Special Representative for International Migration

Special Representative for International Migration Louise Arbour

United Nations Special Representative for International Migration Louise Arbour

The Special Representative Louise Arbour leads the follow-up to the migration-related aspects of the 19 September 2016 High-level Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Louise Arbour of Canada as his Special Representative for International Migration on 9 March 2017.

Ms. Arbour is responsible for leading the follow-up to the migration-related aspects of the 19 September 2016 High-level Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants. Ms. Arbour is working with Member States, in partnership with other stakeholders, as they develop a first-ever global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration, and will serve the Secretary General of the Conference which will adopt the negotiated Global Compact in the fall of 2018. She also leads United Nations advocacy efforts on international migration, provides policy advice and coordinates the engagement of United Nations entities on migration issues, particularly in implementing the migration-related components of the New York Declaration. 

Ms. Arbour has a long and distinguished career in international affairs. She previously served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and as Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. She is a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. From 2009 to 2014, Ms. Arbour was President and CEO of the International Crisis Group.

On 6 April 2017 Ms. Arbour was also appointed as the Secretary-General of the intergovernmental conference on international migration to be held in 2018.

To note previous related senior leadership appointments include:

  • Peter Sutherland of Ireland,  who served as Special Representative on Migration for more than 11 years from January 2006;
  • Karen AbuZayd of the United States, who served as Special Adviser on the Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants from January to October 2016.;
  • Izumi Nakamitsu of Japan, who served as Special Adviser ad interim on the follow-up to the Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants from November 2016 to February 2017.