One of the OECD’s main objectives is to help our Members prepare for the future, to create conditions that promote the well-being of all our citizens; for those born locally, as well as for the 129 million immigrants who have become residents in OECD countries and who represent about 13% of our populations.
Well-managed migration can be win-win-win for migrants, host countries and origin countries. Key policy priorities include ensuring that labour migration effectively meets its objectives, and fostering successful migrant integration in host countries.
Launch the International Migration Outlook 2019
We are launching this report on World Refugee Day, a day to raise awareness of the millions of people forced to flee their homes, countries and loved ones in pursuit of safety and security. We should recognise their strength and courage as they try to re build a new life in their host countries. And we should also acknowledge the efforts of transit and host countries to manage large inflows of refugees in recent years.
It is my pleasure to open the inaugural OECD-IOM-UNDESA International Forum on Migration Statistics. We have a lot of ground to cover! The Forum includes over 240 high-level speakers and 700 registered participants from more than 90 countries. A warm welcome to you all, including those following us live on the web.
The migration crisis is far from over, while the peak of the humanitarian refugee crisis is hopefully behind us, flows to some European countries are still increasing. Close to 70,000 people have arrived to Italy from Libya this year, compared to 56,000 in the same period of last year. Conflicts in Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria keep pushing people to crowded and unsafe boats on the Mediterranean.
Hosting 160 million migrants accounting for 66% of the world’s international migrants, G20 countries are at the centre of global migration, and many of them have seen a significant rise in migration recently. I commend the German Presidency for putting this high on the G20 agenda.
Many in host countries are quick to view migrants and refugees as a threat, fearing the burden they may impose on taxpayers, local values and cultures. In this atmosphere, it can be difficult to set out the facts and the evidence needed to inform a balanced public debate.
We must unite to tackle the challenges of migration in today’s globalised world. Our International Migration Outlook helps put the facts on the table, and offers some pointers for the way forward. Now we need to move to implementation.
United, we can tackle the challenges that arise with large movements of migrants and refugees. Together, we can improve our policies to unleash the potential of migrants. Migration is not a threat, it is a hope, the hope of the migrants and their family for a better life and for all of us for a more prosperous and harmonious world.