Regional Dimension on International Migration and Development

Date Publish: 
Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - 16:00
United States of America

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN
Regional Commissions New York Office will co-host a panel
discussion on "The Regional Dimension of International Migration
& Development" on 13 September 2006, between 3.00-5.30 pm, in
the Trusteeship Council Chamber at UN Headquarters.

The  panel discussion, which will take place in the
framework of the UN General Assembly High Level Dialogue on
International Migration and Development on 14-15 September, will be
chaired by IOM Director General Brunson McKinley  and attended
by the three Executive Secretaries of the UN Economic Commission
for Africa (ECA), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia
and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the UN Economic and Social Commission
for Western Asia (ESCWA), as well as ministers and senior

"The discussion will contribute to the High Level Dialogue and
build on the regional approaches to international migration and
development and Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs) that IOM has
supported for more than a decade," said McKinley.

The UN Regional Commissions have played an increasingly active
role in supporting regional research and facilitating regional
policy dialogue on the multidimensional aspects of international
migration and development.

ESCWA, the commission for Western Asia, for example, is about to
publish its third population and development report on youth
unemployment and international migration in the Arab region.

At its 2006 Commission session, ESCAP organized in partnership
with the Indonesian government a side event and examined complex
mechanisms of international migration and development in the
Asia-Pacific region, with particular focus on gender

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
(ECLAC) session held in March 2006 addressed the challenges and
opportunities for development due to migration, from the
perspective of the human rights of migrants and their families.

ECA's new report, "International Migration and Development:
Implications for Africa," which will be launched at the High Level
Dialogue, argues that "coercive migration policies in sending and
receiving countries work against peace and securities at all levels
and against the maximization of the benefits of international


IOM signed a cooperation agreement with ESCWA in July 2006,
Memoranda of Understanding have been agreed with both ECA and

The emergence of regional approaches to migration management is
partly due to a growing realization that while international
migration today is characterised by growing global complexity, most
migration still occurs on a regional basis and is characterised by
very distinct patterns stemming from each region's specific
characteristics and the shared interests of groups of

Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs), as state-driven
non-binding fora bringing together representatives of governments
at the regional level to discuss migration issues of common
concern, facilitate informal exchange of information, experiences
and good practices.  Their informal, non-binding and
non-politicized character allows for direct communication and frank
discussions, gives participating states the possibility to try new
approaches, and sets the scene for networking, dialogue and

RCPs vary in size and focus. Whereas the Budapest Process,
established in 1991 to work on joint measures against the increase
of irregular migration pressures in Europe, brings together more
than 50 governments and 10 international organisations, one of the
youngest RCPs, the 5+5 Dialogue on Migration in the Western
Mediterranean, involves only 10 members - those European and North
African countries in the region most effected by migration as
countries of origin, destination or transit.

Bringing together migrant sending and receiving countries in an
open and constructive dialogue is central to meeting the economic
and social challenges posed by irregular migration and driven by
economic disparity.

The Ministerial Consultations on Overseas Employment and
Contractual Labour or Colombo Process is another example of this
dimension. Its 11 member states from Asian migrant sending states
and eight members of destination countries focus on questions of
labour migration and co-operate on programmes concerned with the
protection of vulnerable migrant workers, possibilities of
regulating migration and capacity building.

The Puebla Process consisting of North and Central American
States is an example of even broader dialogue, as it also
co-operates with non governmental actors, who - even if they are
not members or observers - are invited to actively participate in
the consultations and related events.  

Finally, the European Union and the commitment of its founding
fathers to the free movement of workers within its borders
represents perhaps the most important model for regional migration
management. The EU is now also working towards a common asylum and
immigration policy, focusing efforts on a more efficient management
of international migration flows including more effective control
of external borders. It has also established important partnerships
with migrant sending countries and regions.

For further information, please contact:

Jean Philippe Chauzy


Tel: + 1 347-582-8328

Niurka Pineiro


Tel: + 1 202 558 8666

Regional Commissions

New York Office

Room S-3127, United Nations

Tel: + 1 212 963-5561

Fax: (212) 963-1500

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