Contributions of Migrants, Diasporas to Sustainable Development Main Themes at 4th Global Compact for Migration Consultation

The UN Headquarters in New York will host the GCM consultations again. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) / John Walder 2017

New York – Member State representatives, UN agencies, civil society, migrants and diaspora leaders are convening at UN Headquarters 24-25 July for the fourth thematic consultation of the Member State-led process to develop a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). The theme “Contributions of migrants and diasporas to all dimensions of sustainable development, including remittances and portability of earned benefits” will examine the challenges and opportunities in leveraging the economic and social contributions of migrants to countries of origin and destination.

The consultation is the fourth in a series of six that will take place this year, feeding into the consultation phase of the GCM, the first intergovernmentally negotiated UN agreement to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

In his opening remarks later today, Director General of IOM Ambassador William Lacy Swing will emphasize the advantages of making sure migration is considered in development planning, including:

  1. Ensuring that migration is seen as an issue affecting all aspects of human development, including human rights;
  2. Allowing migration to be embedded in the broader development strategy, fostering a coordinated approach rather than piecemeal action.
  3. Helping to identify gaps in existing legal frameworks and prompting the inclusion of relevant international instruments; and
  4. Ensuring that funding and technical assistance are appropriately aligned.

Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative for International Migration is also expected to highlight that "while the net benefits of migration outweigh its costs - by a large margin - the public perception is often the opposite. Such public perceptions and attitudes negatively influence sound migration policy choices. This must be reversed so that policy is evidence-based and not perception-driven."

Panel discussions are focused on examining key elements of enabling frameworks in countries of origin and destination to encourage and maximize migrants’ contributions. These elements include incentives to invest, diaspora bonds, support to migrant entrepreneurs, skills development and circulation, political participation of migrants, and social remittances.

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is co-hosting two side events during the consultation. The first is Unlocking the Power of Diaspora: New Partnerships for Development in partnership with UNDP and organized by the Governments of Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Morocco and Spain, with funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. It will focus on highlighting good practices set by countries of origin to partner with diaspora for development and the role of the international community to support governments in developing effective partnerships with diaspora. IOM will also launch the “iDiaspora platform”, an online forum for members of diaspora communities to contribute their opinions to the intergovernmental process to develop a GCM.

The second is “Migrants’ Contribution to Cities” in partnership with UN-Habitat and organized by the governments of Belgium and Ecuador. It will explore policies to promote better integration and inclusion of migrants, as part of the broader multi-level migration governance framework.

IOM continues to support the intergovernmental process as it evolves, particularly extending the required technical and policy expertise. The last two consultations will take place in Vienna (4-5 September) and Geneva (12-13 October) on the topics of smuggling of migrants and irregular migrants, respectively.

For further information, please contact Lanna Walsh at IOM’s Mission to the UN in New York, Tel: +1.212.681.7000, Ext. 263, Email: