Fifty-second session of the Commission on Population and Development

Published Date: 
Friday, April 5, 2019
Kieran Gorman-Best, Senior Policy and Liaison Officer

General Debate

Fifty-second session of the Commission on Population and Development

Statement by the

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

03 April, 2019. Conference Room 1, UN HQ New York


(a) Actions for the further implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development at the global, regional and national levels;

(b) Review and appraisal of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and its contribution to the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Madam Chair, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

As the United Nations Migration agency, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) would like to applaud the focus of the fifty-second session of the Commission, as well as the Secretary-General’s Reports that have been prepared for the session, particularly the references and recommendations made in the context of international migration.

IOM is pleased to reflect that at the last session of the Commission, States acknowledged the significance of migration as a global megatrend, and recognized that well-managed migration contributes to development and economic growth and the importance to uphold the human rights of migrants.

The potential benefits that migration offers for the achievement of the SDGs are immense. IThe conditions of migration, and in particular the extent to which all people can access safe and regular migration, ultimately determines the effectiveness of migration as a development strategy. Yet, in too many situations, the current state of governance and policy development and the lack of coherence with other policy domains is unfortunately leaving many migrants behind which undermines the potential social and economic benefits that migration could offer.

The 2030 Agenda cannot be achieved without due consideration of the migration dimensions. We also know that progress towards achieving the SDGs is itself critical to ensure that mobile populations are not left behind. In particularly, reaching the furthest behind first also requires that the health needs and realities of migrants are included in global efforts to achieve the health-related SDGs. Evidence-informed discussions are needed to better inform policy decisions towards policy coherence on migration and health at national and global levels.

Acknowledging the importance of migration health across all SDG targets lays the foundation for human rights and equity perspectives on the path towards promoting the health of migrants, as well as involvement of migrants, including health workers, as co-developers of health services and contributors to development.

Allow me to make several recommendations.

Firstly, a rights-based approached will ensure that no one is left behind. These ambitious goals can only be reached if greater efforts are made to address the vulnerability of all migrants. Vulnerability is a complex issue demanding greater understanding and better evidence to inform prevention and protection responses.

Secondly, the benefits of migration for development can only be realized with strong institutional frameworks, evidence- based policies and programming, and, clear objectives and a long-term perspective. We need to act now to make sure that our policies are fact-based, and not short-sighted, counterproductive and working at cross-purposes to broader development objectives.

Thirdly, there is an urgent need to improve the collection and use of migration data to enable the links between migration and sustainable development to be realized. We would like to also welcome the acknowledgement of national data systems strengthened to provide data disaggregated by key demographic characteristics.

Lastly, improved collaboration across the humanitarian development peace nexus is required to reach the furthest behind first. The New Way of Working will improve the scope for comprehensive and coherent responses bringing development programming into crisis contexts earlier. Oftentimes, transition and recovery programming will be key for creating conditions that are more conducive to development efforts.

In conclusion, migration remains a complex transboundary issue, requiring now more than ever, a need for greater cooperation at all levels – international, regional and bilateral – as no State can adequately address migration on its own.

I thank you, Chair.