21 Nov 2017

Conference stresses role of migration in sustainable development

Professor Thomas Cottier and researcher Rosa Losada represented the World Trade Institute at a conference on migration and development held in Bern on 10 November.

The conference attended by more than 90 participants, including academics and representatives of NGOs, called for the rights of migrants to be respected, and urged Switzerland to play a greater role in ensuring their protection at the global level.

The 80 civil society organisations represented agreed that the positive aspects of migration needed to be highlighted in the public debate. Migration contributes to sustainable development, both in the country of origin and in the country of destination, they argued.

In his introductory remarks, the mayor of Bern, Alec von Graffenried, described migration as “the oxygen of society”.  Migrants play a role in the development of society at the local as well as the global level, he said.

Professor Cottier gave a keynote speech on ‘Migration as a common concern for mankind – exploring a global phenomenon’ while Rosa Losada moderated the panel discussion.

The conference was organised by the Swiss Civil Society Platform on Migration and Development (mdplatform.ch), which has a strategic partnership with the WTI.