The ICMC Governing Committee met to review work across ICMC’s Regions and to advance the work of serving more people on the move, better.
On 15-16 November, the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) held its 136th Governing Committee meeting in Rome, bringing together 14 elected regional representatives, the moderator of the Governing Committee and President of ICMC, Ms. Christine Nathan, and Father Fabio Baggio, Under-Secretary of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development as well as its Migrants and Refugees Section. Senior staff of the ICMC Secretariat in Geneva and the Secretary General of ICMC, Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, were also present as non-voting participants and observers to the meetings.
During the meetings, key issues were discussed and decisions were taken in conformity with organization’s 2022-26 Strategic Framework, which was officially endorsed by the ICMC Council, the organization’s highest governance structure, during its last meeting in June 2022. The ICMC Governing Committee includes members representing all the regions of the world appointed by the Council last June. The Governing Committee normally meets twice a year.
Msgr. Vitillo expressed his sincere thanks to the Committee members for the lively and fruitful participation from the group, whose knowledge and expertise on issues such as migration, refugees, and human trafficking, as well as on various countries’ contexts, is an invaluable resource for ICMC and its network. This is the first time that ICMC has had an in-person meeting of its high-level governance structures since the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe more than two years ago. Some participants still joined remotely, and the meetings were hosted by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
As part of the official business of the two-day meeting, the Governing Committee approved the externally audited budget for 2021, noted the current projected budget status for 2022, and approved the organization’s proposed budget for 2023. The General Secretariat was pleased to report to the Committee that it had ended the 2021 Fiscal Year with a positive balance and was planning the same for 2022. This is due to increased fundraising from to the U.S.-based fundraising team of ICMC, Inc., increased project funding with higher levels of ICMC humanitarian and resettlement projects in various countries, and decreased costs of the Secretariat in Geneva, which moved to smaller premises and decentralized certain key roles to reduce expenses.
On the Human Resources side, the Governing Committee appointed two Counsellors to support the group, as non-voting volunteers for the same term as the members of the Governing Committee from 2022-2026, when the next Governing Council meeting will be convened. The two counselors are Princess Nora of Liechtenstein and Mr. Edward J. Orzechowski, currently Chairman of the Board of Directors at ICMC Inc., the organization’s Boston-based fundraising office.
The Governing Committee also nominated Bishop Giorgio Bertin, Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu and President of Caritas Somalia, as ICMC’s Vice President and Father Jaison Vadassery, National Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI)’s Commission for Labor (which folds in all three of India’s Latin rite bishops’ conferences) and Executive Secretary to the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI)’s Commission for Migrants, as Secretary of ICMC. In addition, Ms. Florence Joigneault, who was the ad-interim Chair of the Audit-Finance Committee, was nominated to serve as ICMC’s interim Treasurer until that position can be filled in the near future.
The participants agreed that human trafficking in all its forms and ills must be given even greater priority as a global, worsening crisis. It goes hand-in-hand with skyrocketing migration and displacement worldwide, but the scale and severity of this destructive practice urges a Catholic organization like ICMC to use its voice to speak out for the most vulnerable, who go unheard in the din. In addition, the Governing Committee agreed to place greater emphasis to climate displacement.
Finally, all agreed that the work of ICMC should be given greater attention, including by the media and by its national member Bishops’ Conferences in all parts of the world. The Governing Committee committed to finding ways of sharing each member’s work more widely, and to promoting an awareness of ICMC as the global Catholic-inspired organization specially mandated to work with and for refugees, migrants, and displaced persons worldwide. In addition, ICMC has the unique mandate that allows it to be operational in all the places of the world where there is a need and a Catholic partner, always working in the spirit of subsidiarity in the Catholic tradition.
*Communications Officer, ICMC
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