Our President participated in the International Dialogue on Migration 2017 organised by the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) in New York.

The event gathers key migration actors  to strengthen international cooperation and migration governance on all levels – including the local level.

Somers, part of the panel on “Reaching a whole of government approach to migration: national and local perspectives”, spoke about his successful policies and views as Mayor of the city of Mechelen. For his inclusive policies and outstanding achievements in welcoming refugees; the long-term integration of immigrants from different cultures, religions and social backgrounds as well as his work on the European level as rapporteur in the European commission of the Regions on “Combatting Radicalisation and Violent Extremism: Prevention mechanism at local and regional level”, Somers was awarded the 2016 World Mayor Prize in February of this year.


His vast experience on different governmental levels contributed to the panel’s look at approaches to migration governance, reviewing various mechanisms in place in certain countries and how these work together, and focused on how to streamline governance at national and local level.

Prior to his panel discussion, Somers also spoke with representatives of the Belgium mission to the United Nations and with Antonio Parenti, Minister-Counsellor of the EU’s Delegation to the United Nations.

IOM’s two-day (18-19 April) International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) 2017 meeting has as theme “Strengthening International Cooperation on and Governance of Migration towards the Adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration in 2018”. The IDM meeting seeks participants’ recommendations on building coherence within and between the various levels of migration governance, promoting cooperation mechanisms on migration, and identifying concrete elements for a comprehensive global framework. For more information on the agenda and meeting documents: https://www.iom.int/idm-2017-global-compact-migration.