WASHINGTON, April 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National League of Cities (NLC), the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), are partnering to promote the cohesive integration and successful civic engagement of migrants.
The successful integration of migrants ensures a more stable community and reduces crime and poverty, while maximizing the social and economic contribution migrant communities make to the life of the city.
Through NLC's Municipal Action for Immigrant Integration (MAII) program and the UNAOC and the IOM's Community on Migration and Integration: Building Inclusive Societies program (IBIS), the organizations will promote the exchange of ideas and best practices and combine outreach efforts to local elected officials and other city staff about the benefits of migrant integration. Additionally, the partnership will identify and promote good practices of migrant integration within local governments and disseminate international case studies and promote international and inter-city exchanges.
"NLC's Municipal Action for Immigrant Integration program is honored to begin its partnership with the United Nations and the International Organization on Migration in order to ensure more successful integration of migrants into the U.S. and foreign communities," said Ricardo Gambetta, NLC's Program Manager for Inclusive Communities. "We are very pleased to be working with the UN and IOM to encourage mutual respect and engagement between migrants and their new homes."
Among the various activities in the partnership, NLC, the UNAOC and the IOM will engage in information exchanges, hold joint education efforts and develop integration programs and learning materials. The organizations will also use webinars to bring national and international officials together for virtual city-to-city learning exchanges on successful integration practices and strategies for local success.
"The integration of immigrants in U.S. cities is an example of how urban spaces enable people of different cultures to interact and learn to live together. At the UNAOC, we encourage local governments to be more active on integration issues, and advocate that local know-how feeds into effective policy making at a national level. In this field, NLC has many great examples to bring to the rest of our IBIS community," said UNAOC Director Marc Scheuer.
"We are pleased with this partnership with NLC on the UNAOC and the IOM's Community on Migration and Integration," said Michele Klein Solomon, IOM's Permanent Observer to the UN. "This collaboration allows us to expand our profile of positive experiences of the integration of migrants around the world and highlight good practices."
About the National League of Cities
The National League of Cities is the nation's oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.
The Municipal Action for Immigrant Integration (MAII) project, part of NLC's Center for Research and Innovation, is made up of the NewCITYzen Naturalization Campaign, which highlights the benefits of naturalization, and the CITYzenship Community Initiative, which assists cities in developing an action plan for managing immigrant integration challenges, as well as defining a strategy to increase city government outreach in the immigrant community. The MAII project is supported by the Knight Foundation.
About the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
The UN Alliance of Civilization (UNAOC) was established in 2005, at the initiative of the Governments of Spain and Turkey, under the auspices of the United Nations. UNAOC is an initiative of the UN Secretary-General which aims to improve understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions, and to help counter the forces that fuel polarization and extremism. The UNAOC works in partnership with States, international and regional organizations, civil society groups, foundations, and the private sector to mobilize concerted efforts to promote cross-cultural relations among diverse nations and communities.
The UNAOC migration program of the UNAOC aims at reinforcing efforts to harmonize the coexistence between newcomers and host communities worldwide. This is seen as critical in improving social cohesion and intercultural relations, and in shifting popular perceptions of migration –from threat to opportunity.
About the International Organization on Migration
As the leading international organization in the field of migration, IOM works with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners to promote humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all.
Established in 1951, with 127 member states, a further 17 states holding observer status, and offices in more than 100 countries, IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people. IOM works in the four broad areas of migration management: Migration and development; Facilitating migration; Regulating migration; and Forced migration.