UNA-NY Ambassador Series

The Future of International Cooperation on Migration

Permanent Representative of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
to the UN

Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN

Office of the President of the General Assembly

Permanent Observer of the International Organization for
Migration (IOM) to the UN

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

5:30 to 6:00 p.m. | Registration
6:00 to 7:00 p.m. | Discussion
7:00 to 8:00 p.m. | Reception

Co-sponsored by

Columbia University Club of New York
15 West 43rd Street
New York, New York



UNA Members: FREE
UNA Student Members: FREE
Guests and Non-Members: $15

Registration for this event is now CLOSED.

The crucial issues around global mobility involving millions of displaced people is taking center stage at the UN General Assembly in New York this September, as leaders from the 193 member states are converging for the first-ever Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants.

With more people forced to flee their homes than at any time since World War II, global leaders are approving a declaration aimed at providing a more coordinated and humane response to the refugee crisis that has strained resources and stoked divisions from Africa to Europe.

The scope of the problem is complex and daunting. According to the UN Refugee Agency, refugees are people forced to flee due to armed conflict or persecution, while migrants choose to move in search of a better life. Around the world, there are currently about 21.3 million refugees, 3.2 million asylum seekers, and 40.8 million migrants.

This year's September 19 summit on Refugees and Migrants was organized by the President of the General Assembly and facilitated by the Permanent Representatives of Jordan (Dina Kawar) and Ireland (David Donoghue). It led to the adoption by the UN General Assembly of a declaration with two annexes — Annex I: A Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework and Annex II, Towards a Global Framework for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. 

Also on September 19th, the International Organization on Migration (IOM) formally joined the UN as a related agency. It is hoped that integration of IOM will enable the organization to take on a strengthened policy role in the international system, through which it may work to improve cooperation on migration, and to drive forward the commitments outlined in the September 19th documents. 

Please join us for this special edition of the The Ambassador Series, which will feature a panel of guest ambassadors who orchestrated the September meeting, and who continue to play an active role in international migration and refugee policy. They will speak about the summit, what was achieved, and how it relates to international law and policy governing migration and refugees.

This event is co-sponsored by the Columbia Club of New York.


Ambassador Sima Sami Bahous has been appointed as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the United Nations in New York assuming her duties in September 2016. Prior to this nomination, she has served in ministerial posts in Jordan and in prominent Arab League and United Nations positions. She has a distinguished career in public service, politics, media and communication, development cooperation, and multilaterism.

From June 2012 till August 2016 Dr. Bahous served as the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States.

From 2008 to 2012, Dr. Bahous served as Assistant Secretary-General at the League of Arab States and headed the Social Development Sector.

From 2001-2008, Dr. Bahous served in two ministerial posts in Jordan: as Adviser to HM King Abdullah at the Royal Hashemite Court (2005-2006), and as President of the Higher Media Council (2006-2008). She also served as Media Advisor and Head of His Majesty King Abdullah's Media and Information Division at the Royal Hashemite Court (2001-2005).

Between 1986 and 2001 Dr. Bahous held various positions which included Executive Director of the King Hussein Foundation and the Noor Al Hussein Foundation, Professor of Development and Communication at Yarmouk University and Petra University, member of the Board of Trustees of a number of academic, media and NGO organizations, including the Jordan University for Science and Technology, Jordan Radio and Television Corporation, the Jordan River Foundation, the Higher Population Council and the Higher Commission for Women. She also worked in the fields of Development and Communication with a number of UN Organizations in Jordan and other Arab countries.

Dr. Bahous holds a Ph.D. in Communication and Development from Indiana University, USA; a Master of Arts in Literature and Drama from Essex University, UK; and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Jordan University. She is married and has one daughter.


Ambassador David Donoghue is Ireland's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. He took up this position in New York in September 2013.

Ambassador Donoghue acted as co-facilitator, with the Permanent Representative of Kenya, of the UN intergovernmental negotiations which in August 2015 reached an agreement on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. This agreement was formally adopted at a special summit of world leaders held at the UN in New York in September 2015. In February 2016, Ambassador Donoghue was appointed as co-facilitator, with the Permanent Representative of Jordan, for a high-level meeting on large movements of migrants and refugees which will take place at the UN in New York in September 2016. Negotiations on its outcome were successfully concluded in early August 2016.

