DG's Statements and Speeches
18 Sep 2023

SDG Summit: Statement of the IOM Director General

The 2023 SDG Summit is a moment of truth and reckoning. Major global transformations – from climate change to digitalization – risk leaving billions of people behind. Human mobility can be part of the solution. It is imperative that we incorporate it into the rescue plan for the Sustainable Development Goals. 

This is no easy task. Human mobility patterns are increasingly complex – driven and impacted by the changes we see in the world today. But international migrants, internal migrants, and displaced persons represent one in eight people in the world. And managed well, human mobility can become a cornerstone of development, prosperity, and progress. 

Migrants are meeting the demands and needs of changing and tightening labour markets and mitigating divergent demographic trends within and across regions. They are driving entrepreneurship, including green transition initiatives – such as the Green Finance Facility in North Macedonia – and supporting adaptation to the impacts of climate change and conflicts. Further, people on the move can boost global value chains and development financing – through regular migration pathways, remittances and diaspora capital. 

We need bold commitments and transformative actions to ensure these contributions are fully realized. We must further develop opportunities for safe and regular migration, while reducing remittance transaction costs; we must extend social protection and universal health coverage to all, while including migrants’ voices into national and local development plans; we must invest in skills development and recognition of qualifications for people on the move, while improving digital access and, we must build resilient and peaceful societies capable of adapting to the impacts of climate change and violence, while reducing conflict and climate-induced displacement. 

The blueprints already exist. The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the Secretary-General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement set out the means through which fully inclusive governance of human mobility – leaving no one behind – can be achieved. 

IOM will continue to support Member States, people on the move, and all other stakeholders to design, implement, and scale up new, and accelerated actions to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. 

Let’s act now, with migrants, for the benefit of all.