69th Session of the UN General Assembly Agenda Item 23: Eradication of Poverty and other Development Issues

Published Date: 
Monday, October 20, 2014
Speaker: 
Michele Klein Solomon, Permanent Observer to the United Nations

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

The Secretary-General’s report on the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty makes clear that in order to make further progress to eradicate poverty, the international community must adopt a more balanced and inclusive approach at national and international levels.

For the International Organization for Migration (IOM), inclusiveness is a vital aspect of poverty eradication and should be a central pillar of our efforts in this regard.

We say this because a lack of inclusiveness is often a primary barrier to migrants, including refugees and internally displaced people, improving their development outcomes. This lack of inclusiveness – which is often manifested through discrimination, xenophobia and poorly designed or restrictive migration policies – also undermine the extent to which migrants, including refugees and IDPs can contribute fully to society.

The policy priorities outlined in the Secretary-General’s report – promoting inclusive and job-rich growth, establishing social protection floors and investments in human development, and strengthening labour market policies – can only be fully successful if they are based on an inclusive approach that promotes the social and economic inclusion and empowerment of marginalized groups and people in vulnerable situations, including many migrants.

These are vitally important lessons for us, and should be at the forefront of our discussions on the post-2015 UN Development Agenda. Already, the report of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals has taken to heart the idea that the new development agenda should leave no one behind. It reiterates the promise of Rio + 20 to strive for a world that is just, equitable and inclusive.

But we must ensure that we give effect to those ambitious words through effective policies and programmes. There are many things we can do in that respect:

First, targets and indicators addressing issues such as universal access to healthcare and to quality education, or on implementing nationally appropriate social protection systems for all, must be disaggregated to ensure that all migrants – irrespective of migration status –, can benefit.

As the Secretary-General’s report highlights, development policies that provide universal access to health care, education and social protection are shown to produce healthier and more productive populations and more equitable societies. As important members of our populations and societies, migrants must therefore be given the opportunity to build on and utilize their human potential along with all other members of society.

Second, we should include measures in the post-2015 agenda that maximise the development potential of migration and help reduce poverty, including in the areas outlined in the Secretary-General’s report. For example, targets on facilitating orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration, or on protecting labour rights, including for migrants, could be given effect through policies to promote skills recognition and portability of social security benefits, and to reduce labour recruitment costs and remittance transfer fees.

Policies of this nature would ensure inclusiveness so no one is left out of the new development agenda.

Mr. Chair,

We hope that the Second Committee, and through it the General Assembly, will continue to recognise that migration is a key factor in poverty eradication, and that it will build on the ambition in the Declaration adopted at the 2013 High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, reflected in the OWG’s report, that human mobility should be adequately considered in the elaboration of the Post-2015 Agenda.