Migrants’ Contributions to Cities


Side Event to Global Compact on Migration Thematic Session Four

Organized by the Governments of Belgium and Ecuador

Co-hosted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UN-Habitat

1.15 – 2.30 pm, 25 July, 2017 – UNHQ New York, Conference Room 5




In many countries, migration contributes to poverty reduction and enhanced human development by bringing significant social, economic and cultural benefits to cities and local communities. When well-managed, migration spurs economic growth, creates businesses and jobs, fills crucial labour and skills gaps, expands tax bases, contributes to social security schemes and promotes trade, investment and innovation.

Increasing migration to cities does not take place without challenges. Population growth in cities poses a great deal of pressure on infrastructure, the environment and the social fabric of the city. The pace of urbanization can disproportionately affect the capacity of national and local governments of low-income nations to cope. However, the potential benefits are significant if governments at all levels can harness and promote them to improve the quality of life in their cities.

Key discussion points:

  • How the contributions of migrants to their host cities, including but not limited to employment, social, and cultural fields, can be better utilized.
  • Explore the role of local governments in enhancing the developmental impacts of migration, including policies to promote integration and inclusion for migrants, as part of broader multi-level migration governance framework

The event is part of the preparations for the Global Conference on Cities and Migrants (16-17 November 2017), hosted by the Belgian Federal Government and the City of Mechelen and organized by UN-Habitat, IOM and UCLG. The intent is to develop the city perspective in the follow up to Habitat III and towards the Global Compact on Migration (for more information ipopp@iom.int and decorte@un.org )

Opening Remarks by Ambassador Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, Permanent Representative of Belgium
Closing Remarks by Ambassador Horacio Sevilla Borja, Permanent Representative of Ecuador

Moderator: Mr. Ashraf El Nour, Director, IOM Office to the UN


  • Michel Lastschenko, Special Envoy Asylum and Migration, Federal Government of Belgium 
  • Aisa Kacyira, Deputy Executive Director, UN-Habitat 
  • Jill Helke, Director, International Cooperation and Partnerships Division, IOM
  • Mayor of Ottawa, Canada [TBC] 
  • Commissioner, Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, New York City, USA [TBC]

Download the Concept Note.

RSVP to rsvpnewyork@iom.int

Event Date: 
Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 13:15 to 14:30