48th Session of the Commission on Population and Development Agenda Item 5: The Contribution of Population and Development Issues to the Theme of the Annual Ministerial Review in 2015

Published Date: 
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Speaker: 
Lea Matheson, Deputy Permanent Observer to the United Nations

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Madame Chair, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

2015 is an important year for the international community, and raises fundamental questions – including for bodies like the Commission on Population and Development – about how to transition to a new sustainable development agenda. This a question that cannot be answered without recognizing the population dynamics that influence, and are influenced by, development.

One of those dynamics – international migration – is now well reflected in discussions at the international level. Chapter X of the ICPD Programme of Action was the first major inter-governmental document to highlight the varied interrelations between migration and development. The development needs of migrants, refugees and displaced persons meanwhile, have been the subject of some important discussions in recent years, including at the 2013 High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.

Migration has been included in a number of important ways in the proposal of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. IOM welcomes these references, and strongly urges the CPD to reiterate the importance of migration to Post-2015, and to promote its retention as part of the new agenda. We are pleased to already see a number of references to migrants and migration in the draft resolution for this Commission.

However, establishing a development framework that includes migration can only be the first step in achieving better results for people and societies. The answer to the question about what it will take to transition to the sustainable development goals lies in effective policy design and strong, ongoing political will. I note two points in this respect.

First, in the area of migration, we need to design and implement high-road policies for migration governance which see migration as a process to be managed rather than a problem to be solved, and which strive to expand the possibilities for people to realize their human development aspirations and potential through migration. The actions contained in the ICPD Programme of Action – such as to encourage cooperation and dialogue on migration; to ensure the social and economic integration of migrants; eliminate discriminatory practices against migrants; or to find and implement durable solutions to address situations of forced displacement, remain relevant, and could be built upon.

Second, how migrants and their families fare – whether in origin or host countries – is a key determinant of how well we are doing in development. Measuring progress in this area will therefore be an important element in transitioning to a framework of sustainable development goals that leaves no one behind. With its long history of assessing the status of implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, the Commission represents one of a number of important fora in which to measure progress in the area of migration, including in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The Commission should reflect on how the objectives and actions outlined in the ICPD Programme of Action can contribute to the new sustainable development agenda, how it can foster political will, and promote further action to enhance the benefits of migration for people and societies.

Madame Chair,

Let me close by assuring you that IOM is committed to providing leadership and support to the international community in realizing the full development potential of migration. We stand ready to help promote more orderly and humane mobility, and to monitor and implement high-road policies that can harness the positive potential of migration for development.

Thank you.