Informal Thematic Debate on International Migration and Development
States and civil society organizations are increasingly recognizing that international migration is integral to development processes and to the functioning of modern economies. In 2006 Member States, United Nations entities, observers, non-governmental organizations, civil society and the private sector gathered at the UN General Assembly's High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, to consider ways to maximize the developmental benefits of international migration and to reduce its negative impacts. In 2008, the General Assembly decided to convene a one-day Informal Thematic Debate on International Migration and Development at its sixty-fifth session in 2011 (A/RES/63/225). The President of the General Assembly will host this debate at UN Headquarters in New York on 19 May 2011.
The debate is intended to build on the on-going dialogue on international migration and development, and to contribute to the process leading to the second High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development to be held by the UN General Assembly in 2013.
As the first informal thematic debate on this issue in the General Assembly, the interactive debate provides a unique opportunity for Member States and other stakeholders to take stock of achievements to date, and to consider what has been learned about effective policies and practices that promote migration’s positive contributions to development. It is also an opportunity to discuss the obstacles that reduce the benefits of migration and suggest ways to eliminate them, and to consider the way forward.
Programme (printable version)
Conference Room 4, North Lawn Building, UN Headquarters, New York
10:00 – 10:20 Opening remarks
- H.E. Mr. Joseph Deiss President of the General Assembly
- H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General
10:20 – 13:00 Panel one: The contribution of migrants to development
Chair: H.E. Mr. William Swing Director General, International Organization for Migration
Panelists: (panelists' biographies)
- Professor John Connell Professor of Human Geography, University of Sydney
- H.E. Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Minister of Natural and Cultural Heritage, Ecuador and Former Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations
- Mr. Abdelhamid El Jamri Chairperson of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and Member of the Council for the Moroccan Community Abroad
- Mr. Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie Co-Founder, African Foundation for Development [AFFORD] and Consultant, Sierra Leone
- Mr. Göran Hultin Chief Executive Officer, Caden Corporation and Contributor to the Talent Mobility Project, World Economic Forum
15:00 – 17:40 Panel two: Improving international cooperation on migration and development
Chair: Dr. Khalid Koser, Academic Dean and Head of the New Issues in Security Course, Geneva Centre for Security Policy
Panelists: (panelists' biographies)
- H.E. Mr. Saqr Ghobash Minister of Labour of the United Arab Emirates
- Ambassador Eduard Gnesa Special Ambassador for International Cooperation on Migration Issues, Switzerland, in his capacity as Head of Switzerland’s Presidency of the Global Forum on Migration and Development
- Mr. Anthony Lake UNICEF Executive Director, in his capacity as Chair of the Global Migration Group
- Ms. Thetis Mangahas Senior Migration Specialist and Deputy Regional Director, Policy and Programmes, ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
- Dr. Rafael Fernández de Castro Founder and Chair, Department of International Studies, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México
17:40 – 17:50 Summary by Sir Peter Sutherland, Secretary-General’s Special Representative on International Migration and Development
17:50 – 18:00 Closing remarks by the President of the General Assembly
Civil Society Participation
Representatives from civil society organizations, including those organizations not accredited with the UN, who wish to attend the Informal Thematic Debate on International Migration and Development on 19 May 2011 in New York, are invited to pre-register. Please note that pre-registration is for internal planning purposes only and unfortunately does not guarantee entry into the meeting. Seating is limited and will be on a first come, first served basis on the day of the event.
Please visit the Civil Society Network website for further information and to pre-register. [Pre-registration will close on 15 April].
To assist civil society representatives in preparing for the debate, please read our Frequently Asked Questions.
- General Assembly Resolution on International Migration and Development (A/RES/65/170)
- Report of the Secretary-General on international migration and development (A/65/203)
- General Assembly Draft Resolution: Protection of Migrants (A/C.3/65/L.34/Rev.1)
- General Assembly resolution on international migration and development (A/RES/63/225)
- Note by the President of the General Assembly on the Summary of the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (A/61/515)
- Letter dated 5 April 2011 to all Permanent Missions and Permanent Observer Missions to the United Nations regarding the Informal Thematic Debate on International Migration and Development
- Letter dated 21 December 2010 to all Permanent Missions and Permanent Observer Missions to the United Nations regarding the Informal Thematic Debate on International Migration and Development
Ms. Rachel Stein-Holmes, Adviser, Office of the President of the General Assembly (firstname.lastname@example.org)