ICN Congress 2017
Posted: Fri, May 26th 2017 at 11:01:44
Press Information   .   Communiqué de presse   .   Comunicado de prensa

“Migration is not a problem to be solved.
It is a human reality to be managed.”

Ambassador Swing addresses largest gathering
of international nurse leaders
Barcelona, Spain; Geneva, Switzerland, 26 May 2017 – Ambassador William Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), addressed a gathering national nursing associations from all over the world on one of the most pressing humanitarian issues of the moment – the topic of migrants, refugees, and displaced persons (MRDPs).

A few days before the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress – the world’s largest international nursing event  - kicks off in Barcelona, Spain, the ICN’s governing body, the Council of National Nursing Association Representatives (CNR), held their first day of official meetings, which included a special panel discussion on MRDPs made up of senior nurse leaders from the World Health Organization, the International Confederation of the Red Cross, and Dr Davide Mosca, IOM’s Director of Health Migration.  All the speakers emphasized the critical role of nurses at country level and the need for them to be involved in both preparation for and delivery of care for MRDPs.
“It is important to not understate the importance of nurses to the migration cycle, both as migrants themselves, and as first line health workforce responders to health needs of communities,” said Ambassador Swing.

“Nurses are the conscience of their country,” added Dr Frances Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of ICN.  “The vital role of associations is to bridge policy and practice.  The day-to-day reality that frontline nurses face is a crucial asset that must be put to use to inform good policy making, improving access to health services and quality care.
A passionate question and answer session with Ambassador Swing highlighted the real life, grassroots issues that nurses are witnessing in reference to MRDPs. Nurses from Greece, Lebanon and the Democratic Republic of Congo shared poignant stories as well as uplifting ones from Canada, illustrating the effects on health of the movement of people both in and out of their nations.
“The world at present is in disarray and finds itself in the middle of a perfect storm –the likes of which I have not witnessed over the course of my long life,” said Ambassador Swing, reinforcing the need to seek politically and socially sound solutions by addressing the drivers of migration and integrating the health question into political decisions to achieve ethical and sustainable framework, raising serious concerns about recruitment policies of migrant nurses.
Ambassador Swing also took the opportunity to welcome ICN’s recent application for observer status with IOM, making it the first health professional organisation to do so.  Over 260 nurses work for the IOM.
The CNR Policy Forum concluded with round tables of regional groups to discuss frontline issues in relation to MRDPs, looking particularly at the role of national nursing associations (NNAs) and the necessity to form coalitions to take immediate action, lobby for adequate resources and advocate for frontline health responders.
ICN has drafted a position statement on the subject of MRDPs which is currently under consultation with its members.
ICN’s Congresses are the world’s largest international events for nurses.  ICN 2017 in Barcelona, Spain explores nurses’ leading role in the transformation of care, with a particular focus on universal health coverage, the Sustainable Development Goals and human resources for health. The Congress provides opportunities for nurses to build relationships and to disseminate nursing knowledge and leadership across specialties, cultures and countries. Learn more here:
Note for Editors
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide. Operated by nurses and leading nursing internationally, ICN works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally.
For further information contact Lindsey Williamson at:
Tel: +41 22 908 0100
Fax: +41 22 908 0101

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