We should treat migrants the way we want our people to be treated - Ban
UN secretary general evokes Ireland’s longstanding history of emigration
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon has evoked Ireland’s longstanding history of emigration and recent past as a destination for migrants at a New York summit.
Speaking on the fringes of a UN summit on migration in New York, Mr Ban said that migrants can fulfil their own potential and contribute to societies when they feel safe and free of discrimination.
“The Irish people know this well, given their extraordinary history as a country of emigrants and more recently as a country of destination. We should treat migrants the way we would want our own people treated when they go abroad,” the UN secretary general said in remarks to The Irish Times.
Mr Ban said that many countries recognise the need for migrants to prosper economically but have not “reconciled” immigration laws to allow enough migrants to enter their countries safely and legally.
“This creates the conditions for traffickers and others to fill the gap-and they usually do so by exploiting migrants. We need to change this,” he said in response to questions emailed to his office.
Mr Ban praised his special representative for migration and development, Peter Sutherland, Ireland’s former EU commissioner and attorney general, saying that he has played “an important role in fostering cooperation on topics ranging from protecting migrants’ human rights to reducing the costs of migration.”
“He is also working closely with all involved in migration discussions so that the global community can benefit fully from what different parts of the United Nations system can offer in addressing the challenges and opportunities of migration,” said the head of the UN.
Yesterday, at the second High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development at the UN headquarters in New York, Mr Ban urged a UN-supported group to coordinate its efforts to promote work on migration and development.
“We should focus on practical steps that will bring the Global Migration Group closer to the people we serve,” he said.