Excerpts taken from the speech of the Director General of IOM – Ambassador William Lacy Swing

Launch of Guyana Diaspora (GUYD) Project, September 2012, in New York

May I begin by heartily congratulating the Government of Guyana for having taken the decision to explore innovative ways to identify and engage the Guyana Diaspora in the development of Guyana. Migration and development is of great strategic importance for IOM, and diaspora engagement is a vital part of this process.

This project is a landmark step forward for the country in knowing and engaging the diaspora and their abilities. For many countries diaspora have made impressive contributions to development, including remittances, transferable skills, and networks integral to the development of a modern, knowledge based economy.

The Government of Guyana has recognized that working with the diaspora on development requires a sustained effort and strategy that includes mapping the diaspora and their skills. This is what the Government of Guyana has embarked upon through this project.

IOM remains committed to supporting this process in Guyana to promote migration for the benefit of all, but diaspora participation is the key towards further developing this project and seeing it bear fruit.