May 2013

Conclusion of the Global Thematic Consultation on Population Dynamics

Over the 12th and 13th of March, the governments of Bangladesh and Switzerland hosted a High-level Leadership Meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to conclude the Global Thematic Consultation on Population Dynamics, one of the eleven thematic consultations being convened as part of the global process to establish a Post-2015 UN Development Agenda. IOM was strongly represented at the meeting, and staff at IOM’s Dhaka office worked closely with colleagues in the Bangladeshi Government to organise the event. At the meeting’s official inauguration, which was attended by Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheik Hasina, IOM’s Director General William Lacy Swing and UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin made opening addresses highlighting the importance of migration and population dynamics to development. DG Swing was also a panellist during a working session on Migration and Human mobility, in which he discussed the many links between migration and development and how the former might be included in the post-2015 framework.

Delegates at the Dhaka meeting, which included representatives of some 61 countries, numerous international organisations, NGOs and academics, adopted a ‘Dhaka Declaration’ which encourages the inclusion of population dynamics  - including migration – into the Post-2015 Development Agenda and in national sustainable development strategies and regional initiatives. The Dhaka Declaration contains 18 thematic recommendations on migration, aging, “youth bulge” and urbanization; of which 8 deal specifically with migration.

The eight recommendations on migration and human mobility in the Dhaka Declaration are:

I. Ensure that migrants are considered as agents of development.

II. Ensure that migration is safe and orderly and that adequate protection and assistance are extended to all migrants, in  particular to migrants caught in crises.

III. Ensure that migration, which affects many areas of development (e.g. human rights, health, education, rural and urban development, financing for development and disaster risk reduction), is integrated into national and sectoral development policies, strategies and programmes, particularly poverty reduction strategies and National Adaptation Plans of Action.

IV. Strengthen policy coherence at all levels through local, national, regional and global cooperation, including deepening cooperation among origin, transit and destination countries, and establish global partnerships in the post-2015 framework to ensure that migration contributes to equitable and sustainable development.

V. Promote matching of skills and jobs as well as labour supply and demand within and between countries; and facilitate circular mobility through enhancing portability of social security entitlements, recognition of educational and professional qualifications and adoption of enabling legal frameworks aimed at enlargement of freedom of opportunities of individuals.

VI. Promote opportunities for migrants to seek employment abroad securely and at low cost, transfer savings and provide incentives to trade with and invest in origin and destination countries.

VII. Consider internal and international migration as possible adaptation strategies in the context of addressing climate change, particularly in the most climate-vulnerable countries.

VIII. Ensure human rights of, and non-discrimination toward, migrants, especially women and vulnerable groups, and promote social cohesion of communities through equal wages and working conditions, social benefits and protections as well as recognition of educational qualifications.

The outcome of the Global Consultation on Population Dynamics – including the Dhaka Declaration – will now be sent to the High-level panel on Post-2015, which will in turn deliver a full report to the UN Secretary-General in May 2013.

For an overview of the Global Thematic Consultation on Population Dynamics and Migration, visit http://www.worldwewant2015.org/population.