The Director General of International Organization for Migration (IOM) Ambassador William Lacy Swing commended Sri Lanka’s dynamic leadership in Migration in connection with the important role played by Sri Lanka as the current chair of the Colombo Process. In particular Ambassador Swing highlighted the development of the five thematic areas ; Skills and Qualification Recognition, Ethical Recruitment, Pre-departure Orientation, Remittances and Labour Market Trends, under Sri Lanka’s chair of the Colombo Process.
Congratulating Sri Lanka on assuming the Chair of Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) in January 2017, Ambassador Swing said he looks forward to participating in the ADD Ministerial Meeting in January 2017. He also congratulated Sri Lanka on the Second Global Consultation on Migrant Health in Colombo, scheduled from 21-23 February 2017 and appreciated IOM’s collaboration with Sri Lanka.
Ambassador Swing made these observations in response to the Statement delivered by Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha during the General Debate of the 107th IOM Council, which concluded in Geneva last Thursday.
Ambassador Aryasinha in his statement had congratulated the IOM on its 65th anniversary and on the formal entry of the IOM to the United Nations system as a "related organization". He had noted the need to utilize the existing frameworks at regional and inter-governmental level such as regional consultative processes and the GFMD in developing the Global Compact on Migration envisaged under the New York Declaration on “Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants” by year 2018. Ambassador Aryasinha had emphasized the need for a proper assessment of the available mechanisms and how the elements in the Global Compact related to existing commitments in migration.
On the national context, Ambassador Aryasinha had noted the several measures taken by the Government of Sri Lanka in tackling challenges of migration including those related to irregular migration such as human trafficking as well as the measures taken to ensure the welfare of the families of the Sri Lankan migrants including programmes for migrant protection and education of the children of migrant workers.
Ambassador Aryasinha also delivered the Joint Statement of G-15, a Summit Level Group of Developing Countries on South-South Cooperation, currently chaired by Sri Lanka.