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Mayor of Montréal meets with representatives of the International Organization for Migration

29 février 2016

New York, N. Y., le 29 février 2016 - At the invitation of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Mayor of Montréal, Denis Coderre, visited the United Nations Headquarters in New York to meet with representatives of this organization, as part of the IOM International Dialogue on Migration. In his presentation, Mayor Coderre emphasized the important role of cities when it comes to greeting and integrating newcomers, highlighted their economic, cultural and social contribution, and presented innovative initiatives implemented by the metropolis of Québec.

“I am very pleased to be in New York City today, because as the Director General of IOM, William Lacy Swing, recently said: “Mayors Get It!” In fact, greeting and integrating newcomers take place in cities. Contrary to popular belief, newcomers do not move from one country to another, but in most cases, from a location to a city. Therefore, cities must act quickly and efficiently to integrate newcomers in the first few days following their arrival. This does not happen alone, and the trend towards giving priority to programs aimed at social problems often makes us forget the programs that are meant to prevent them. Now for newcomers, prevention necessarily involves integration,” said Mayor Coderre.

The arrival of Syrian refugees accelerated Montréal's reflection process. This led to the creation of a unique structure, or newcomer integration office, adapted to the city's specific reality, which requires cohesion and coordination in the field, with the host community and through local organizations.

“Welcoming newcomers in cities must be supported by two principles. First, cities must build on initiatives focusing on integration, not on ensuing problems. Second, cities must develop tools to maintain the network of community organizations that work in the field on a daily basis and are available to newcomers throughout the entire integration process,” added Mayor Coderre.

About the International Organization for Migration

The International Organization for Migration, which was created in 1951, is the most important international organization involved in the field of migration. It works in close cooperation with partners of the international community (government and intergovernmental bodies, NGOs). With 127 Member States, 17 States having the observer status and offices in more than 100 countries, the IOM sets out the principle that migration that takes place in an orderly manner with respect for human dignity is beneficial for migrants and society. The IOM uses this framework to provide services and advice to governments and migrants.

About the IOM International Dialogue on Migration

The International Dialogue on Migration is the most important forum for dialogue on IOM migration policies. Created in 2001 and entrenched in the Constitution, it is open to Member and Observer States, international organizations and NGOs, migrants and media partners, as well as to the academic and private fields. The International Dialogue on Migration provides a forum to examine current and emerging issues involving migration governance and to share experiences, methods for action and effective practices.