Geneva, Switzerland

1 December 2011

Secretary-General's video message to the Global Forum on Migration and Development

Simonetta Sommaruga, Federal Counsellor, Eduard Gnesa, Global Forum Chair, Ali Mansoor, 2012's Global Forum Chair, Peter Sutherland, My Special Representative on Migration, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to greet this important forum.

You meet at a crucial time.

A look at the headlines shows how migration is shaping our world.

Even in this weak global economy, migrants continue contributing to their home States.

Remittances are even higher than foreign direct investment in many developing countries.

But too many migrants face exclusion, discrimination and violence.

The recent fighting in North Africa showed how vulnerable migrants can be.

I count on this Global Forum to find ways to leverage migration for the common good.

We can help migrants move safely and legally. We can protect their rights. We can encourage their contributions to the countries that they left, and the countries where they live.

This Forum has already made a difference. You have advanced initiatives aimed at reducing the cost of remittance transfers, empowering migrants, and making it possible for them to eventually return home.

Now is the time to build on these achievements so we can make the most of the High-Level Dialogue in 2013.

Millions of migrants are bold and courageous in their search for a better life. I hope you will be equally brave in finding ways to make migration work for development.

For the sake of our collective future, I wish you great success.

Thank you.