Second International Forum on Migration Statistics Calls for More Evidence-based Dialogue

Cairo – The second International Forum on Migration Statistics (IFMS) kicked off (19/01) in Cairo today. The Forum organized jointly by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) started on Sunday and has gathered more than 700 delegates from diverse backgrounds. It offers a unique space for dialogue, information-sharing and networking for a broad range of actors. The Forum is hosted by the Egyptian Government, which currently chairs the African Union (AU), under the auspices of the African Union.

Delegates from more than 90 countries representing national and regional authorities, NGOs, international agencies and the private sector, gathered in Cairo with the aim of building and strengthening migration data capacities around the world.

“We as experts, practitioners and decision-makers have a collective responsibility to ensure that reliable facts and robust evidence are not only produced but also used appropriately and intelligently to steer policy and programmes and to combat an often pervasive misinformation about migration,” said IOM DG Antonio Vitorino. “I have put migration data at the centre of my vision for IOM, and have committed to strengthening the Organization’s engagement in this area over the next years” he added.

Mr. Hamdy Luzza, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs inaugurated the forum on behalf of Mr. Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian Foreign Minister by stating: "Owning and relying on data in policy making is a key guarantee of proper international cooperation in the management and governance of human transport, and to enhance the contribution of migrants to development on a basis that respects their rights, respects legal frameworks and meets the needs of the international labour market, in addition to supporting the efforts of the international community to address the causes of migration such as conflict, economic and social crises and environmental decline.”

General Khairat Barakat, Head of the Central Authority for Public Mobilization and Statistics, noted: "This conference comes at an important and significant time, and the migration data constitutes a key segment of human resources, manpower information and cross-border groups. It also established controls for coordination between migration data producers to enable them to make the most of the data."

The three-day event at the InterContinental Citystars Hotel in Cairo features six plenary sessions and more than fifty parallel sessions.

IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) Director Frank Laczko, will speak at the closing plenary session on the next steps after the Forum. Other IOM representatives speaking at the Forum include Michele Klein Solomon, IOM Director of the Policy Hub and Marina Manke, IOM Head of Labour Mobility and Human Development Division.

The event is organized around six major thematic areas including measuring progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other global commitments as well as data innovation. Some of the sessions explore the potential of using “big data” to compliment the analysis of human mobility and migration flows as well as ways to address internal displacement through innovative monitoring tools.

The inaugural IFMS took place in January 2018 at the OECD Headquarters in Paris. IFMS aims to become a regular event which can foster discussions on global processes and enhance exchange between producers and users of migration data. The event is supported by partner organizations including ILO, UNHCR, UNODC, European Commission, UNFPA, and UNECE.

For more information, please contact Stylia Kampani at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), Tel: +491601791536, Email: skampani@iom.int or Omar Awwad at IOM Egypt, Tel: +20 1032 049 144 , Email: oawwad@iom.int