Good Governance, Well-Managed Migration Policies Essential, Speakers Tell Second Committee Meeting on Globalization, Interdependence

GA/EF/3456
18 October 2016
Seventy-first Session, 15th Meeting (AM)

Good Governance, Well-Managed Migration Policies Essential, Speakers Tell Second Committee Meeting on Globalization, Interdependence

International migratory flows were increasing and well-managed migration policies and governance were essential, Member States said today as the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) discussed globalization and interdependence.

At the opening of the meeting, three documents were introduced.  S. Nazrul Islam, Senior Economics Affairs Officer in the Development Policy Analysis Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, presented the report on the New International Economic Order (document A/71/168).  Marie Paule Roudil, Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Liaison Office in New York, introduced the report of the Director General on the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, 2015 (document A/71/222).  And John Wilmoth, Director of the Population Division in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on international migration and development (document A/71/296).

“International migration is a key feature of globalization, highlighting the increasing interdependence between countries,” said Mr. Wilmoth.  The number of international migrants worldwide had increased by more than 60 per cent since 1990, reaching 244 million in 2015, he said.  Ratification of various legal instruments related to international migration, however, remained uneven.

The representative of the Philippines, speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, highlighted migrant workers as enablers for economic progress, and called for the promotion of the “full potential and dignity of migrant workers by providing them a climate of freedom, equity, and stability”, and underlined the need for well-managed migration policy and governance.

Bangladesh’s representative, speaking for the Group of Least Developed Countries, said that the devastating impacts of climate change and hazards were another important driver of migration.  According to a recent World Bank report, increased drought and desertification, rising sea levels, repeated crop failures and more intense and frequent storms were likely to increase internal migration and, to a lesser extent, international migration.  The interrelationship between international migration and development was complex, posing both opportunities and challenges.

Sri Lanka’s representative said that the new levels of human movement had complex implications for both North-South and South-South relations and economies.  Global policy, therefore, had to focus on better cooperation and dialogue among countries with the aim of addressing fair burden-sharing, facilitating remittance flows and protecting labour rights.  Remittances also played a counter cyclical role when the country faced domestic shocks.  The international community had a major role to play as well, he said, calling on Member States to support the protection of migrant worker rights in a more proactive manner.

Nepal’s representative said that a planned and well-managed migration policy was essential, taking into account the various causes of migration, such as economic, political, environmental and conflict.  The basic human rights of migrant workers needed to be protected.  Nepal supported the initiatives for the defined roles of responsibility of countries of origin, transit and destination, to promote dialogue and address the problem in a holistic manner.

El Salvador’s representative said that some countries used migration as a political tool, building up anti-migration barriers, which ran counter to the principles of globalization.  They placed fewer restrictions on the movement of goods than on people.

Libya’s representative said that migration could be a positive contributor to growth, but it was necessary to respect the sovereign right of States to control and monitor their territory, respecting the principles of human rights.  Illegitimate migration could lead to social and safety dangers which needed to be dealt with by enhancing developing programmes in countries of origin.

Closing the meeting, the representative of Thailand (on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China) introduced two draft resolutions:  “Towards a New International Economic Order” (document A/C.2/71/L.3) and “Operational activities for development:  South-South cooperation for development” (document A/C.2/71/L.16).

Also speaking today were representatives of Cuba, India, Guatemala, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, Mali, Ethiopia, Tuvalu, Nigeria, Namibia, Kenya, and the Holy See.  Representatives from the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development also spoke.

The Second Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 19 October, to begin its consideration of agenda item 22, “Groups of countries in special situations”, and its sub-items (a) and (b).

Introduction of Reports

S. NAZRUL ISLAM, Senior Economics Affairs Officer in the Development Policy Analysis Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, introduced the report on the New International Economic Order (document A/71/168).  The New International Economic Order’s original goals were to redress injustices, correct inequities, and secure peace and justice, and had evolved over time in response to requests from the Member States.  The report was divided into four main parts:  the short-term challenges to sustained economic growth, such as trade, capital flows, investment; medium and long-term challenges to sustainable development; the impacts of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the 2030 Agenda, and the Paris Agreement; and the role of the United Nations.

