaches that could better harness the positive contribution of well-governed migration more difficult to implement.
Therefore, changing the narrative of migration to a more balanced and fact-based discourse that, while acknowledging its challenges, highlights the opportunities and resources migrants can bring, is a political responsibility and an emerging need for those who are active players in the public debate and policy-making – governments, media and civil society.
Guided by the Athens Ministerial Council Decision 5/09 Migration management that invites the OSCE to “provide a broad regional platform for dialogue on migration and security issues”, the Organization’s comprehensive concept of security offers unique lenses to address this issue, while the tireless efforts of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to promote a positive narrative of migration gain further relevance in light of the on-going negotiations for the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in 2018.
OSCE and IOM invited delegations of the OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation, specialists and practitioners in the area of migration governance, think-tanks, academia and research entities, NGOs, civil society and International Organizations, including OSCE Executive Structures, to actively participate in the interactive discussion aimed at promoting a more positive narrative of migration.
In the afternoon, an expert-led segment will explore areas for further action, including research. The working language will be English with simultaneous interpretation in Russian.
Follow the OSCE actions on migration on Twitter via #OSCEMigration.
The high-level discussion will be followed by:
– 18.30: The Italian Cultural Institute, Ungargasse 43, will host “A meeting with the author”: Fabio Geda and Enaiatollah Akbari will present the book In the sea there are crocodiles describing the true story of Enaiatollah, an Afghan child who at the age of 10 left Pakistan to reach the shores of Europe. Event will be help in Italian with simultaneous interpretation in German and English.