WYA Hosts Summer Lecture on Migration and Development

The World Youth Alliance community in New York gathered for an evening talk on Migration and Development. WYA also hosted the International Solidarity Forum this year under the same theme because it’s WYA’s global theme. Four speakers delivered presentations about forced migration, economic aspects of migration, responsibility sharing, and person centered approach to migration.

Mehreen Afzal, a Senior Program Officer at the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, gave a specific focus on the follow up to the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants and presented UNHCR’s work and recent priorities. She also presented the forced migration problem and ways to respond to it.

Ms. Vincenzina Santoro, an international economist, talked about the economic aspects of migration around the world. She is the former Vice President and economist of JP Morgan and Co. and she currently represents the American Family Association of New York at the United Nations. Ms. Santoro highlighted the important contribution of migrants to the economy. She noted that about 70% of software engineers in Silicon Valley are foreigners and more than one-fourth of medical practitioners in the UK are foreign born. She referred to this as talent migration.

Rachel Reyes, Director of Communications at the Center for Migration Studies New York, presented about responsibility-sharing in the context of large movements of migrants and refugees around the world. Rachel’s migration and refugee work included: drafting motions and organizing high-level conferences with the Committee on Migration, Refugees, and Population at the Council of Europe. Ms. Reyes presented an overview of the International Migration Policy review and recommendations of actions for migration challenges in different regions around the world.

Timothy Herrmann, a permanent staff member of the Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, holding the diplomatic title of attaché, presented person-centered policies and programs on migration. Mr. Herrmann gave the points like the right to migrate and the right to remain, and that prudence is needed in seeing the other as something good for us. Currently, his work portfolio for the Holy See at the United Nations includes human rights and economic development, including migration.

WYA wishes to thank the all the speakers and attendees who joined the talk.