KNOMAD, UNITAR and JMDI give voice to Local Government at the United Nations

Sep 30, 2013

The World Bank’s Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI), administered by UNDP and implemented in partnership with IOM, ILO, UN Women, UNHCR and UNFPA, and the Office of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, are partnering to convene a side-event on Local Government: Taking the Migration and Development Agenda Forward during the second United Nations General-Assembly High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, on 4 October 2013 in New York. The purpose of the High-level Dialogue is to identify concrete measures to strengthen coherence and cooperation at all levels, with a view to enhancing the benefits of international migration for migrants and countries alike and its important links to development, while reducing its negative implications.

The maxim “suddenly…all politics are municipal politics” holds true for the field of international migration and its impacts on development. This fact is in no small measure influenced by the “largest migration in human history”, with 3.9 billion people moving to city centers by 2030 (as compared to 309 million in 1950). By inviting municipal leaders, and other senior local and regional officials, this side-event will draw from the voices and experiences of Local and Regional Government, emphasizing their role on the forefront in addressing the transformations and opportunities offered by a more mobile world.

It is the first time that a meeting is organized on this subject at the UN, which focuses exclusively on the impact of local and regional government in this field. The side-event will include the Mayors of Athens, Greece and Barcelona, Spain; in addition to high-level representatives from New York City, USA and Cuenca, Ecuador. Together with European Commissioner Ms. Cecilia Malmström; the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, Mr. Peter Sutherland; UNITAR's Assistant Secretary-General, Ms. Sally Fegan-Wyles; the Head of the KNOMAD Project (below), Mr. Dilip Ratha, and Mr. Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Director of the Bureau for Development Policy, UNDP.

The side-event will relate to the theme of Roundtable #3: "Strengthening partnerships and cooperation on international migration, mechanisms to effectively integrate migration into development policies, and promote coherence at all levels". It will focus on advancing migration’s role as a catalytic enabler for development through a combined understanding of what are commonly understood as the most relevant objectives pertaining migration and development for the next decades:

  • reducing discrimination against migrants and protecting their rights;
  • lowering the human, social and economic costs of migration, including those related to recruitment, remittances, and obtaining documentation such as visas and residency permits;
  • expanding opportunities for migrants to more productively invest their earnings and share their knowledge; and
  • enlisting migrants and diaspora organizations in enhancing development in their communities of origin and destination.

Three institutional partners are organizing this event: the World Bank’s KNOMAD Project, the first comprehensive effort to create and synthesize multidisciplinary knowledge, generate a menu of policy options and provide technical assistance and capacity building for pilot projects; the Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI), administered by UNDP and implemented in partnership with IOM, ILO, UN Women, UNHCR and UNFPA co-funded by the European Union and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, whose goal is to maximize the potential of migration for local development through the delivery of targeted support to local authorities and civil society organizations; and UNITAR’s Human Mobility Programme, mandated to build through a coordinated inter-agency approach, improvements in our collective understanding of effective learning in this field. The event is held in collaboration with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for International Migration, Mr. Peter Sutherland.

For more information contact:

Joint Migration and Development Initiative

The Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) was founded in 2008 and is implemented by UNDP in partnership with IOM, ILO, UNFPA, UNHCR and UNWOMEN. The initiative is funded by the European Union and the Swiss Development Agency.

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