Minister of Station for Justice and Equality David Stanton was in attendance as Waterford City & ounty Council, Waterford LCDC and partner agencies hosted the Waterford Migrant Integration Forum launch.
The launch took place at in The Garden Room, Waterford Medieval Museum of Treasures on Monday, February 4.
The forum was inspired by the changes in the population of Waterford over recent years, which shows an increase in people of different nationalities, ethnicities, languages, faiths and cultures living across the city and county.
This growing rich diversity offers both opportunities and challenges to Waterford City and County. The Forum comprises a wide range of migrant group representatives and will support the Council to lead the development of a Migrant Integration Plan for the City and County in 2019.
This work is a response to the requirements outlined in the National Migrant Integration Strategy: A Blueprint for the Future.
"We look forward to working with the forum in improving our services, appreciating cultural diversity and to achieving our goal of making Waterford the best possible place for those who live, work and choose to visit our county," Ivan Grimes, Director of Services Housing, Community and Emergency Services with Waterford Council said.
Speaking at the launch on Monday, Minister of State Stanton said: "What happens at the local level is critical to the success of integration. It is in the daily lives of migrants in communities across Ireland that the conditions for successful integration are created and sustained."
"No one knows this better than those of us who work with the communities at local level. I commend the leadership and initiative that Waterford City and County Council is taking, they are truly an example for all local authorities to follow."