International migration is as old as human history and continues to define and reshape nations, cultures and the day-to-day life of many millions of people. It would be wrong to assert that its impact has always been benign, particularly for indigenous populations, but today it is also increasingly evident that migration consistently benefits countries of destination and origin, as well as migrants themselves.
In our globalized world, it is important to recognize migration as a key enabler for equitable, inclusive and sustainable social and economic development. However, to fully realize the potential of migration for the creation of wealth, trade, jobs and social empowerment, we need policies that recognize the positive contribution of migrants, protect their human rights and better manage their movements.
International migration is a complex issue that calls for comprehensive and collaborative solutions. No government can address the migration issue alone. It affects every region, with South-to-South movements as significant as those from South to North. The 2013 United Nations General Assembly High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development is an opportunity for Member States to lay the foundation for improved local, regional and international migration policies and to highlight the importance of migration in preparing the post-2015 development agenda.
This publication details how the United Nations system supports migrants, societies affected by migration and policymakers. I thank the United Nations Population Fund and the International Organization for Migration for coordinating the preparation of this report and commend it to all who are interested in realizing the full development potential of migration.