The world had entered a challenging period, with economic slowdowns in key countries affecting the world’s economy, he said.  Coordinated international efforts that were expected did not always come to pass.  The report also covered the progress made in the Millennium Development Goals, which expired in 2015, and took note of both hopeful and worrisome aspects of the ongoing fight against climate change.  The document covered the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals and their compatibility with the goals and spirit of the Order.  The enhanced role of the United Nations called for by the Order was something that was being increasingly materialized, he said, noting the high-level political forum on sustainable development and the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development.

MARIE PAULE ROUDIL, Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Liaison Office New York and UNESCO representative to the United Nations, presented the report on the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, 2015 (document A/71/222).  The report celebrated anniversaries of a series of important milestones in the history of the science and technologies of light, including the invention of the camera obscura and pioneering book of optics, both produced by Ibn Al-Haytham 1,000 years ago.  A central aim of the Year was to raise awareness of the about 1.1 billion people worldwide who still had no access to energy and reliable lighting infrastructure.  The Year had involved a total of 113,168 activities in 147 countries on all continents reaching over 100 million people.  Many events used innovative means to highlight the importance of light-based technologies among the general public.

Over 100 light-themed videos and documentaries were produced for science education and outreach during the Year, she said.  Activities ranged from the setting of Year stamps in 26 countries to the building of a giant Year logo on the North Sea.  Some 685 “Light Beyond the Bulb” exhibitions were organized in parks, airports, cafes, galleries and other public spaces in 40 countries.  Many nations chose light as the theme for national science education initiatives.  In Bangladesh, a hands-on programme titled “Spark of Light” was conducted in 37 schools in the country reaching 2,500 high school students.  Mexico, Australia and Brazil organized Science Weeks on light technologies.  Regionally, the European Commission provided €2.65 million for coordination and support actions in 30 European countries to promote the importance of light science and careers in photonics to young people, entrepreneurs and the general public.

JOHN WILMOTH, Director of the Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on international migration and development (document A/71/296).  He highlighted an important commitment made in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants to launch in 2016 a process of intergovernmental negotiations leading to the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly, and regular migration at an intergovernmental conference to be held in 2018.

International migration was a key feature of globalization, highlighting the increasing interdependence between countries, he continued.  The number of international migrants worldwide had increased by more than 60 per cent since 1990, reaching 244 million in 2015.  Ratification of various legal instruments related to international migration, however, remained uneven.  The report offered a number of proposals regarding the modalities and organizational details of the Third High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, including the periodicity of future dialogues.

Statements

NATHITA PREMABHUTI (Thailand), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said that it was undeniable that globalization created a promising path towards development but also brought great risks and challenges.  While much had been achieved, more remained to be done to address inequality and uneven gains were still evident.  The international community could not rest until it was made certain that hard-earned gains were irreversible.  The United Nations was best positioned to strengthen and invigorate international cooperation, she said, highlighting the importance of the transfer of science and technologies on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms through North-South and South-South cooperation.  In addition to the ascending impact of climate change, every nation had still not fully recovered from the economic downturn and its aspects:  exchange rate volatility, commodity price fluctuations, high unemployment rates and feeble global investment.

If bold and concrete action was not taken now, the achievement of sustainable development would be severely impeded, she warned.  Trade and investment was an indispensable and powerful engine for development and sustained economic growth.  The Group believed that it was time to broaden and strengthen the voice and participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making and in norm-setting.  It was critical for developed States to fulfil their official development assistance (ODA) commitments to create an enabling environment for developing countries to sustain their economic growth.  The Group also recognized the need to develop well-managed migration policies to manage the mixed and irregular flows of migrants and counter racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances.  Underscoring that remittances could not be counted as foreign direct investment (FDI), she said ODA and other public sources constituted an important source of private capital and transaction costs should be made cheaper.

