News — 17 September 2015

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.17

By Aygun Badalova, Elena Kosolapova – Trend:

The world is currently facing a number of serious challenges, and there has never been quite an array of what can be described as a ”perfect storm,” William Lacy Swing, director general of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), told “This Week in Focus.”

Appearing as the guest speaker on ‘This Week in Focus’ Trend’s web-tv program, Swing said that as a person who has been in diplomacy for about 50 years, he has never seen such a complex situation as the world currently is going through.

“We are in a period of unprecedented, simultaneous conflicts and humanitarian disasters,” he said and pointed out the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the conflicts in Yemen, Libya, the war in Somalia, South Sudan, Boko Haram terrorist organization in Nigeria, the Ebola virus in West Africa, and other problems, were all contributing to create one of the worst disasters.

“So, after a while, out of desperation, people started to look for a way out,” Swing added.

He said that sometimes, there is a need to focus people’s attention on the real issue, and a wake-up call can help those in need. Swing agreed that people often don’t do a better job in trying to prevent some of these conflicts or resolve them at earlier stage.

“I am not aware of any active negotiations or valuable political process that could offer any hope in resolving any of these conflicts in the short or medium term,” he added.

Swing believes that what is being done regarding public information, awareness raising is not enough to attract necessary attention to the mentioned issues and turn problem into opportunity.

Meanwhile, regarding Azerbaijan, Swing said has visited the country in early September and held a number of meetings here.

“My strategy is basically is seeking more partnership,” he said. “We have excellent relationship with the government and people of Azerbaijan.”

Touching upon the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he expressed hope for the peaceful outcome and for that those who had been displaced can be given their own rights.

More than a million Azerbaijanis have become refugees and IDPs as a result of the occupation of the country’s lands by Armenia. In order to resolve the social problems of these people, 5.1 billion Azerbaijani manats were allocated in the last 20 years, according to the country’s State Committee for Affairs of Refugees and IDPs.

“I think the [Azerbaijani] government is doing very good job in trying to help these people until the issue could be resolved,” he added.

You can follow the program on Twitter or Facebook. The program has its own channel onYoutube.

To learn more about the topic, check out the full episode below.

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