Date/Location : Tuesday, 25 June 2013 , ECOSOC Chamber
Speakers : Mr. Peter Sutherland (Special Representative to the Secretary General on International Migration and Development), Mr. Saqr Ghobash (Minister of Labour, UAE), Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko (African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs), Ambassador Eva Akerman Borje (Chair of the Global Forum on Migration and Development), and Stephano Manservisi (Director General, DG Home Affairs, European Commission).
Attended By: Alyssa Strasser, Candice Tang, Greg Swistel, Janice H. W. Wong, Norah L. Crossnohere, Marli Kasdan, and Iman Yashruti
Written By: Iman Yashruti
Through partnerships between governments, stakeholders, and the private sector, the positive impacts of migration should be utilized and enhanced. In many regions, it is believed that migration shows the failure of development policies; but, in reality, development benefits greatly from migration. Remittances are a prime example of the positive effects from migration. Remittances improve the chances for better health and education for families and children who have been left behind.
Migration is critical in achieving development goals including the prevention of infectious diseases and reduction of poverty. No other force (not trade nor capital flows) have the ability to transform lives like migration does. In order to maximize the positive impact of migration, there must be an improvement in policy coherence. In the recent Global Forum for Migration International Conference, it was widely agreed that the collection and sharing of reliable data is a prerequisite for having sound policies.
The Global Forum for Migration and development has been in place since 2007 and it is now a platform for governments and other stakeholders. More than 160 governments come together for regular meetings on the topic. To encourage development, there must be a mainstreaming of development policies and an agenda must be set.
Inclusive economic development must also be implemented further. Remittances cover the daily consumption needs of people, create a higher average income for workers and contribute to the eradication of poverty.
Empowerment of migrants (through social protection and insurance) also has positive effects on development. However, the significant downsides of migration should also be addressed. Governments must ensure further protection and empowerment of migrants and bring safe opportunities for migrants to further development.
The European Union takes the issue of development very seriously. 55% of development aid in the world comes from the EU. However, migration was never taken up as a specific Millennium Development Goals and the synergies between migration and development were not fully exploited. The EU believes they must invest fully in migration to unlock development potential.
Edited by : Wayne Dean Doyle