IRENE SUSAN B. NATIVIDAD (Philippines), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and aligning herself with the Group of 77, said that globalization and interdependence presented both opportunities and challenges for implementing the 2030 Agenda.  Globalization was a constructive force for sustainable development by transforming lives and improving social well-being, but inequalities continued to persist and economic gaps between the rich and poor widened at a disquieting pace in the past three decades.

The Association had important and positive achievements in its regional integration initiatives, and its member States had remained relatively resilient in the face of global uncertainties, she continued.  Its member States were a significant contributor to global growth with a collective gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.43 trillion in 2015.  The ASEAN Economic Community would establish a single market which would be dynamic and competitive with strengthened existing economic initiatives and new mechanisms and measures to enhance the free flow of goods, services, investments, capital, and mobility of skilled labour.  ASEAN supported the Third High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development and called for strengthened international cooperation to ensure safe, orderly, and regular migration involving full respect for human rights and the humane treatment of migrants, regardless of their migration status.

TAREQ MD. ARIFUL ISLAM (Bangladesh), speaking for the Group of Least Developed Countries and associating himself with the Group of 77, noted that rapid population ageing had created labour market imbalances and fiscal pressures in high-income countries, which had increased migration.  The devastating impacts of climate change and natural hazards were another important driver of migration.  According to a recent World Bank report, increased drought and desertification, rising sea levels, repeated crop failures and more intense and frequent storms were likely to increase internal migration and, to a lesser extent, international migration.  The interrelationship between international migration and development were complex, posing both opportunities and challenges.  It eased the movement of goods, entrepreneurial skills and capital but also had costs like brain drain.

Outlining aspects to consider in promoting safe, orderly and regular migration, he said there must be strong synergies between international migration and development at the global, regional, national and local levels.  He pointed to the challenges of human trafficking, illegal migration and deaths, noting that more than 5,300 migrants had died in 2016 trying to reach their destinations.  Free and liberalized labour markets, especially in developed countries, could address those challenges.  The circular migration of highly skilled persons, especially in the health, social and engineering sectors, should also be considered.  Moreover, the absence of a strong global governance mechanism of international migration provided a safe haven for unscrupulous actors like smugglers, traffickers and criminals to foster illegal migration.  The time had come to design robust migration governance architecture under the auspices of the United Nations.

IRENE SUSAN B. NATIVIDAD (Philippines), associating herself with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, said much had changed in the global migration landscape since the last iteration of the resolution on migration and development.  With its cross-cutting developmental and rights-based approach, the 2030 Agenda recognized the positive contributions of migration, migrants and mobility to inclusive growth and sustainable development.  The Agenda was committed to strengthening international cooperation to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration with the full respect for migrants’ rights.  In the context of the new agenda, as well as last month’s New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, the third high-level Dialogue on Migration and Development — which should be held no later than 2019 — must help elaborate the global compact on migration and review relevant aspects of the Declaration.

LEYVA REQUEIRA (Cuba), associating herself with the Group of 77, said that achieving sustainable development required respect for diversity of models, bearing in mind the specificities of countries.  Cuba emphasized the need to achieve a new international economic order based on the equality of all States, to fix current injustices, eliminate disparities between developed and developing countries and ensure for future generations a fair global order.  The current unfair order led to people endangered when they tried to emigrate to improve their standard of living.  “We hope for a legal, secure, and orderly migration and international cooperation to ensure dialogue … that will acknowledge the shared responsibility of all States in migration,” she said.  The so-called Cuban Adjustment Act encouraged people-smuggling, causing death and discriminated against migrants from other countries.

