High-Level Debate on International Migration and Development

Meeting​: General Assembly: High-Level Debate on International Migration and Development

Date/Location​: Wednesday February 27, 2019; 10:00 to 12:00; Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers​: President of the GA, Panel Moderator, Vice Minister for Human Mobility in Ecuador,  Representative of Rwanda, Director General of the IOM, Civil Society Chair on the Global Forum of Migration and Development for 2018, Vice Minister of Guatemala, Palestine, Finland

Written by: WIT Representative Bertina Kudrin

This was a debate on International Migration and Development with this session acting as the opening panel. The GA president mentioned that today’s debate should address migration and sustainable development. Almost all SDGs involve migration whether directly or indirectly. Thus, it is impossible to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development without addressing the problems related to migration. These include health, housing, education, and a path toward peaceful and inclusive societies. Things to tackle in the coming months include trafficking and smuggling, safety and equality for female migrants, and access to work for migrants.

Next came comments from the debate moderator. She stated that 10 targets from the SDGs relate to migration directly but all SDGs relate to migration in some way, including climate change and gender equality. These points we echoed by several panelists, including the Vice Minister for Human Mobility in Ecuador, the Representative of Rwanda, and the Director General of the IOM. The latter reemphasized the concerns women face, burdened by both the ordeal of migration and vulnerability often faced by this gender.

The Vice Minister for Human Mobility in Ecuador noted accomplishments of the UN in this topic. The 2030 Agenda is a turning point which charts the path for including migration in a multilateral agenda for the first time in history. The global compact is also historic, as it asks for international cooperation in helping these people despite their legal status. The Civil Society Chair on the Global Forum of Migration and Development expanded on these international agreements by explaining the chain of collaboration that should occur between the regional, national, and finally global level. While the problems of migrants were not overlooked, the panel gave a sense of hope for more cooperation between all societies in reaching these important goals.

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