International Migration and Development

Statement by Ms. Rozina Tufail, Member National Assembly on Agenda Item No.55 (b): International Migration and Development (October 19, 2006)

Madam Chairperson,

At the outset, I would like to thank the Secretary General for his comprehensive report on International Migration and Development. We greatly benefited from the Report during the High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development convened in New York on September 14 Ė 15, 2006 and hope to do so during our deliberations under agenda item 55(b) as well.

  1. My delegation wishes to associate with the statement made by the distinguished representative of South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
  2. We are also grateful to the President of the General Assembly for circulating the Chairpersonís Summary of the High Level Dialogue. The Summary presents a faithful account of the discussions held.

Madam Chair,

  1. The High Level Dialogue afforded us a great opportunity to exchange views and explore common approaches to promoting coherence between migration and development. Particularly, the high level of attendance witnessed at the Dialogue, clearly demonstrated the seriousness that we all attached to international migration and development issues and our keenness to explore ways and means to maximizing the benefits of migration and reducing its negative impacts.
  2. The most significant contribution of the Dialogue, in our view, was to move migration and development debate to a higher plane. Importantly, it brought out, quite unambiguously, the wish and desire of the widest UN membership to continue global dialogue on international migration and development. Pakistan supports this key message of the Dialogue.
  3. Throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of an individualís will to overcome adverse conditions, to explore new horizons, and to live a better life. Globalization, with its impact on speed and flow of communication and transportation has enhanced the desire and the capacity to move to other places.
  4. Today Migration is an important part of developmental debate as it involves the growth of people, economies and countries. The efficient remittance of migrant earnings to their families back home is one of the basic needs of migrants. There is an obvious need for having regulatory frameworks in place that facilitate remittances at low costs. We need to create incentives for their productive utilization in line with the development priorities and needs of our countries.
  5. No doubt remittances from migrants are helpful, however, their over all impact on development has not been substantiated. The remittances should, therefore, continue to supplement, not supplant, development assistance. We also need to engage our Diasporas and utilize their expertise in various fields developed during their stay abroad, to counter the impact of brain drain and gain benefit from brain circulation and skill development.
  6. While recognizing the development potential of migration, it is equally important to recognize the need to establish adequate and transparent mechanisms to channel migration in a safe, legal, humane and orderly manner to combat irregular migration and prevent enabling conditions for organized crime and exploitation of people. The protection of rights of migrants and victims of trafficking is of great concern to us.
  7. The lack of capacity and absence of policy coherence and coordination undermines our ability to effectively handle migration issues. Pakistan has consistently advocated a scientific approach to deal with international migration and development issues by undertaking comprehensive and analytical studies examining the contributions that international migration and migrants make to the development of both sending and receiving states. This, we believe, is also in line with the evidence based approach, advocated by the Secretary General in his report. Such an approach, in our view, is critical to de-mystify the debate and myths created around international migration.

Madam Chair,

  1. Pakistan recognizes that without the requisite machinery and institutional support, it will be difficult to advance the objectives of generating and sustaining the current dialogue and bring about the much needed coherence and coordination on migration issues. In our view, the arrangement, whatever form or shape it may eventually assume, should be: agreed inter-governmentally through an open, transparent and inclusive process; based on the existing arrangements in order to avoid duplication and overlap; and reports to the UN.
  2. A possible solution in our view could be to allow the Global Migration Group to meet inter-governmentally under ECOSOC. We have also taken note of the Secretary Generalís proposal to establish a Global Consultative Forum and Belgiumís offer to host its first meeting.
  3. We do hope that our deliberations in the Second Committee this year would help delineate the future road map for continuing our engagement and dialogue on International Migration and Development issues.

I thank you