ASHISH SINHA (India), associating himself with the Group of 77, said that the 2008 global financial crisis was unprecedented in its scale because of the extent of financial integration and the leverage allowed by globalization.  Much had changed in 30 years.  Terrorism had emerged as one of the most serious global challenges and social media had become a force of change, often not respecting borders.  Collective interdependence had also been made clear in recent decades through the realization of the human impact of global warming.  India continued to play its part to strengthen multilateral institutions and pacts on addressing climate change and sustainable development challenges.  Welcoming the recent focus by the United Nations on the large scale movements of refugees and migrants, he said India had and would continue to host several communities that sought shelter and refuge.  India was also a major country of origin, transit and destination for migrants.  To that end, any call for protectionism and growing intolerance were misguided and anachronistic in today’s world.  The world was increasingly interlinked and must fight against succumbing to narrow competitive instincts.

JORGE SKINNER-KLÉE ARENALES (Guatemala), associating himself with the Group of 77, said migration was a growing phenomenon that required a different rhetoric.  Any problems it created, such as illegal migration, must be tackled and resolved.  Noting that the 2030 Agenda showed that the international community could facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration through well-designed policies, he stressed its responsibility to deal with the phenomenon.  Migratory governance must be improved at the international, regional and local levels.  His delegation supported the preparatory process underway to adopt a world covenant on migration by 2018.  He further noted that remittances contributed to reduced poverty and improvements in education and health care.  Guatemala had experienced the largest global increase in remittances — 50 per cent — from 2014 to 2015.

PAVEL FONDUKOV (Russian Federation) said the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and its initial implementation showed a growing interdependence of the world’s countries.  Instability continued in the world’s economy, exacerbated by high commodity prices and a blatant disregard for the principles of the restructuring of sovereign debt.  Highlighting the September high-level plenary meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants, he said he stood ready to support the implementation of its outcome document.  As well, implementing the 2030 Agenda, particularly those sections pertaining to migrants, would also make a significant contribution to sustainable development.  He welcomed the increased collaboration between United Nations agencies, which would reduce overlapping functions, and highlighted the importance of obtaining reliable data to ensure safe, orderly and regular migratory flows that respected migrants’ human rights.

NIRANGA PALIPANA (Sri Lanka), associating himself with the Group of 77, said that the new levels of human movement had complex implications for both North-South and South-South relations and economies.  Global policy, therefore, had to focus on better cooperation and dialogue among countries that addressed fair burden-sharing, facilitating remittance flows and protecting labour rights.  With nearly 1.7 million Sri Lankans working or living abroad, remittance inflows accounted for approximately 8 per cent of the GDP.  Remittances also played a counter-cyclical role when the country faced domestic shocks.  Programmes to ensure the dignity of Sri Lankan nationals seeking employment overseas included insurance schemes, scholarships for children, assisted repatriation, pre-departure training and help with returning to Sri Lanka.  Every Sri Lankan leaving the country in pursuit of employment was registered and provided with those benefits.

Mr. AL SULAIM (Saudi Arabia), associating himself with the Group of 77, said international migration had resulted in the transfer of knowledge and expertise to the migrant’s homeland.  He stressed the importance of carrying out factual studies on the challenges of migration.  He expressed concern about illegal migration, which compelled countries to change immigration policies, and also pointed to increased xenophobia against non-citizens, which was the main source of racism against migrants.  The international community should address negative perceptions against migrants so that they could continue to contribute to development.  It was vital that the United Nations cooperate with other entities working on migration in addressing benefits and challenges.

PURNOMO AHMAD CHANDRA (Indonesia), associating himself with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, noted that globalization had created both new opportunities and new risks.  He emphasized that globalization should be revitalized so that it was conducive to development outcomes.  The Second Committee should support national development efforts by promoting an enabling international environment, and the coordination of macroeconomic policies should be stepped up among countries to avoid negative spill-over effects.  She underscored that financial reforms needed to be implemented consistently and international regulatory cooperation should be strengthened.  In addition, the interrelationship between international migration and development should be managed at the global, regional and international levels.  Through the Bali Process, Indonesia had addressed people smuggling, trafficking in persons, and related transnational crime, and as such contributed to the managing of migrants at the global level.

