Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something

On 24 November 2015, the Swiss Refugee Council met with the United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson, a Swedish national with a wide range of experiences in humanitarian and refugee work. The meeting served as a discussion on current challenges in the asylum and migration discussion.

On 24 November 2015, the Swiss Refugee Council met with the United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson, a Swedish national with a wide range of experiences in humanitarian and refugee work. Mr. Eliasson is the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, previously he was a high ranking diplomat for his home country and has inter alia served as minister of Foreign Affairs. In the course of his visit to Switzerland he spoke at the Demokratie Forum and also met with Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter on 26 November 2015.

The meeting served as a discussion on current challenges in the asylum and migration discussion and focused on the Swiss and the European situation in the global migration discourse. The participants concluded that there is a common understanding of the challenges within the migration discussion. The discussions were fruitful and inspiring.

One of the conclusions was that it would be first and foremost essential to try to change the negative rhetoric and narrative around migration in the Swiss, European and international context where migration is always presented as a problem and not as a normal phenomenon, which is actually enriching and positive as it triggers creativeness and new solutions and is the only chance for peaceful exchanges. The necessary link between the asylum and the migration discussion was also stressed and the participants concluded that a wide range and outreach of actions on different levels (global, regional, national, cantonal and communal) is the only possibility to counter the negative narrative and its influence on policy and politics. The DSG concluded: «Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something.»