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High-level dialogue from October 3 to 4, 2013

On 3 and 4 October 2013 the second high-level dialogue on "International migration and development" was held on the sidelines of the 68th session of the General Assembly.

A declaration was adopted at the plenary session of the high-level dialogue. Several interactive roundtables were also held.

All delegations stressed the growth and the complexity of migration flows, the close link between migration and development, and the need to promote and strengthen the protection of migrants’ rights. As migration poses many challenges, the introduction of discussions on migration in the post -2015 agenda, the improvement of data collection and reporting data on migrants, as well as the establishment of a greater cooperation between states were solutions proposed by delegations.

France stressed the need to introduce migration issues in the post -2015 agenda and presented its renewed migration policies and its many partnerships.

46th Commission on Population and Development

The 46th Commission on Population and Development focused on the theme “New migration trends: demographic aspects” from 22 to 26 April 2013. With a year to go until the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Cairo conference, the commission concluded with the adoption of a resolution by consensus. This resolution notably includes several references to sexual and reproductive health as well as the reproductive rights of migrants, a key issue for France.

1. Présentation Retour à la table des matières

According to International Organization for Migration (IOM), any displacement between two different countries, or two different locations within the same country is called a migration. The concept of migration therefore includes all types of changes in dwelling place, regardless of the cause, nature or duration, and encompasses migration of working groups, refugees and displaced persons (due to a conflict or a natural disaster, for instance).

Migration is a structural feature of globalization; although it is an old phenomenon, migration has considerably increased since the end of the last century, to the extent that today approximately 3% of the world population is considered as migrant. Migration and development are closely linked, as with the flow of people necessarily come transfers of wealth and skills, which therefore constitute a factor of development for countries of origin and of destination.

The International Organization for Migration plays an important role in highlighting the positive links between migration and socio-economic development, in particular by encouraging governments to promote development-oriented migration policies.

2. UN institutional framework: where is the issue of migration and development handled? Retour à la table des matières

-  ECOSOC’s Commission on Population and Development

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is the UN’s main co-ordinating body for economic and social activities. Its objectives notably include finding solutions to international economic, social and health problems and promoting respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

ECOSOC is complemented by various types of subsidiary organs. One of these is the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) which acts as a technical commission. It is made up of 47 UN member states elected by ECOSOC for a period of 4 years, on the basis of geographic distribution.

The commission meets every spring in New York. It addresses various issues associated with development such as youth, health and the environment. The topic of migration is frequently addressed: within their international framework in 1997 and 2006, their urban framework in 2008 and in 2013, when the demographic consequences of the new migration trends were examined.

-  UN Population Division

The Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs supports the work of ECOSOC and the CPD on migration and development. It notably provides statistics and reports on this issue, follows migration policies, and monitors the implementation of the UN development agenda, while coordinating the various UN entities working on this issue.

-  International Organization for Migration (IOM): the migration agency

In 1951, France became one of the founding members of this organization, which at the time was called the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM). Mandated to help European governments identify resettlement countries for the estimated 11 million people uprooted by the war, it arranged transport for nearly a million migrants during the 1950s.

Although it’s not a UN specialized agency it does hold observer status and engages in an active partnership with the various agencies in the UN system. It currently has 149 member states and 12 observer states. It also works in collaboration with intergovernmental and non-governmental actors and has offices in more than 100 countries.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) believes that international migration - when properly managed - can contribute to the growth and prosperity of the countries of origin and destination, and benefit the migrants themselves.

It’s in this spirit that the IOM helps to address the growing challenge of managing migration flows, promote understanding of migration issues, promote economic and social development through migration and works to ensure respect for human dignity and the well-being of migrants. It encourages international cooperation in the field of migration and provides humanitarian assistance to migrants who need it, including refugees and internally displaced persons. It pays particular attention to the promotion and protection of the rights of migrants, notably focusing on access to healthcare, justice, and education in the migration context and ensuring that differences between men and women in the migration context are taken into consideration.

