Inclusion of Migration in UN Sustainable Development Goals, a Milestone

United Nations - IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing, made a dramatic call for Member States at the UN Sustainable Development Summit “to address the causes and consequences of migration in a way that promotes dignified, orderly, and safe migration for the benefit of all.”

Concerted and coherent international partnerships are imperative to achieving this. IOM, as the leading migration agency, will help ensure, in partnership with governments, the UN system and civil society, that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s migration targets are achieved, making migration humane and dignified.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) welcomes the opening of the Sustainable Development Summit and applauds the 2030 Agenda for recognizing the positive contributions of migrants and their fundamental role in sustainable development. Migration and human mobility are included in four of the 17 Sustainable Development Goal targets, correcting its absence from the Millennium Development Goals.

IOM looks forward to the agenda and its associated goals and targets being adopted by UN Member States. The onus is being placed on the international community to make commitments “to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration involving full respect for human rights and the humane treatment of migrants regardless of migration status, of refugees and of displaced persons” of the 2030 Agenda a reality.

Recognizing well-managed migration as a force behind international development is imperative, and the discussions on migration and development must go beyond mere verbal commitments and translate into firm actions.

The current migration realities make this critical: one in every seven persons in the world is a migrant - roughly one billion people - and billions more are impacted by migration daily. Violence and conflict have left 38.2 million persons internally displaced and has contributed significantly to a refugee population of now 19.5 million worldwide according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

 “This Summit should go down in history as a great triumph for humanity. It is now up to the international community as a whole to ensure over the next fifteen years that we achieve these global goals, making the world a better place for all, including migrants,” said Ambassador Swing.

Rather than giving voice to negative perceptions of migrants, the international community must challenge anti-migrant sentiments and focus on promoting the positive benefits migration provides to both countries of origin and destination, as described in the 2030 Agenda. Sustainable development can only be achieved with the inclusion of all vulnerable groups. The integral role migrants play in sustainable development cannot be underestimated; migrants must not be left behind.

IOM is committed to assisting governments in meeting these ambitious commitments and as such is developing a Migration Governance Index (MGI) that will help build the capacity of governments to create successful migration policy frameworks and strategies. As the international community seeks to monitor the new Agenda, IOM is in a unique position to gather migration data from its individual Member States, and stands ready to help.

For further information, please contact Olivia Headon, IOM SLO NY at Tel: +1 212 681 7000 ext. 221, Email: