Michael

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Photo credit: UN /Pierre Albouy

1,145 kmfrom home
#iamamigrant
"When you grow up in the west, from a young age you are fed with preconceived ideas & stereotypes until you actually meet those ‘others’."
Michael
Occupation: 
Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
Current Country: 
Switzerland
Country of Origin: 
Denmark

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Michael Moller is the Director General of United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG). He describes himself as a perpetual migrant – He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has been moving since he was five years old.

“Home is where my pillow is.”

“I don’t miss anything about my home. I don’t miss places, I miss people. I miss friends and family whenever they’re not around, but I travel a lot and I still make sure to keep up with most of them whenever I can.”

“For me it is about getting to know the country where you move to, its people, its habits, and its customs. Seeing new places; making new friends understanding new cultures.”

“Moving is an adventure. For those who do it because they can, it is obviously a pleasant adventure. For those who do it because they must, it is not always the case. But it is always something that brings new surprises that broaden your horizon, which gives you new inputs and new things to think about, that enrich your life, particularly through the people that you meet during your journey.”

“Some time ago, I spent several months in China, to learn Chinese and about the country. When you grow up in the west, from a young age you are fed with preconceived ideas, stereotypes and prejudices about others around the world. When you actually meet those ‘others’, all of those prejudices and stereotypes fall apart and you realize you didn’t see these people for who they actually are. You also realize how similar they are to you.”

“In today’s world, the narrative about migrants and migration, refugees, asylum seekers is unnecessarily negative. The arrival of migrants into a society – wherever it is – is a positive thing both in terms of enriching local culture but also economically in most cases in the long term. In many parts of the world, particularly in developed economies where the birth rate is a negative one, migration is a necessity. There is great need to change the narrative and make it a positive one. All statistics show that migration is a good thing. ”

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s):

 

https://together.un.org            http://usaim.org/            https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org