TONG WEIJIE (Singapore), noting that the flow of migrant workers had accelerated with the pace of globalization, said legislative protection and effective enforcement was vital in safeguarding migrant workers’ well-being and rights.  In Singapore, legislation like the Employment Act gave migrant workers the same avenues of justice as locals.  Other legislation mandated that employers documented salary and key employment terms in their workers’ native language, made payslips compulsory and the withholding of passports against workers’ wishes illegal.  In addition, migrant worker housing must meet a comprehensive set of rules on safety and well-being.  Stressing that enforcement was key, he said Singapore had taken a range of actions, including prosecution against more than 2,000 errant employers last year who had wilfully denied migrant workers their basic rights.  At the same time, it was important that migrant workers abided by destination country laws and played their part in being responsible members of the community.

SHATRUDHWAN P.S. POKHAREL (Nepal), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the least developed countries, said that the benefits of globalization had been uneven, with the top gaining more and the bottom gaining less.  The least developed countries faced vulnerabilities from globalization, from which there was no escape.  The international community’s agreements, including the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, 2030 Agenda, and Paris Agreement needed to be implemented.  A level playing field was necessary, including in the international financial architecture.  A major aspect of globalization was the movement of people, which had seen unprecedented growth.  A planned and well-managed migration policy was essential, taking into account the various causes of migration, such as economic, political, environmental, and conflict.  The basic human rights of the migrant workers needed to be protected.  He voiced support for the initiatives that defined roles of responsibility of countries of origin, transit, and destination, and that promoted dialogues and addressed the problem in a holistic manner.

FERNANDO DE LA MORA SALCEDO (Mexico) said the emergence of a globalized interdependent world required the United Nations to play a key role in creating a more solid international architecture, resulting in more inclusive economic growth. The 2030 Agenda had placed development at core of its activities, which was a major step forward.  He pointed to volatility in exchange rates and capital flow, stressing the fragility of middle-income countries in such a financial climate. There should be a debate on the classification criteria for middle-income nations, which must consider measures that assessed the progress of such countries above and beyond per capita income.  Assistance to middle-income countries must be enhanced without affecting aid set aside for least developed countries.

PHILIP FOX-DRUMMOND GOUGH (Brazil), associating himself with the Group of 77 and CELAC, stressed that it was not inevitable that globalization would work well for everyone.  Indeed, the 2030 Agenda had been born out of the realization that mobilization and urgent action were needed to support those furthest behind.  The United Nations must, as a matter of priority, accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.  That effort must also take into account the importance of building on synergies with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris Agreement on climate change in a manner consistent with the principles of sovereign equality, equity, cooperation and solidarity among all States.  “We must tailor the current institutional architecture of global governance in order to address the shortcomings of globalization, while taking advantage of its unprecedented opportunities and dynamism,” he said, calling for States’ greater representation in global institutions.

ISSA KONFOUROU (Mali), associating himself with the Group of 77, said that migration was becoming increasingly a major global challenge that required a collective response from countries of origin, transit, and destination.  Migration issues were deeply complex.  Managing migration flows needed to be done through strengthening dialogue between countries to find shared solutions which could bring together the imperatives of security, development, solidarity, and concern for human dignity.  Mali had developed a national migration policy in 2014 to better manage migration so it could contribute to reducing poverty and contribute to the sustainable development of the country.  The implementation of that action plan would contribute to efforts to create jobs for young people to prevent them from participating in illegal activity or being indoctrinated by terrorist groups or drug traffickers.

