ANTANANARIVO – For the first time in recorded history, more than one hundred million people are displaced globally. Conflict, climate-fueled disasters, and extreme poverty will continue to force people from their homes, depriving them of dignity, livelihoods, and education. We have reached a defining moment in the global approach to migration.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Michele J. Sison and U.S. Candidate for Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Amy Pope traveled to Madagascar this week to learn more about the migration issues Madagascar is facing and to present the vision of Ms. Pope for the future of the Organization.
Sison and Pope met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Yvette Sylla and Minister of the Interior Justin Tokely to discuss ways IOM Member States like Madagascar meet both current and future challenges and promote the opportunities that can come from safe, orderly, and humane migration. Ms. Pope said, “I am grateful to the Government of Madagascar for inviting me here to discuss how IOM can better serve the needs of the most vulnerable people and how we can collectively build better solutions in the face of the climate crises. A strong partnership with IOM member states and their communities is key.”
IOM helps protects individuals and families who face challenges related to internal or international migration, and advocates for the rights of overseas workers. These forms of migration are important in Madagascar, where climate change has forced families to relocate to new regions and find new livelihoods, and some Malagasy people leave the country to live and work elsewhere in the world. As part of meetings here, Ms. Pope discussed her experience working with communities displaced by climate change and developing responses to migration challenges.
Assistant Secretary Sison highlighted the importance of the bilateral relationship between the United States and Madagascar: “The United States government’s partnership with Madagascar is vital to advancing our mutual interests on economic development, combatting food insecurity, and addressing the climate crisis, migration and global health challenges both bilaterally and multilaterally. We are also grateful for Madagascar’s important contributions to UN peacekeeping.”
Assistant Secretary Sison and Ms. Pope will meet with leaders of several African countries this month to discuss migration concerns. The official vote on the next Director General of the IOM is scheduled for May 15.
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