With its cross-cutting political, economic and social impacts, the increasing international movement of people touches upon the mandates of many of the United Nations system’s specialized agencies, programmes and funds. Organizations carry out a wide variety of activities that contribute to improving the outcomes of international migration and to assist Governments in addressing international migration issues. The United Nations system plays a particularly important role in setting norms and standards for the treatment of international migrants, but has as yet to comprehensively support the growing needs of countries of origin.

The decision of HLCP to identify migration as one of the priority issues of its work programme was given added impetus by the Summit Outcome, in which Member States acknowledged “the important nexus between international migration and development and the need to deal with the challenges and opportunities that migration presents to countries of origin, destination and transit” (see resolution 60/1, para. 61). The report of the Global Commission on International Migration, Migration in an interconnected world: new directions for action, issued in October 2005, called, inter alia, for the strengthening of inter-agency cooperation arrangements to ensure a more coherent and effective institutional response to the opportunities and challenges presented by international migration.

At its first session in 2005, HLCP stressed the importance of improving the coherence of the policies and programmes of the system relating to migration with the system’s overall economic and social policies and activities, and of better managing the knowledge base required to enable the system to further substantive progress across the many dimensions of migration.

The Committee invited a group of its members to undertake, under the leadership of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and ILO, the collection and consolidation of information across the system to obtain an overall view of migration-related work. The exercise will be coordinated with the newly created Global Migration Group (ILO, the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Bank), and with the activities under way in preparing the Report of the Secretary-General to the High-level Dialogue of the General Assembly at its sixty-first session. HLCP and CEB will revert to the issue at their fall sessions in the light of the outcome of the High-level Dialogue.

The organizations of the United Nations system have continued to accord high priority to supporting NEPAD. Such support extends from advocacy efforts, funding and normative work, to the provision of technical assistance. It is primarily directed at the seven thematic clusters (infrastructure development; governance, peace and security; agriculture, trade and market access; environment, population and urbanization; human resources development, employment and HIV/AIDS; science and technology; and communication, advocacy and outreach), which have evolved as the main instruments for consolidating United Nations system support for Africa’s development. Details of relevant United Nations system activities are reflected in the report of the Secretary-General entitled “United Nations system support for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development” (E/AC.51/2006/6).

The United Nations system’s advocacy for substantially increased resource flows for African development is being accompanied by a major concerted effort to help build and strengthen national and regional institutions and managerial and technical capacities in the continent. Executive Heads have repeatedly underscored in CEB that the system’s effort in support of NEPAD should be sustained and proactive, while remaining sensitive to Africa’s ownership of the programme. Further programme development by the system in support of Africa will be guided by, and draw on, the resolve expressed in the Summit Outcome to strengthen cooperation with NEPAD by providing coherent support for the programmes drawn up by African leaders, including by mobilizing internal and external financial resources and facilitating approval of such programmes.