UN Member States and stakeholder discussed tools and mechanisms for measuring progress on the migration-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), during a workshop organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as part of the International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) 2016.
Participants also considered options for the “thematic review” of migration-related SDG targets at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF).
1 March 2016: UN Member States and stakeholder discussed tools and mechanisms for measuring progress on the migration-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), during a workshop organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as part of the International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) 2016. Participants also considered options for the “thematic review” of migration-related SDG targets at the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF).
The workshop on ‘Follow-up and review of migration in the SDGs’ took place on 29 February-1 March 2016, in New York, US.
Opening the meeting, William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, said migration has entered “mainstream development policy” via the SDGs, in particular Goal 10 (Reduce inequality within and among countries). He observed that most local, national and regional planning for development and disasters contains no insurances or provisions for migrants when crises occur, rendering them “invisible.” Keynote speaker Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal, said migration is first and foremost an urban problem, and “municipal citizenship” is a way for migrants to participate in their host communities.
On a panel on Migration and Sustainable Development, Peter Sutherland, Special Representative of the Secretary General for International Migration and Development, said migration is important for achieving SDG 8 (Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all). He noted the need to provide jobs and improve access to finance for migrants. He called for including the IOM in “the UN family.” Mwaba Patricia Kasese-Bota, Permanent Representative of Zambia, observed that migrants contribute to development through: remittances; and by bringing their knowledge acquired abroad for capacity building of the host society. She called for addressing human smuggling and to provide legal status for all migrants, without which they are highly vulnerable to abuse.
Lourdes Ortiz Yparraguirre, Permanent Representative of the Philippines, identified several SDG targets with linkages to migration: in Goal 5, target 5.2; in Goal 8, targets 8.7 and 8.8; in Goal 10, targets 10.7 and 10.c, in Goal 16, targets 16.2, and 16.1; and in Goal 17, target 17.c. She stressed the need for disaggregated data to address all facets of migration, including labor, economic migration, and migration in crisis situations. David Nabarro, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, said the 2030 Agenda helps the international community look at both why people move and how they move. Karen AbuZayd, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, highlighted secondary movement of migrants, when they move to another country after the country of arrival, due to lack of opportunities or asylum. She called for addressing the root cuases and effects of such secondary movement.
On a panel on Policy development and implementation, Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General, urged governments to increase their humanitarian financing contributions but not at the expense of development aid, and to ensure high level attendance at the World Humanitarian Summit. Shahidul Haque, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh and Chair of Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), stressed the need for a cross-ministerial approach and for involving civil society in finding solutions. João Vale de Almeida, Head of the EU Delegation to the UN, said “there are no national solutions for migration,” especially within the EU. Michael Doyle, Columbia University, said migrants are “subsidizing the SDGs,” with remittances substituting for government-provided social welfare, which will contribute to achieving SDG 4 on education and SDG 5 on health.
On a panel on Measuring well-managed migration policies (SDG target 10.7), John Wilmoth, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), cited the need for an SDG indicator for each of six domains for measuring target 10.7: institutional capacity and policy; labor migration; recruitment cost; migrant rights; international partnerships, and humanitarian crises. He expressed concern about the lack of an indicator to measure migrants’ integration in society, within the proposed global indicator framework to be considered by the UN Statistical Commission. Leo Abruzzese, The Economist Intelligence Unit, said is essential for countries that receive migrants to conduct labor market audits and skills assessment. Robert Kirkpatrick, Director, UN Global Pulse, underlined the need to use Big Data for monitoring migration.
On a panel on the other SDGs migration-related targets, Suzanne Sheldon, US Department of State, highlighted the Migrants in Countries in Crisis initiative (MICIC), co-chaired by the Philippines and US. She said the initiative is developing guidelines on migrants in crisis situations, including through consultations with the general public, and expected to launch them at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2016.
On a panel on the Structure of thematic and regional reviews on migration, Abdramane Sylla, Minister of Malians Abroad, Mali, reported that Mali adopted a strategic framework for growth and poverty reduction that includes migration. Jürg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland, remarked that thematic reviews at the HLPF could highlight inter-linkages between migration and other targets, and suggested considering mechanisms already in place in the global institutional architecture, such as the GFMD, to contribute to the global follow-up and review framework. Juan Jose Gómez Camacho, Permanent Representative of Mexico, reported that there are 250 million migrants in the world, equally represented by men and women, with an average age of 39 years old, of which 15% are under the age of 20 years old. He said they represent a “major source of human capital.”
On a panel on the Role of stakeholders, Lakshmi Puri, UN Women, said the Global Migration Group (GMG) will advance gender-related migration issues in key fora. Imelda Nicolas, Chairperson of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, noted the usefulness of the World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide database, which monitors remittance prices across all geographic regions. Nisha Agarwal, New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigration, explained how an identification program that was aimed initially at migrants ended up benefiting the entire population of the city, namely through the NYID program. Ursula Wynhoven, UN Global Compact, said companies should adjust their business practice to better accommodate migrants, citing the example of Unilever, which facilitates regular communication between migrant workers and their families to allow “distance parenting,” by working with local NGOs.
In the ensuing discussion, Member States stressed the need for: reducing the cost of remittances; countries of origin to take equal responsibility for migration; addressing human trafficking as a migration-related issue; respecting the human rights of migrants irrespective of their migratory status; condemning the limitations imposed on the rights of migrants to education and health; developing indicators for the protection of domestic workers; developing indicators that assess migration in a qualitative way, not only the ratification of certain instruments; universal citizenship; and shared responsibility and partnerships.
The second and last IDM 2016 workshop will take place from 11-12 October 2016, in Geneva, Switzerland. It is expected to review the results of initiatives on monitoring migration-related SDG targets. Following the workshop, a one-day Global Regional Consultative Process (GRCP) meeting will take place, and the results of both will serve as an input to the December 2016 GFMD Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh. [Workshop Agenda] [UN Press Release] [Remarks of Deputy Secretary-General] [IDM Website] [IISD RS Sources]