In order to mark the 2015 Human Rights Day and International Migrants Day, the Geneva Centre, in collaboration with Union des Nations pour l’Enseignement, la Science Universelle et les Droits de l’Homme, hosted a panel discussion on the migrant crisis currently affecting the Mediterranean region and the European continent more generally. The panel discussion, entitled The Current Migrant Crisis: an Aftermath of the Arab Spring?, took place on 11th December 2015, from 10:00 to 13:00, at Palais des Nations.

The discussion aimed to raise awareness and share experiences on the current migrant crisis, notably in the Mediterranean region and Europe, and to analyse the interrelation between security and international migrations. In this context, the debate focussed on international migration as a consequence of political instability and, particularly, as a possible side-effect of the Arab Spring. The debate also stimulated discussion on good practices and challenges ahead for the promotion and protection of migrants’ rights in host countries, as well as on practical measures to support human rights promotion and democracy building in potential migrant-sending countries.

On the podium, to address the audience from a professional perspective were: Mr. Hassan Abdel Moneim, Senior Regional Adviser for North Africa, The Middle East and the Gulf States at IOM; Mr. José Riera, Senior Advisor at UNHCR; Dr. Nasr Mohamed Arif, Advisor to the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development in the United Arab Emirates; Dr. Ibrahima Guissé, Senior Researcher at University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland HETS / HES-SO Genève; Mr. Nicolae Schiau, Journalist and Producer at Radio Télévision Suisse; and Mr. Christian Degiorgi, Chief Administrative Officer at UNESU.

“The current climate of insecurity caused by recent terrorist attacks, on the occasion of which several E.U. countries started to rethink their old migration policies aiming towards more control of their borders, brought to light even more the need for a constructive dialogue on concrete and effective responses to the migrant crisis.” – Stated H. E. Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim, Chairman of the Geneva Centre’s Board of Management, in his opening remarks. “It is time for the international community to work collectively and take a more proactive role in this situation, since its implications are no longer confined to one country or region. (…) There is a need for more support for human rights and democracy building in potential migrant sending countries. It is furthermore essential to create a united front in the interest of the effective management of the migration crisis, and to translate such crisis management plans into specific action, prioritising long-term and systemic solutions to the serious problem of irregular immigration rather than enforcing mandatory quotas”.

The Geneva Centre was proud to host such an important panel discussion, and hopes that this event will represent the basis for more action-oriented measures.


Please click here to read the full report.

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