Statement by IOM on the Implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conferences on Human Settlements and on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

Published Date: 
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Chris Richter

AGENDA ITEM 21: Implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conferences on Human Settlements and on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
New York – 10 OCTOBER 2018


Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Human mobility has always played a fundamental role in urban development, and now more than ever migration is becoming a predominantly urban phenomenon. Cities have become the primary destinations for most migrants, and factors such as uneven economic growth, high levels of unemployment and climate change are expected to further intensify population shifts from rural to urban areas in the years to come.

The process of urbanization is being increasingly shaped by migration, and migration too is affected by what happens at the local level, as cities are the main intermediaries between migrants and host communities and local authorities are best placed to support migrants’ immediate needs and facilitate their access to basic services such as healthcare, housing and education.

In light of these strong links between migration and urbanization, IOM was very pleased to see that migration was included in the New Urban Agenda (NUA). By giving special attention to the challenges faced by migrants in urban areas and by being committed to “ensuring safe, orderly and regular migration through planned and well managed polices”, the NUA is extremely relevant to the migration discussions that are taking place at the global level.

It provides a platform on which to continue to build upon global commitments on urban migration, ensuring that migration and urban issues are jointly addressed in multilateral frameworks. IOM fully supports the Secretary-General’s assessment about the need to promote coherence and reinforce the complementarities and interlinkages between global development agendas, including at the urban level.

The anticipated adoption of the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (GCM) this coming December, offers a new test case of this complementarity. The GCM aims to improve migration governance at all levels and its implementation will require the contribution and active involvement of cities and local authorities, which are key actors in migration policy making and are on the front lines of efforts to promote integration and social cohesion.

Underscoring the dynamics between migration and cities is among IOM’s key priorities. IOM advises and supports Member States in establishing migration governance systems and practices, which include mechanisms to consult and support local authorities on migration issues. We support sub-national dialogue on migration through annual editions of the Global Mayoral Forum on Migration and Development, of which the next (fifth) edition will be held in Marrakesh on 8 December this year. We also look forward to the Mayoral Forum being integrated with the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), through the creation of a Mayoral Mechanism.

IOM is also helping to create an enabling environment for the implementation of the NUA at the local level by supporting cities’ engagement on migration issues through the Migration Governance Indicators (MGI). This tool was developed in partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and will provide local authorities with insights on policy measures that they can consider to better strengthen migration governance and achieve the migration-related targets of the NUA and the SDGs, especially SDG target 10.7.
We look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders, especially with UN Habitat, and offer our ongoing support in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

Thank you.