IOM and the High Level Dialogue

As the principle intergovernmental organization in the field of migration, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been invited by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to contribute to the preparation of and to participate in the UN High-Level Dialogue which took place on 14-15 September 2006.

In its official documents entitled The High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development: Key IOM Messages  and International Migration and Development: perspective and experience of the International Organization for Migration, IOM has defined a number of policy orientations as key contribution to the preparation of the HLD. IOM particularly stressed the importance for the HLD to:

  1. mandate further research in order to better understand the complex relationship between migration and development;
  2. advocate policy coherence at the national, regional and international levels, by further encouraging national governments to engage in inter-ministerial initiatives and integrate systematically migration into their development policy and planning agenda (i.e. national  Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). At international level, such policy coherence ought to be translated through the integration of migration into discussion around the Millennium Development Goals;
  3. promote a ‘qualitative’ integration of migrants in host countries by calling upon states to adopt measures respectful of migrant and human rights and aimed at protecting migrants against trafficking, smuggling and abusive labour and social practices. Additionally, IOM key message to the  HLD with regard to the global fight against trafficking and irregular migration, pushed for furter outreach campaigns informing would-be migrants on the risks of irregular migration  and further implementing measures aimed at addressing the underlying social and economic root causes of irregular migration;
  4. further stimulate the international community to explore ways for better integrating diasporas as potential economic and social development agents for both the countries of origin and destination. To that end, IOM stressed the need for considerably reducing remittances costs and enhancing the development impact of remittances as well as developing project initiatives that could help stemming the brain drain phenomenon through the transfer of migrants’ skills and know-how.
  5. call for tools that better match labour demand and supply at global level in view of maximizing the development potential of global labour mobility.
  6. further encourage  cooperation at regional and international level through the set up of Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs) and partnerships that have already proved to facilitate mutual understanding and the development of concerted actions in response to shared migration challenges.

In addition to its conceptual contribution to the HLD, IOM has also been involved in the organization of several events with key partners at the national, regional and global levels. The Migration and Development Conference of March 2006 was one such national/regional event, organized in Brussels as a joint intitiative between the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium and the International Organization for Migration, with the support of the European Commission and the World Bank.

At the global level, IOM has taken an active part in the set up of the Global Migration Group (GMG),  an inter-agency consultation process that brings together heads of several inter-governmental agencies which share objectives in the field of migration and development. The GMG’s mandate is to contribute to the UN HLD and, more generally, to the “overall effectiveness of the United Nations and the international community's policy and operational response to the opportunities and challenges presented by international migration.”

Click here to access resources on IOM’s involvement in the UN High-Level Dialogue, including background documents, key messages, and the calendar of events.