On 26 and 27 of October, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized a conference on Migrants and Cities in Geneva, in which mayors, ministers and senior officials came together for the first time in a global policy forum to discuss the complex dynamics of human mobility in cities.
UCLG was represented by Hubert Julien Laferrière, Mayor of the 9th District of Lyon, along with a representative of the World Secretariat. Lyon is one of the cities participating in the project “Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Profiles and Dialogue”, which is being implemented by the UCLG World Secretariat with ICMPD and UN-Habitat.
Mayor Julien-Laferrière emphasized the importance of technical assistance to cities in the implementation of local policies related to the inclusion and integration of migrants. He highlighted UCLG’s the Mediterranean City-to-City project as a strong example of such assistance.
Julien-Laferrière also highlighted that migrants are a force for transnationalism, linking up their cities with their territories of origin. He added that local authorities should build on this opportunity to develop and implement positive institutional, social and economic cooperation policies. Finally, he stressed the need for a genuine common EU migration policy to better manage migration challenges at local level.
Most of the panellists underlined the crucial role of cities in migration, pointing out that, while ambitious global policies can be formulated, it is cities and mayors who must implement them.
The conference also saw the launch of the IOM’s flagship World Migration Report 2015 – “Migrants and Cities: New Partnerships to Manage Mobility”. The report focuses on how migration and migrants are shaping cities and how the life of migrants is shaped by cities, their people, organizations and rules. The Report can be downloaded here in English, French and Spanish.