To Inform Negotiations Around Adoption of Global Compact for Migration MPI Launches Policy Brief Series on Connections Between Migration and Development
WASHINGTON — International migration has entered the mainstream of development thinking, and vice versa, only in recent years. These policy areas are now converging around a common goal—facilitating safe, orderly and regular migration—articulated in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and promised for the forthcoming Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed in the 2030 Agenda mention migration explicitly only in a few targets, but it is clear that policies to promote good health, education for all, an end to poverty, access to decent work and the other goals should be recognized as closely connected to migration policy. Progress toward achieving the SDGs will influence the decisions people make about whether to emigrate or remain in their countries of origin. Similarly, migration has been shown to contribute to development in countries of origin and destination.
The negotiation of the Global Compact for Migration, slated for adoption by UN member states at the end of next year, offers an opportunity for governments to translate abstract commitments into practical, cooperative action on specific migration issues. These may include the contributions of migrants and diasporas to sustainable development, international cooperation and migration governance, and irregular migration and regular pathways.
A new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) policy brief, The Global Compact for Migration: How Does Development Fit In?, examines ways forward as the global compact is being negotiated, as well as the multilateral architecture required to address migration within the UN system.
“Though new to the migration arena, compacts have long been used as a vehicle for international development and humanitarian assistance,” writes MPI Co-Founder and Senior Fellow Kathleen Newland. In the context of international migration, a global compact should be understood as “a set of mutually reinforcing commitments involving resources, policy changes and collaborative projects designed to achieve a shared vision.”
Newland points out that the compact will also need a financing mechanism, “not only to provide incentives for cooperation, but to build the capacity of resource-poor states to deliver on the commitments they want to make. A monitoring mechanism will also be needed to allow states to track progress and ascertain where help is needed in building capacity for implementation.”
Noting that the proposed compact represents the culmination of a process underway for more than a decade, the policy brief concludes: “If this opportunity is wasted, it is unlikely the international community will be presented with another for a very long time. This effort must make a real difference in the lives of migrants and to the states that host them temporarily or permanently, or that hope to welcome them home.”
The brief is the first in a series, “Towards the Global Compact for Migration: A Development Perspective,” that results from a partnership between MPI and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The series aims to enrich the content relating to migration and development in the negotiations leading to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
Additional briefs in the series will be published over the next few months, and will be collected here: www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/international-program/global-compact-migration.
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The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at local, national and international levels.