Tag: Savraj

Annan opens historic UN migration meeting by welcoming Belgian offer to host

In an address in New York to the opening of the United Nations’ first-ever high level gathering on migration and development, Mr. Annan said he was “especially delighted that so many of you have embraced my proposal” and asked him to help set it up.He stressed that the planned Forum, which he first outlined in a report released in June, would not be some norm-setting intergovernmental commission on migration but would be led and overseen by States, with the UN system providing support.“It would be informal, voluntary, consultative. Above all, it would not make binding decisions,” Mr. Annan told the two-day High-Level Dialogue of the General Assembly on International Migration and Development.“The Forum would allow us to build relationships of trust, and to bring together the best ideas that different countries have developed: facilitating remittances; engaging diasporas; exploring new ways to reduce poverty; building educational partnerships; and so on.”Peter Sutherland, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Migration, told a press conference today at UN Headquarters in New York that the Forum “will create, hopefully, an environment where a dialogue which has not existed in the past… will take place, which is a multilateral dialogue.”Mr. Annan said this week’s landmark meeting is taking place at a time when the world increasingly appreciates that migrants can transform their adopted and native countries for the better.While there are some negative aspects to migration, such as human trafficking, smuggling and social discontent, he said governments are more willing today to see the opportunities if they cooperate with other States on this subject.More nations are affected by migration than at any time in history, evidence is mounting of the potential benefits of migration, and governments are starting to view migration “through the prism of opportunity, not fear.”General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa told the gathering that, “if harnessed constructively, migration can have a profound effect on development,” with migrants’ remittances to their native countries particularly helpful in reducing poverty.But Sheikha Haya added that the migration of skilled peoples from developing countries to affluent nations can severely impede development in poorer States.More than 140 speakers – comprising individual States, regional bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – are scheduled to discuss the issues over the next two days. In addition to the plenary debate, the meeting will bring delegates together in informal round-table discussions. read more