IOM Addresses Migration Health Policy Coherence at the United Nations Commission on Population and Development

Migration Health, Migration and Development

New York – Evidence-informed discussions that promote the health of migrants and address the determinants of health — including migration — are needed to better inform policy decisions on migration and health at national and global levels. Acknowledging the importance of migration health across all targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) lays the foundation for human rights and equity perspectives on the path towards promoting the health of migrants. It also facilitates the involvement of migrants, including health workers, as co-developers of health services and contributors to development.

In this context, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), organized a side event at the 52nd Session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) in close collaboration with the governments of Bangladesh, Mexico, the Philippines and Thailand, and UN partners including WHO, UN Women, UNAIDS and UNICEF. Experts on migration and health from national governments, the United Nations system, civil society and academia took part.

The rich discussions during this event provided an opportunity for delegates to take stock of several recent policy developments that can contribute towards promoting health of migrants, including in the implementation of health-related actions and commitments of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and for achieving migrant-inclusive Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The dialogue included remarks from Mr. Ernesto M. Pernia, Secretary for Socioeconomic planning in the Philippines; Dr. Carlos Cavonas, Secretary General of the National Council for Population, Mexico; Mr. Masud Bin Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN; Mr. Supark Prongthura, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the UN; Mr. Simon Bland, Director of the UNAIDS New York Liaison office; Ms. Verena Kraus, Senior Adviser, Children on the Move, UNICEF HQ; Ms. Sylvia Hordosch, Policy Advisor, UN WOMEN; Mr. Werner Obermeyer, Deputy Executive Director, WHO Office at the UN, and Ms. Monette Zard, Director, Forced Migration and Health programme, Columbia University.  

The event was moderated by Dr. Poonam Dhavan, Senior Migration Health Policy Advisor at IOM, who stated: “The speakers here today have truly represented multisectoral experience and expertise from governments, UN system and academia. It has been encouraging to find a commitment on continued collaboration for promoting health of migrants.”

This event enabled sharing of experience and evidence from good practices, challenges and national migration health realities with a view towards contributing to an evidence-informed discourse on migration health at key upcoming UN discussions including the High Level Political Forum in July 2019, and the High-Level Meeting on UHC in September 2019. 

Watch on UN Web TV here.

For more information please contact:
Xin Guo, Tel: +1 212 681 7000 (ext. 236), Email:
Eliana Barragan, Tel: +41 22 717 9506, Email: