ArmInfo.The Aurora Dialogues, "Millions on the Move: Need for Development and Integration," was held this week on December 4th and 5th in Berlin
A key focus of the conference was global migration and the vast scale of the issue. There are 65 million people who have fled their home countries, and another 700 million people worldwide who would consider migrating if they had the chance. These numbers don't include the populations typically excluded from the public debate on migration, such as internally displaced people (IDPs) or the more than 200 million people living with the threat of displacement due to climate change and its effects by 2050. "We have to overcome the gap between perceived emotions and real facts," said Rita Sussmuth, former president of the German Bundestag. Dr. Ingrid Hamm, founder of the Global Perspectives Initiative also commented, "We need to adjust our way of thinking to be far more global. When it comes to topics of migration and reasons for flight, there remains a huge lack of information, as well as an increasing need for a stronger dialogue between Africa and Europe."
Speakers also criticized the EU for the lack of cooperation on the regional level in tackling the refugee crisis and insufficient action to establish coordinated processes for handling the issue, arguing that several key European states are not recognizing the reality and scale of the situation.
Dialogues participants agreed that clear governance is a basic prerequisite for success in migration and integration. Rita Sussmuth noted, "Clearer governance regarding migration is the key to fighting xenophobia. Germany is missing an official immigration law - this would increase clarity, ensuring an easier, more coordinated process."
Experts highlighted the need for improved coordination between public and private initiatives, with the private sector working as an accelerator and catalyst for growth, and the public sector overseeing projects on a larger scale.
Dialogues participants concluded the conversations noting that immediate action and additional conversations are of the utmost importance in addressing the longstanding migration crisis.
In accordance with the spirit of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, the Aurora Dialogues offer a platform to experts and engaged personalities striving to find solutions to the most pressing global challenges. Now in its third year, the Dialogues foster an intellectual and interdisciplinary exchange to encourage learning from the past to better inform the decisions of the present, thereby giving way to a better future.
The Aurora Dialogues Berlin welcomed key figures such as the former Chair of the Council of the German Protestant Church, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Huber; former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson; UNICEF's regional director for Middle East and North Africa, Geert Cappelaere; the German Chancellor's Personal Representative for Africa, Gunter Nooke; the Head of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, Christof Bosch; and Nobel Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee, among several others.
The conference, held in the Robert Bosch Stiftung Auditorium in Berlin, and was organized in partnership by the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, Global Perspectives Initiative and Robert Bosch Stiftung, with the help of Stiftung Mercator.
Founded on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative seeks to empower modern-day saviors to offer life and hope to those in urgent need of basic humanitarian aid and thus continue the cycle of giving internationally. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is Gratitude in Action. It is an eight-year commitment (2015 to 2023, in remembrance of the eight years of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1923) to support people and promote projects that tackle the needs of the most helpless and destitute, and do so at great risk. This is achieved through the Initiative's various programs: The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, the Aurora Dialogues, the Aurora Humanitarian Index, the Gratitude Projects and the 100 LIVES Initiative. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is the vision of philanthropists Vartan Gregorian, Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan who have, already in the second year, been joined by several dozen new donors and partners. The Initiative welcomes all who embrace a commitment to our shared humanity.
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is represented by three organizations - Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Foundation, Inc. (New York, USA), the 100 Lives Foundation (Geneva, Switzerland) and the IDeA Foundation (Yerevan, Armenia).