Human mobility is a fact of life. People have always migrated to adapt to, or escape from, difficulties and disasters, or spurred by curiosity and dreams of a better life. What has brought particular attention to migration in recent years is the scale and complexity of movements, touching almost all countries around the world, catalysed by speed of information flow and means of transportation, and the increasing awareness of the countless developmental opportunities and challenges which mobility offers to migrants, their families, communities and societies at large.
As our knowledge of the importance of migration for development has grown, so has the international system around migration. Today we speak about the “global governance of migration,” which embraces that broad infrastructure of State and non- State institutions, policies, laws, practices and partnerships at the national, regional and international level addressing migration issues. This multi-level, multi-actor form of governance has made significant strides since the call for more inter-State cooperation on migration by the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development.
The first responsibility to deal with migration in ways that protect and support their citizens abroad and the migrants within their own borders rests with States. But attempts to manage international migration unilaterally have not been successful and States have turned to international cooperation, ranging from bilateral labour agreements to regional consultative processes on migration and global dialogue platforms. Equally, we have today a greater appreciation that narrow, one-dimensional approaches to migration cannot adequately address the phenomenon. Migration touches on issues of human rights, development, population, children, family, education, gender, health including reproductive rights and access to reproductive health, environment, trade, labour, economics, social protection, security and social cohesion – to name just the main ones. Just as countries have sought collaborative approaches at the inter-State level, governments are increasingly pursuing “whole-of-government” approaches domestically. In all of these endeavours, States have been supported by, indeed have partnered with, the United Nations system and the International Organization for Migration.
In short, cooperation and partnership are increasingly indispensable in today’s interconnected world. The best outcomes are only possible where migrants and their families are able to exercise their basic rights, so they can move in safety and dignity. These are the principal messages we wish to put to the second High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in 2013.
In preparation for the High-level Dialogue, the High-level Committee on Programmes of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) in 2012 requested the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Global Migration Group (GMG), to coordinate a set of draft recommendations and outcomes on migration. A large range of international organizations and entities inside and outside the United Nations contributed towards this endeavour. The process cemented consensus among the contributors around migration and revealed the high degree of cooperation that exists between the various entities on the ground.
The summary of recommendations and outcomes on migration was presented to and approved by the CEB, and the Board acknowledged that the rich material which had been produced in the course of this collaboration contained important insights and lessons learned which could be of interest to a broader audience. As a result, it was agreed that UNFPA and IOM edit a compendium of all the contributions for publication. We are therefore delighted to present this book consisting of the inputs of 28 UN and associated entities, loosely referred to in the book as the “HLCP–GMG” agencies. These include the members of the Global Migration Group, 10 non-GMG agencies, the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants and the NGO Committee on Migration. Valuable inputs and advice were also given by the Special Representative of the Secretary General on International Migration and Development.
The book, therefore, offers an overview of the work of the United Nations, IOM and related partners on migration since the first High-level Dialogue in 2006. It aims to serve States and other migration stakeholders for the HLD and beyond as a reference on the various facets of the international system supporting safe, dignified and enriching mobility for all.
We are very pleased to work jointly and together with partners on different parts of migration which is such an important aspect of development.
Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA