Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged a United Nations-backed group to improve coordination in the field and aid in building capacity of Governments to promote work on migration and development.
“We should focus on practical steps that will bring the Global Migration Group (GMG) closer to the people we serve,” Mr. Ban told the audience at an event organized on the sidelines of the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development convened by the UN General Assembly.
The event, organized by the GMG, aims to discuss the work, priorities and future directions of the Group with participants at the dialogue.
The primary aim of the Group, comprising 14 UN agencies, the World Bank, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is to improve the management of cross-border migration, to promote further research and to develop international norms relating to migration.
In his remarks, Mr. Ban commended the Group for presenting “strong evidence on migration’s impact on development.”
He also noted the GMG’s work to highlight the human rights challenges which Mr. Ban said are a “central part” of the picture.
The Group has underlined that migrants are the main protagonists in the migration-development debate, and as such should be at the centre of deliberations at the dialogue which concludes today in New York.
“Migrants are not commodities or factors of production,” the current Chair of the GMG, Director General of IOM, William Lacy Swing, said in a news release ahead of addressing the General Assembly debate.
“They are mothers and fathers seeking a better life for their families. They are young people using their talents to realize their dreams and ambitions. They are individuals trying to escape discrimination, poverty and conflict. They are our neighbours, relatives, friends, employers, or colleagues,” Mr. Swing said.
Mr. Ban has said that Mr. Swing is leading the GMG with “great energy and vision” during a critical junction.
The UN International Labour Organization (ILO) will take the six-month rotating chair in 2014.