Launching Event - IOM Egypt National Strategy 2021-2025

Date Published: 
Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Opening statement by Laurent de Boeck, Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to the Arab Republic of Egypt

Excellency Ambassador Neveen El Husseiny, Deputy Assistant Minister for Migration, Refugees and Combatting Human Trafficking, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

Excellency Ms. Elena Panova, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt,

Excellencies Ambassadors,

Representatives of the Government of Egypt,

Colleagues of the United Nations, civil society, media and partners,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

It is always a pleasure to feel seconded in our approach and vision, and to count you among those who accompany us in our plans and actions.

We are gathering today to look ahead to the future, for the next five years, on how my Organization, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), perceives migration and how migrants play a crucial role in shaping our societies, through an integral and holistic perspective, including the links to sustainable development, maximizing the benefits and opportunities of migration and reducing the challenges it poses to societies and migrants themselves.

IOM joined forces with the Government of Egypt to guarantee that migration governance is sustainable and impactful. It is a pleasure today to reiterate how much we appreciate the strong involvement with our various interlocutors in Egypt.

We do so for 30 years now. 2021 is the time for celebrating 30 years of strong partnership between the Arab Republic of Egypt and IOM. The collaboration has increasingly developed through years in different areas of migration governance, and the launching of our National Strategy today is the product of a joint strategic thinking, critical analysis, priorities management and above all a regular and constructive dialogue with all sectors of the society.

I should admit that we are closing the year 2020 with a kind of bitterness. You may recall that in early March 2020, we were announcing the results of the Year 2019 and launching our Annual Action Plan 2020. Some of you were with us at that time.

We had announced our engagement to move from Quantity to Quality, presenting to you how IOM Egypt sees its obligations to continue serving more and more people in need, in a better, more qualitative and people-centered way.

I must acknowledge the difficulties we went through, when few days later, on 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global pandemic, a situation forcing States to take measures which impacted societies, economies and social wellbeing. Our Annual Plan was reviewed at the light of this new context.

We certainly kept our strong wish to serve more and better and developed late March 2020 the IOM Egypt COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, which was integrated into our annual actions for the year. We faced challenges, like everyone did, but I believe, we succeeded to pursue our goals of serving those in need, leaving no one behind, in a different but still impactful approach. 

My colleague Naiera Elleithy will present you our achievements during this peculiar year 2020. It will highlight how, in this new context, we continued serving and acting for ensuring a healthy, both physical and mental, society for Egyptians and migrants in Egypt, adding new services and increasing our footprint to serve everyone everywhere.

Allow me to take this opportunity to commend the motivation and the stimulation of my staff, the Doctors and Nurses, the Protection Officers, the Job Creation Specialists, and all others, who continued coming to the Office and reaching out migrants and their host communities, days and nights, weekends included, to serve the people in need. Thank you, Colleagues.

2020 was also the last year which closed the lifespan of our previous National Strategy ending a passionate engagement with the Government and more than 200 partners in the entire country. It is on this basis and the impressive results that we could develop our 2021-2025 Strategy for Egypt.

Our approach reflects our Director General’s Strategic Vision, presented to the Member States during the IOM 2019 Council in Geneva. The Vision articulates how IOM plans to meet its responsibilities, including the supportive role of the Organization in the framework of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), adopted in 2018. Our approach also is enshrined within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, where we believe human mobility be indivisible from sustainable development. It also fully accompanies the Vision 2030 of the Government of Egypt.

I want to say that I am particularly lucky and honored, and I enjoy, to work in Egypt in this framework. The 2030 Agenda promotes amongst its guiding principles the adoption of a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach.

I want to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our immediate interlocutor on migration, as well as all line Ministries, National Committees and Councils, civil society, private sector, media, community-based organizations, migrant leaders, for working with us in this exact guiding principle of whole-of-society.

It is in Egypt I believe that I can best affirm: the more gratitude in a society, the better it performs. The commitment to leave no one behind and to reach the furthest behind – would not be achieved without the due consideration for migrants by all our partners.

My colleague Marwa Mostafa will present you today our National Strategy for the years 2021-2025. It is the result of a strong partnership and dialogue on all dimensions of migration, boosting the positive role of migrants in a society.

This Strategy will not be feasible without your involvement, at personal and institutional level. It is only together that we can ultimately leverage the potential of migrants and migration through a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to achieve sustainable development outcomes for the whole community.

I hope that the Vision it gives sets out the ‘direction of travel’ for all of us and is enough forward looking to encourage ‘joined up thinking’.

I look forward to 30 new years of renewed partnership and engagement in Egypt and thank you all for your presence and restless support.