70th Session of the UN General Assembly Second Committee Agenda Item 20: Sustainable Development

Published Date: 
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Ashraf El Nour, Permanent Observer to the United Nations



Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the past two years, the international community has reached consensus on a number of significant and historical agreements related to sustainable development. The SAMOA Pathway document; the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Taken together, these outcomes represent the core framework to guide our efforts towards sustainable development over the coming years. Although these outcomes may have different origins and although they were negotiated through different tracks, they all share a common purpose and must be implemented in a coordinated way. 

Similarly, the agreements yet to be adopted – notably the outcome of the Paris Climate Conference – must complement and reinforce the commitments that have been made to date. In that regard, we call on governments to address and integrate the links between migration, environment and climate change into the Paris agreement. The frameworks adopted to date – including the 2030 Agenda – already recognise the multifaceted links between migration and development. For example, the 2030 Agenda and Addis Ababa Action Agenda both highlight the positive contribution of migrants for inclusive growth and sustainable development. The SAMOA Pathway and Sendai Framework highlight the need to address situations of displacement – particularly in the context of disasters – and to strengthen resilience, preparedness and response. 

By including migration in these new agendas, we challenge ourselves to address the causes and consequences of migration in a way that promotes dignified, orderly, and safe migration for the benefit of all. The Paris Agreement must similarly address these issues – recognizing their cross-cutting nature – to ensure mutually reinforcing and coherent outcomes. IOM believes that climate change will generate more migration and that now is the time to plan for that eventuality in order to mitigate possible negative impacts, reduce the need for future disaster response intervention and to maximize the positive potential of migration as an adaptation strategy.

Specifically, we are working to mainstream human mobility concerns in all the substantive pillars of the new agreement, including:

  • adaptation (including facilitated migration as a strategy for adapting to climate change);
  • loss and damage in relation to displacement;
  • mitigation and the impact of migration on environmental degradation;
  • financing (including possible financial transfers to developing countries vulnerable to climate change);
  • technological development and transfers (including diaspora contributions and investment); and
  • capacity-building to support the efforts of policymakers to address the many challenges of human mobility in the context of climate change.

IOM is committed to contributing to ambitious climate action and to helping societies adapt to existing and future climate change challenges. To that end, our focus is to contribute to the negotiations on the new climate change agreement expected to be adopted in December. We offer our support to governments in that respect. 

Thank you.