France plays an active role in the IOM’s activities by developing measures to promote family reunification and development projects led by migrants in their countries of origin. It is also involved in numerous projects such as programs to promote the integration of victims of human trafficking within the EU and to support the mobility of migrants affected by HIV.

For example, one of the partnerships between France and the IOM focuses on providing assistance to migrant women through an information, awareness-raising and support initiative (FEMISS). This pilot project, which was launched in 2011, aimed to help reduce the phenomena of inequality, violence and cultural and sexual discrimination. This 12-month program was introduced in Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis) among 3 groups of migrant women. The proposed activities aimed to promote the well-being, the psychosocial integration of migrant women and their access to rights. The activities involved information workshops and discussions led by cultural mediators from their community who spoke their language and were specialized in providing social support. These workshops were designed to be venues for sharing experiences and responding to information needs.

The efforts undertaken by the IOM focus on developing the positive relationship between migration and development. The programs and activities aim to encourage governments to promote development-oriented migration policies, through cross-cutting projects between the host countries and the migrants’ countries of origin. These involve addressing the root causes of economic migration (poverty, conflict), including the effects of environmental degradation. With this in mind, the IOM supports national development, and recovery and reconstruction efforts in developing countries, countries with economies in transition and those recovering from conflict, through the return and socio-economic reintegration of skilled and qualified nationals from abroad. Simplifying migrant remittance services in order to reduce costs and enhance the development impact is a key priority for the IOM and for France which made it one of its key issues when it held the G20 presidency in 2008.

3. France’s position on “Migration and development” Retour à la table des matières

There is consensus on the need to include migration issues in development planning (conclusions from the Global Forum on Migration and Development, UN reports, European policies) based on the recognition that developing countries can take full advantage of the resources made available through migration flows and minimize their negative impact (brain drain, drain on domestic and medical care resources (care drain), territorial disputes, etc.).

France’s national efforts are primarily aimed at strengthening the “mobility, migration and development” policies of partner states within their development strategies. They focus on the following key areas:
— Factors behind migration (economic, social, educational, cultural, environmental, health, etc.);
— Understanding the Diaspora (skills, geographical distribution);
— National and international issues associated with labor mobility;
— Maximizing the impact of migration (attractiveness and development of the region, lowering the costs of sending remittances and investment by the Diaspora, mobilization of expertise, support for economic development, labor and healthcare policies, etc.);

France’s migration and development policy works in synergy with the actions to consolidate local and national democratic governance and decentralization processes. France thereby works to enhance the contribution of migrants to territorial governance. Indeed, migrants help to strengthen the decentralization process by developing a culture of cooperation, by enhancing the local development expertise of local actors and by transferring standards of good governance. This contribution is central to numerous decentralized cooperation partnerships enabling the French local authorities to rely on the International Migrant Solidarity Organizations (OSIMs) present within their territory.

(October 2013)

4. Reference documents Retour à la table des matières

- 1st October 2013 - High-level dialogueon "International migration and development" - Declaration

- 21 December 2012 - General Assembly - Resolution A/RES/67/219

- 3 August 2012 - Report of the Secretary-General A/67/254

- 20 December 2010 - General Assembly - Resolution A/RES/65/170

- 2 August 2010 - Report of the Secretary-General A/65/203

- 19 December 2008 - General Assembly - Resolution A/RES/63/225

- 23 September 2008 - Report of the Secretary-General A/63/265

- 10 May 2006 - Commission on Population and Development - Resolution 2006/2

- 25 January 2006 - Rapport du Secrétaire général E/CN.9/2006/3 - World population monitoring, focusing on international migration and development

- 13 September 1994 - International Conference on Population and Development - Cairo - Program of Action

5. Useful links Retour à la table des matières

- The Economic and Social Council

- The Commission on Population and Development website

- The UN population division website

- The United Nations Population Fund website

- The International Organization for Migration website

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