Mr. TADESSE (Ethiopia) said the world was currently experiencing slow economic growth, weak foreign direct investment, declining trade flows and rising income inequality within and among countries.  That posed significant challenges for full implementation of the 2030 Agenda.  It was crucial to make globalization development-driven so that it served the interests of all countries by addressing inequities in the international system.  The best and sustainable means of addressing poverty was to create decent and quality jobs, especially for women and youth.  Generating job opportunities required enhanced global cooperation.  Job creation should continue to be the priority of enhanced international policy coordination.  Ethiopia had been implementing coordinated national policies that aimed to minimize the impacts of globalization and enhance its benefits.  As a result, it had been registering broad-based and pro-poor economic growth for the past 15 years.

AUNESE MAKOI SIMATI (Tuvalu), associating himself with the Group of Least Developed Countries, said that the response to current migration, caused by diverse drivers, must be grounded in the values of shared responsibility, non-discrimination and respect for human rights.  Long-term solutions were needed founded on the safety and dignity of migrants, refugees and labourers.  Thanking those who were providing safe havens, he called for assistance to countries that had been overwhelmed with large influxes.  He proposed, in addition, that countries of origin and destination collaborate through development partnerships that made remaining a viable option; that border management be improved to stop illicit activities but respect human rights; that remittances be facilitated; that flexibility be exercised in creating a variety of admission programmes; that a broad range of international law be considered in facing the challenges of migration; and that migrants respect the laws of receiving countries and be provided with, at minimum, basic food, shelter, health care and education.  He finally suggested that Governments consider, in particular, requests for migration from countries threatened with destruction due to climate change.

ABDULMONEM ESHANTA (Libya), associating himself with the Group of 77, said that although globalization had the afforded opportunities to developing countries, it also had negative side effects, notably for fragile and vulnerable countries.  Cooperation was necessary to enable everyone to profit from globalization in a fair way.  Science, technology, and innovation were important, as was the exchange of knowledge.  In that regard, it was necessary to reduce the technology gap between developed and developing countries.  Migration could be a positive contributor to growth, but it was necessary to respect the sovereign right of States to control and monitor their territory, while respecting the principles of human rights.  Illegitimate migration could lead to social and safety dangers which needed to be dealt with by enhancing developing programmes in countries of origin.

ADEYEMI DIPEOLU (Nigeria), associating himself with the Group of 77, urged for the fast-tracking of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda outcomes, saying that he remained concerned about illicit financial flows.  He urged the United Nations to place issues of international tax cooperation and the fight against corruption at the top of its priorities.  Furthermore, access to technology for developing countries and the continued strengthening of the participation of those countries in international economic decision-making was critical.  He noted with concern that migrants continued to face racial discrimination and xenophobia and that remittances constituted an important source of private capital.  He called therefore for cheaper, faster and safer transfers of remittances in both source and recipient countries.

WILFRIED I. EMVULA (Namibia), associating himself with the Group of 77 and African Group, said that with regard to middle-income countries, it was important to note that they remained vulnerable to being caught up in a “middle-income trap”.  That would risk losing competitiveness to low-income countries while lacking the technological advancement to catch up with higher income countries.  In countries recently reclassified as middle-income, most of the population remained poor even as the country might be growing richer.  The inequality was often further exacerbated by factors such as race, gender or rural-urban divide.  Namibia considered its classification as an upper middle-income country to be problematic as it calculated the GDP of a country by dividing the gross income by the population.  Given Namibia’s small population, that approach resulted in a high per capita income but did not consider the income distribution, and the structural imbalances of its economy.  That type of classification unfairly deprived it from accessing concessional funding which the country needed to pursue its development objectives.

ROSEMARY OWINO (Kenya), associating herself with the Group of 77, said the ravages of  climate change had never been more evident than today, noting that developing countries, which had contributed little to climate change, were among the most affected.  She called on all States to implement the Paris Agreement.  She also urged partners to continue meeting their obligations in a timely manner, especially regarding climate financing and ODA.  As many developing countries continued to lose funds through illicit financial flows, often more than they received in ODA, she called on States to put in place stringent measures to curb illicit financial flows and return illicit finances to the countries of origin.

