47th Session of the Commission on Population and Development: Assessment of the status of implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development

Published Date: 
Friday, April 11, 2014
Michele Klein Solomon, Permanent Observer to the United Nations

Mr. Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) welcomes the opportunity to take the floor today to address the 47 th session of the Commission on Population and Development dedicated to assessing the status of implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.

This theme is timely as it commemorates this historic event from 1994, and because this assessment provides the international community with useful information to take into account when considering the post-2015 development agenda.

The reports of the Secretary General for this session highlight migration as the heart of the ICPD Programme of Action with its chapters IX dedicated to internal migration and X dedicated to international migration. The report on “World Demographic Trends” reminds us that the 232 million international migrants encompass over 3% of the world’s population. Combined with UNDP’s estimates of 740 million internal migrants, nearly 1 billion people are on the move.

The report on the “Framework of action for the follow-up to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development beyond 2014” underscores migration as a key enabler for equitable, inclusive and sustainable social and economic development to the benefit of countries of origin and destination, as well as to the human development of migrant men, women and children.

To fully realize this potential, the human rights of all migrants must be respected, promoted, protected and fulfilled. Human development aspects of migration must be better reflected in relevant national and global development policies and initiatives, including in the post-2015 development agenda.

Mr. Chair,

The informal working group consisting of UN Special Representative for International Migration and Development, Mr. Peter Sutherland, several governments, IOM, UN agencies, academics and civil society has drafted a brief for the Open Working Group on “Why & How International Migration Should Be Included in the Global Partnership Goal of the Post-2015 United Nations Development Agenda”. Copies of this paper are made available in the back of the room.

Like the SG’s reports, this paper recognizes migration as one of the most powerful and immediate strategies for poverty reduction. Migration, when humane and orderly, has contributed significantly to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by raising incomes, funding investment in human capital (education and health care); supporting the creation of businesses and jobs; contributing to the transfer of knowledge, skills, and ideas; and promoting investments and trade flows between countries of origin and destination.

The number of international migrants is expected to rise from 232 million today to 300 million over the lifetime of the post-2015 development agenda. More importantly, the multiplier effects of migration affect hundreds of millions of people, beyond the migrants themselves.

Yet, despite its many positive contributions, the potential development gains from migration are ‘left on the table’ due to poor policies. However, by enhancing the quality of mobility, we can profoundly improve human development outcomes for migrants, their families, local communities, and states. The informal working group proposes a migration target “enhancing the benefits of migration for human development” under a “Global Partnership Goal,” combined with measurable indicators to track progress on reducing the costs of migration; expanding the portability of pensions and the recognition of qualifications; assisting and protecting victims of human trafficking; and providing third-country resettlement options for refugees.

Finally Mr. Chair,

At the UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development last October, UN member states called for integrating migration into the post-2015 agenda. Migration also has emerged strongly from the global consultations on the post-2015 agenda – as well as in the most recent sessions of the Open Working Group on SDGs - as an important enabler of social and economic development—if managed fairly and well. At the same time, migrants have emerged as a group of concern in the global discussion on inequality.

Migration is a reality that is here to stay and the question should now no longer be whether to include migration or not, but how to effectively manage migration in a safe, orderly and humane way that promotes human development and benefits for migrants and societies alike.

Thank you.