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ICMPD Director General Michael Spindelegger attended the 3rd Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Türkiye

06 March 2024


On 01 - 03 March 2024, Mr. Michael Spindelegger attended the 3rd Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF) in Türkiye organised by the Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Forum 2024 was inaugurated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the President of Türkiye. It brought together over 4,700 participants from 148 countries to discuss pressing global issues under the theme "Think Together, Act Together." 

Throughout ADF 2024, energy geopolitics, global economy slow-down, challenges in the African communities, future of European security, challenges and opportunities in the Balkans, global peace and security, links among technology, science, and diplomacy as well as migration topics had been discussed.

Mr. Spindelegger engaged in a discussion with a distinguished group of experts on the topic of sustainable solutions for refugee issues in the panel titled Ongoing Challenges of Migration: Sustainable Policies organised within the context of the Forum 2024. Among the panellists, Raouf Mazou, Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, UNHCR; Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, Deputy Director General for Management and Reform, IOM; Nasser Kamel, Secretary General, Union for the Mediterranean, and Francisco Jose Coy Granados, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia discussed their respective their proposed solutions for creating a more sustainable approach to addressing global migration challenges. 

In his remarks, Mr. Spindelegger touched on the migration trends for 2024 and said “When we look at the recent trends, we see that conflict zones in the world are one of the main causes of mass movements of people. Also, the migration issue is another dominating topic in this year’s elections around the globe. We see that there are conflicts of ideas in the countries where elections will take place, and there are conflicts within the political parties regarding the refugee issue. It is not easy to find a quick solution to deal with this type of trend. We need to look deeper and find suitable solutions.”

To answer a question presented by the panel moderator regarding how equal responsibilities can be distributed among countries when it comes to finding sustainable solutions for refugees, Mr. Spindelegger replied, “We must use available opportunities. What are the new opportunities? In Europe, there is an aging population, as a result, there is a need for people coming to join the work forces to turn the wheels of the economy.  When people are part of the workforce, it also accelerates their integration process into their new communities. Now that there is an evident need in Europe, we must use this opportunity by finding legal pathways forged by agreements. This approach is quite promising as we see in our 20 Member States that they are much more willing to have migration partnerships in the future. I see that some member states already took the initiative of establishing bilateral migration partnerships which truly change the conditions for the better.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Spindelegger addressed a question from the audience about responsibility sharing between countries for migration management. He acknowledged that countries bordering conflict zones often bear the initial burden as refugees seek immediate protection. Mr. Spindelegger noted “What we see in Türkiye, hosting more than 4 million refugees is something remarkable. We are very grateful that Türkiye is hosting them and dealing with them in the right way.” He also noted that it is important to check the capacities of the countries that have been lifting the burden and, in response, to build solidarity mechanisms for these countries, through which they can access much-needed resources.