RUBEN ZAMORA (El Salvador), associating himself with the Group of 77, stressed the importance of supporting the fundamental freedoms of all migrants.  The reasons for current massive migration included poverty and lack of opportunity in origin countries, as well as the vision of unlimited wealth and opportunities in developed countries.  Noting that irregular migration had become a financial business worth billions of dollars, he said that issue could only be resolved if its multiple causes were taken into account.  Some countries used migration as a political tool, building up anti-migration barriers, which ran counter to the principles of globalization.  They placed fewer restrictions on the movement of goods than on people.  Such countries did not consider the rights of migrants or their substantial contribution to the global economy.  As they also sent remittances to their families, contributing to poverty reduction, he said he was committed to lowering the costs of such transactions.

BERNARDITO CLEOPAS AUZA, Permanent Observer of the Holy See, said that, while modern technology had allowed interdependence to reach heights never before imagined, it had also led to tremendous problems and challenges.  That included the application of technologies in warfare, in terrorist recruiting and financing, and in creating even wider inequalities between those who had access to technology and those who did not.  Meanwhile, data had shown that austerity measures had led to higher unemployment and rising poverty rates, and that young people had been hit particularly hard.  Tens of millions of refugees and migrants had been forced to flee from wars and conflicts, persecutions and discrimination, extreme poverty and environmental degradation.  The paradox of the present state of globalization and interdependence was that while countries kept discussing the reduction of barriers to the circulation of goods and services, they were building walls to block the movement of people.  It was vital to strive even more resolutely to eliminate, in all countries without exception, the structural causes of conflicts, violence, poverty and hunger.

CHRISTINE A. BRAUTIGAM, Director of the Intergovernmental Support Division, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), speaking as Chair of the Global Migration Group, said the high-level dialogue process could play a valuable role in the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda.  The Group welcomed the acknowledgement in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants to its work to develop principles and practical guidance on the protection of the human rights of migrants in vulnerable situations.  The Declaration provided that Member States would consider developing non-binding principles and voluntary guidelines consistent with international law on the treatment of migrants in vulnerable situations.  The Group’s agencies would incorporate reporting on progress made in implementing the commitments of the Declaration by the United Nations system.  “The development of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration … provides a critical opportunity to enhance international cooperation on migration,” she said.

PEDRO DE VASCONCELOS, Manager of the Financing Facility for Remittances at International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said that throughout civilization people had always been on the move, but the scale of migration from rural to urban areas and across borders in the twenty-first century was unprecedented.  Remittances had once been unaccounted for, but were now an important part of the development agenda.  Those flows represented a critical lifeline for millions of households, helping families raise themselves above subsistence levels.  Remittances were the expression of millions of families to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality.

Draft Resolutions

Following statements, two draft resolutions were introduced.

NATHITA PREMABHUTI (Thailand), speaking for the Group of 77, introduced a draft resolution entitled “Towards a New International Economic Order” (document A/C.2/71/L.3).  She said the text reaffirmed the need to continue working towards an economic order based on equity, sovereign equality, common interests, cooperation and solidarity among all States.  The draft was drawn up with a view to lifting people out of poverty and achieving sustainable economic growth.  The new economic order was still highly relevant in the context of the 2030 Agenda and other international agreements that had recently been adopted.

Introducing a second draft resolution, entitled “Operational activities for development:  South-South cooperation for development” (document A/C.2/71/L.16), she stressed the importance of such cooperation, underlining its increased role in bolstering the capacity of developing countries and spurring on economic growth.  She emphasized, however, that South-South cooperation complemented rather than acted as a substitute for North-South cooperation.  She reaffirmed her delegation’s readiness to engage in consultations with an open mind and spirit of cooperation.

For information media. Not an official record.