Three recent UN initiatives focusing on international migration issues, include the following:
1) The establishment of the independent Global Commission on International Migration to study how to improve cooperation among UN and other international agencies;
2) The adoption of a final draft resolution by the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly deciding that in 2006 the high-level dialogue of the General Assembly will be devoted to international migration and development; and
3) The establishment
of the Geneva Migration Group by the International Organisation
on Migration, bringing together the heads of four UN agencies.
1) The Global Commission
on International Migration
The Commission is co-chaired by Sweden's former Minister for Development Cooperation, Migration and Asylum Policy Jan O. Karlsson, and World Bank Managing Director Mamphela Ramphele, a South African. Other members are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Italy, Mexico the Philippines and Switzerland.
The Commission's tasks include analyzing shortcomings in current approaches to migration and examining inter-linkages with other issues -- and presenting recommendations to stakeholders. The Commission will begin its work in January 2004, and will issue a final report to the UN Secretary-General in mid-2005. Ms. Ramphele stated that "the Commission hopes to reinforce the importance of migration on the international agenda and advance the interests of migrants and countries of origin, transit, and destination."
The UN Secretary-General supports the initiative, and endorsed it in a speech at Columbia University on 21 November, in which he stated, "It has my full backing, and I hope it will receive support from states in all parts of the world. Most of all, I hope it will help us approach this issue creatively and cooperatively." He added that "we still lack a comprehensive institutional focus at the international level that could protect the rights of migrants and promote the shared interest of emigration, immigration and transit."
According to a senior
UN official, the idea for the Commission came from a core of 11 countries
from the North and South, led by Sweden and Switzerland. The panel will
be launched this month in Geneva, and is expected to begin work in January
2004 and complete its final report by the middle of 2005. The official
said the Commission would have a three-part mandate: to bring the issues
surrounding international migration to the top of the global agenda, to
analyze shortcomings and gaps in approaches by governments or other bodies
to migration, and to make practical recommendations for how to manage
The high-level dialogue of the
General Assembly devoted to international migration and development in