The Ambassador, who is a career diplomat, entered Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs in 1975. He served in the Anglo-Irish Division, dealing with Northern Ireland and Anglo-Irish relations, where he would serve again on two further occasions. Adding in periods spent at the Irish Embassy in London (1988-91) and as head of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat in Belfast (1995-99), he spent a combined total of seventeen years working on the Northern Ireland problem and Anglo-Irish relations. He was closely involved in the negotiation of both the Anglo-Irish Agreement and the Good Friday Agreement.

From 1999 to 2001, he served as Irish Ambassador to the Russian Federation. In 2001, he became Director-General of the Irish Government's development cooperation programme (known as Irish Aid). From 2004 to 2006, he served as Irish Ambassador to Austria and the Vienna-based UN agencies. From 2006-2009, he was the Irish Ambassador to Germany. From 2009 to August 2013, he was the Political Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin (with overall responsibility for Irish foreign policy).


Kamal Amakrane was the Political Director in the Office of the President of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, overseeing political, peace & security affairs as well as human rights, humanitarian and legal issues.

Prior to working in Office of the President of the General Assembly, Kamal served as Chief of Staff of the United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire, where he advanced the coordination of UN's peacekeeping, political, electoral and rule of law engagements in the country (2013-2015), as well as directed UNOCI's Ebola response efforts.

Before taking up his appointment in Abidjan, Kamal led the Office of the UN-African Union Joint Special Representative for Darfur & Head of UNAMID, where he oversaw the crafting and execution of UNAMID's strategy for the protection of civilians in Darfur and assisted with the implementation of the Doha Peace Agreement (2011-2013). Previously, he served as Special Assistant to the UN Envoy to Myanmar, tasked to advance the democratic transition in Myanmar (2008-2011).

From 2007 to 2008, Kamal supported the UN's engagement towards the stabilization of Iraq, assisting with the negotiation and implementation of the International Compact with Iraq.  He was also part of the UN team working on the political transition in Iraq and tasked with organizing the country's first elections (2004-2007).  His international career began in the Office of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (2002), after which he joined the Office of Arab League's Secretary-General Amr Moussa, advising on Iraq issues (2003). In Morocco, Kamal worked on sustainable development and urban planning issues (1998-2001).

Kamal was elected to the Executive Board of Sciences Po Paris in 2002 & 2003, and was appointed Yale World Fellow in 2012. He is an Architect and a graduate of Sciences Po Paris and Columbia University. He speaks fluent Spanish, English, French, Arabic and Berber.


Ashraf El Nour is the Permanent Observer of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to the United Nations.

Mr El Nour began his career in 1988 at CARE International, serving as an Assistant Programme Coordinator for three years. In 1991, he went on to join IOM, first as Coordinator for Northern Iraq until 1993 and then as their Coordinator of Operations in Mozambique until 1995. Moving to the agency's headquarters in Geneva, he worked as Programmes Coordinator for Migration for Development and Technical Cooperation until 1998, when he became Regional Adviser for Africa and the Middle East until 2001.

After working as Senior Recovery Adviser at the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Geneva-based Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, Mr El Nour returned to IOM as Special Assistant with the Office of the Director General from 2006 to 2007. He then served in Kenya as Regional Representative for East and Central Africa, from 2007 to 2012, and as Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa from 2013 until his current appointment.

Born in Khartoum in 1963, Mr El Nour holds a master's degree in political science from Aligarh Muslim University in India.

DISCLAIMER: All ticket sales for events are final. Please remember that your purchase represents your commitment to attend an event — there will be NO refunds issued.

Note for New and Renewing UNA Members:
As processing time may vary for new memberships, new or renewing UNA members signing up for events should be sure to bring a payment transaction receipt when attending for validation.

NOTE: Only UNA-NY Members have preferred seating to our Ambassador Series events, and attend for free. Non-Members must purchase tickets in advance to guarantee their seats. As a reminder, events are often sold-out, so we strongly encourage membership with UNA-NY — and guarantee your free seats! Why not take advantage?