RT 3.1 Aligning governance with contemporary drivers of migration

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Mr. Neville Dubash
RT 3.1 Aligning governance with contemporary drivers of migration

RoundTable 3 - Good migration governance for sustainable development

RT 3.1 Aligning governance with contemporary drivers of migration

The expected outcome of this roundtable is to produce an up-to-date analysis of the extent to which current governance models may not have kept pace with the changing drivers of migration (e.g. climate change). In particular, it should identify any lacunae in relevant multilateral frameworks and posit ways to ensure they are addressed. Participants will also discuss the likely future developments in terms of the drivers of migration for which global governance arrangements may need to adapt. Given that the drivers of migration operate at different levels, this roundtable will also consider the appropriate levels at which the governance of migration should occur.

The overwhelming majority of some 258 million international migrants have crossed borders as a matter of choice and through regular pathways. However, it is also true that millions of people are forced to leave their home countries in response to poverty and lack of opportunities, natural disasters or the adverse effects of climate change, as well as and human-made crises. These crises may lead to the infringement of their fundamental human rights such as the access to health, food or basic education.

Environmental factors directly or indirectly impact on the resilience and vulnerability of individuals, households and communities, and may push them to migrate. These factors include natural disasters, as well as the effect of slow-onset climate and environmental change (extreme temperature, desertification, etc.) which undermine the sustainability of local livelihoods (agriculture, farming, etc.). Human-made crises, such as civil wars, are one of the primary causes of refugee flows; but even outside of refugee flows, the socio-economic impacts of conflicts – food and health insecurity, political instability and the growth of criminal networks – may drive people to migrate.

There are clear relationships between emergency assistance, rehabilitation and development, and migration is a relevant component across all these dimensions. The international community recognises that emergency assistance should be provided in ways that support long-term development to ensure smooth transition from relief to rehabilitation. At the same time, economic growth and sustainable development are essential for the prevention of, preparedness for and resilience against natural disasters and other emergencies.

In order to tackle the issue of “migration by necessity”, it is essential to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as they recognize the complex two-way nexus between migration and development and point out that development does not take away the need to migrate but contributes towards ensuring that migration takes place in a safe, orderly, regular and responsible migration.

Migrants’ transnationalism cuts across cultures, with impacts ranging from remittances, philanthropy and entrepreneurial drive to socio-political influence. These phenomena have redefined the relationship of numerous countries with their respective diasporas. Countries of origin have been opening up to a new form of civic engagement on the part of migrants initially perceived as “absent citizens”; by organizing themselves, these groups have had an important impact on both economies, politics, and culture of both sending countries and receiving countries. These forms of grassroots activism, by migrants and their organizations, is increasingly attracting the attention of State institutions, in particular governments as well as non-state actors.

  • How has the global governance of migration developed to reflect the evolving drivers of migration?
  • What drivers of migration might emerge in the future and are current multi-lateral arrangements prepared for them?
  • What are the gaps in the global governance regime in terms of addressing today’s drivers of migration? (e.g. in response to climate change; in addressing health of migrants)
  • How can safe, regular, responsible and orderly migration become an opportunity for development and prove to be an adaptation strategy for climate change? And how can synergies between policy processes ensure global policy coherence on climate-induced migration?
  • What kind of multilateral mechanisms could enhance the understanding of the links between different drivers of migration? And how could multilateral cooperation on data collection and management strengthen this understanding?
  • Which multilateral mechanisms could efficiently follow up migration-related SDGs? How could GFMD contribute?
  • How can the role of local and regional authorities, as important development actors in their own right, be better reflected in the GFMD?
  • How can improved migration governance facilitate skills mobility?

We invite you to submit comments / suggestions below

Please note that the Chair reserves the right to consider and decide which comments are relevant. The GFMD prefers that all comments are correctly identified.

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