UNITAR Hosts Meeting with Dominican Republic Migration Institute Representatives

Director Rodriguez, Director Suazo and Ms. Perez (left to right)12 December 2016, New York, USA – In collaboration with the United States Department of State’s Office of International Visitors, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research’s (UNITAR) New York Office (NYO) hosted four representatives from the Dominican Republic’s Instituto Nacional de Migracion (National Institute of Migration). The representatives were part of the US Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The Program is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. The goal of the IVLP is to provide firsthand knowledge about U.S. society, culture, and politics, while cultivating lasting relationships. By connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts, IVLP fosters lasting relationships and helps strengthen U.S. engagement with countries around the world.

Mr. Marco Suazo, Director of UNITAR NYO, began by outlining the work of UNITAR more generally in terms of instruction courses and subjects covered here at United Nations Headquarters. He then delved into the specific work that UNITAR has undertaken in regard to migration and refugee issues, particularly in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals. He highlighted the UNITAR and Mission of Italy Preparatory Course on Migration held prior to the September Summit here in New York this year, and the close work that UNITAR does with both the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Special Representatives from the Secretariat such as Ms. Karen AbuZayd on the pertinent issue of migration.

His remarks were followed by a short presentation of the work done at the Instituto Nacional de Migracion, given by Ms. Florinda Rojas Rodriguez, the Director of the Institute. Director Rodriguez outlined the aspirations of the Institute to engage in capacity building efforts with UNITAR and the Organization of American States (OAS) in order for the Dominican Republic to emerge as a focal point for migration in its region. She also spoke about the prominence of their National School for Migration, and expressed a dFull group photo from meetingesire to work with UNITAR on means of instruction about important migration issues today. Additionally, she also outlined the need to engage at the global, state and local level in order to fully address many of the migration issues that face the Dominican Republic and its surrounding region currently.

Dr. Colleen Thouez, Senior Advisor to UNITAR, closed the meeting by addressing many of the questions that the participants had, as well as the key points within Director Rodriguez’s statement where there was potential for future collaboration between UNITAR and the Institute. Dr. Thouez stressed that UNITAR has historically focused on advising the policy side of issues, and would be happy to do so in this case as well, particularly with the National School for Migration in the Dominican Republic. She brought up the long history of collaboration between UNITAR and the International Organization for Migration, and how the preexisting training frameworks there could be useful to the School. Finally, she spoke about the 2018 Compact and how it recommends increased roles for regional organizations in solving migration issues, and how the Instituto Nacional de Migracion’s aspirations can relate to this. 

Thumbnail Photo Credit: Mark Garten, UN Photo

Photo Credit: UNITAR