Migration 'powers Economic Growth': UN Chief

Migration 'powers economic growth': UN chief

Migration is a positive force for global economic growth, which helps reduce inequality, conflict and misunderstanding, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guettes said Thursday

UNITED NATIONS, (Pakistan Point News - 11th Jan, 2018 ):Migration is a positive force for global economic growth, which helps reduce inequality, conflict and misunderstanding, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guettes said Thursday. Unveiling his milestone report "Making Migration Work For All" at UN Headquarters in New York, he said that facts, not prejudice need to be the focus, to address the serious challenges of millions who are on the move as refugees and migrants.

"Let me emphasize: migration is a positive global phenomenon. It powers economic growth, reduces inequalities, connects diverse societies and helps us ride the demographic waves of population growth and decline," Guterres said. Globally, migrants make a major contribution to international development both by their work as well as through remittances back to their home countries. Last year, migrants remitted nearly $600 billion, three times all development aid.

"The majority of migrants live and work legally," the UN chief said, noting however, that "others live in the shadows, unprotected by the law and unable to contribute fully to society." A "desperate minority" even put their very lives at risk to enter countries where they face suspicion and abuse, he noted, underlining that the impact can be seen not only in the humanitarian crises affecting people on the move and horrific violations of their fundamental rights, but also in public perception that wrongly sees migration as out of control leading to increased mistrust and policies that seek to stop rather than facilitate human movement.

Furthermore, authorities that erect obstacles to migration, actually end up, inflicting economic self-harm, as they impose barriers to having their labour needs met in an orderly, legal fashion. "Worse still, they unintentionally encourage illegal migration," Guterres said, noting that aspiring migrants, denied legal pathways to travel, inevitably fall into irregular methods that increase their vulnerability as well as undermine governments' authority.

The best way to end the stigma of illegality and abuse around migrants, he added, is for governments to put in place more legal pathways for migration as well as for development cooperation policies to take human mobility into account. In the report, which also serves as his principal input to the 'zero draft' a document forming the basis for final negotiations of the proposed Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, Secretary-General Guterres calls for concerted effort to implement the declarations and commitments on migration its grounding in human rights.

The UN chief said: "The basic challenge before us is to maximize the benefits of migration rather than obsess about minimizing risks: we have a clear body of evidence revealing that, despite many real problems, migration is beneficial both for migrants and host communities in economic and social terms our overarching task is to broaden the opportunities that migration offers to us all." At the same time, it also highlights the important role of all stakeholders including municipalities, legislatures, civil society, the private sector, regional organizations, the media, academia and migrants themselves.

The report also notes the need for the UN system to be better placed and equipped to support the implementation of the Global Compact, in particular, its oversight. "I stress my determination to strengthen how we work on this issue, consistent with my proposed management reforms and strengthening of the UN development system," Guterres added.