3. Global Forum on Migration and Development - Ambassador Gnesa heads Swiss delegation

Bern, Press release, 04.11.2009

The third Global Forum on Migration and Development is due to take place in Athens 4-5 November, with 150 States in attendance. They will discuss the possibility of strengthening cooperation in these two areas. The Swiss delegation will be headed by the newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary for International Migration Cooperation, Eduard Gnesa.

Migration and development are in many ways interrelated. Lack of development or prospects for the future are among the most important causes of migratory movements. At the same time migrants are also actors in the context of economic and social development in the target as well as the source countries. 

The importance of this interrelationship has been increasingly recognised in recent years. More and more States are aware of the positive aspects of migration and ready to put it to good use. International dialogue on migration plays a central role in this context, making possible exchanges of information, a mutual learning process and the development of concrete projects and partnerships.

The Global Forum on Migration and Development has managed in just a few years to establish itself as the most important platform in the world for international dialogue on migration. As a member of the Steering Committee Switzerland played an active part from the very beginning in making the Forum a success and has for several years helped to keep things moving.

At this year’s conference in Athens the Swiss delegation will for the first time be headed by Eduard Gnesa, the recently appointed Ambassador Extraordinary for International Migration Cooperation. The delegation includes representatives from three Federal Departments  -- Foreign Affairs, Justice & Police, Economic Affairs – a composition which is indicative of Switzerland’s desire to enrich the debate through consideration of all important aspects. 

This all-embracing approach to the issue of migration will be the subject of a special discussion round at the Forum, co-chaired by Switzerland and Morocco. For years Switzerland has been calling at the international level for a more coherent migration and development policy. This is an area in which the Confederation can lay claim to a great deal of experience, having long since created special units in which the representatives of various federal departments meet on a regular basis in an effort to develop an interdepartmental approach to migration.  

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