Press Release —Local December 18, 2022

IMD 2022: A Message From the Director General António Vitorino

DG

A message of IOM's Director General António Vitorino on International Migrants Day

This Migrants' Day I want us all to reflect. Reflect on what it truly means to be a migrants.

They are the people who have been a cornerstone of development and progress, who have enriched communities and societies since the dawn of time. And they are the same people who too often have suffered, been stranded, abused, exploited, and discriminated against.

Who among us has never dreamed of a better job? Or to travel and seek new opportunities, learn about different cultures, and to share their own? Who has never felt unsafe, or wanted to protect their family, and ensure their wellbeing?

Mobility is one of the most ancient expressions of humanity.

We can't let the politicization of migration, hostility and xenophobia towards migrants, and divisive narratives and hate speech divert us from the values that matter most:

Community.

Solidarity.

Tolerance.

Diversity.

People move for many reasons and in many ways. But, regardless of what compels people to move, their rights, their human dignity must be respected and their contributions must be acknowledged.

IOM is witness to the humanity of migration. Migrants are first and foremost people. They are loved ones, neighbours, and leaders.

We believe in the capacity of safe, orderly, and regular migration to transform societies, and the need to support those who migrate.

IOM staff work in some of the most challenging, and often dangerous environments. We are witness to moments of great need. We are also witness to the strength of communities that are under pressure. IOM staff are always guided by the best interest of the people we serve.

While there is always more work to be done, and of course, improvements to be made, I want to thank them today on International Migrants Day; their passionate dedication forms the backbone of this Organization.

We are proud to serve people on the move.

We are proud to be migrants.