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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.

Concept Note

Concept NotePDF

Programme (printable versionPDF)

Conference Room 4, North Lawn Building, UN Headquarters, New York

10:00 – 10:20       Opening remarks

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' biographiesPDF)


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' biographiesPDF)


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

President's Summary

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.

Key Documents




Contact Information

Ms. Rachel Stein-Holmes, Adviser, Office of the President of the General Assembly (stein-holmes@un.org)