Population Commission concludes 46th session

The Commission on Population and Development ended its session focusing on new trends in migration on 26 April

Opening of the 46th Session of the Commission on Population and Development (Photo: DESA/Cheryl Sawyer)

The Commission adopted a resolution on the session’s theme, “New trends in migration: demographic aspects”, that noted the increasing volume, scope, and complexity of migration since the adoption of the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).

The resolution recognized the contributions of migrants to the political, economic, social and cultural fabric of countries and called on states to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, both international and internal. It invited states to take practical measures to enhance the benefits of migration for development in both origin and destination countries, such as reducing the transfer costs of remittances, ensuring the portability of pensions and other social protections, and promoting circular and return migration.

The Secretary-General opened the Commission on 22 April, highlighting several goals in addressing international migration, including establishing safe, legal channels of migration; aligning migration policies to the demands of labour markets; addressing the problems faced by migrants with no legal status; and promoting integration of migrants into host societies.

In the Commission’s general debate, Member States reaffirmed their commitments to the goals and objectives of the ICPD Programme of Action and shared their national experiences with new migration trends. Delegates described a variety of challenges, such as dealing with large volumes of internal migration; providing services to rural-urban migrants; improving legal frameworks for emigration that regulate the placement of migrant workers overseas; large scale departure of health care workers; irregular migration; the vulnerability of migrants to crime, violence and exploitation; measures that criminalize migration or restrict the human rights of migrants; the cost of remittances; and efforts to engage diaspora communities in the development of their home countries. Delegates also stressed the positive impact of remittances for development and the quantitative significance of remittances at the global level.

Several delegations underscored migration as a key component of development strategies, highlighting the important role of the upcoming High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development. They stressed the importance of taking into account and integrating population dynamics, including migration, in the context of the post-2015 UN development agenda. Delegations also stressed linkages between the post-2015 process and the continued implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, which the General Assembly extended beyond 2014 in its resolution 65/234.

The forty-seventh session of the Commission in 2014, which will be chaired by H.E. Mr. Jose Luis Cancela, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Uruguay, will mark the 20-year anniversary of the ICPD and will be devoted to the theme “Assessment of the status of implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development”.

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46th Session of the Commission on Population and Development