In the picture Mr. Antonio Polosa, IOM Chief of Mission.
By Roy Lie Atjam.
The Hague, on 13 February 2020, the International Organization for Migration (1951) the number one intergovernmental organization focusing on the welfare of migrants, held her annual reception. Guests from the Netherlands and beyond came to join the festive event.
The IOM Chief of Mission, Mr Antonio Polosa, cordially welcome his guest coming from different parts of The Netherlands and Belgium, and thank them for joining him in this annual event.
As expected Mr. Antonio Polosa, Chief of Mission at IOM Netherlands, presented his introductory remarks at the organization’s New Year’s Reception. A resume of Chief of Mission Mr Antonio Polosa follows.
“The theme of last International Migrants Day in December 2019 was Social Cohesion. We therefore chose to focus on this topic for this year’s New Year’s reception, in recognition not just of migrant’s role and contribution but also of the communities they form part of, in which they can and do flourish.
When speaking of migration, frequently, the debate falls into whether it is a good or a bad thing, focusing on the timely costs and precise contribution migrants make to our lives.
But to view migration as an accounting practice is to reduce it to a fraction of its whole. Migration is an evolving – often challenging – yet an integral part of our societies, enriching those in multiple, intangible as well as intangible ways.” explained Polosa.
“Far too often, we forget that migration and migrants are quietly already inherent part of our lives, their contributions woven into our daily interactions. “
The communities that thrive are those that embrace change and adjust to it. But communities cannot adapt alone. They need active and long term support from different stakeholders (such as governments, local authorities, civil society in the broader sense, and international organization such as IOM) whom may differ in modalities of approach and tools but not in the ultimate view of a well-managed migration positive influence in society.
Now, when looking back at 2019, we can say that our operational support to migrants has grown increasingly demanding. For example, our colleagues at the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration program are faced with complex health needs of our beneficiaries.
With this program we’ve assisted over 3000 beneficiaries in 2019. This number has only been achieved 7 other times since 1992, when IOM started the programme.
Besides the assistance to those returning migrants in different legal and /or vulnerable status, IOM’s The Netherland has also provided transport and other type of assistance to arrivals to the Netherlands and many more migrants/refuges transits via Schiphol Airport to destinations beyond NL by our Airport Unit. Overall almost 7000 people during last year.
For 2020 we envision increased responsibilities towards the fields of diaspora engagement and integration.”
As a concrete example of how migrants can contribute to social cohesion, IOM have invited as second speaker Dr. Niloufar Rahim, chair of the Afghan diaspora foundation KEIHAN who delivered an excellent expose.
Ms Niloufar Rahim came to the Netherlands with her family and studied medicine. Dr Rahim worked at Kabul University as a clinical skills trainer for Medical students.
In a broader cultural context, a 3-course buffet: Georgian, Italian and Thai concluded the fantastic evening.