I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and itsMemberStates.
The Acceding country Croatia*, the candidate countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland+ and Serbia*, the countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
The European Union and itsMemberStateswelcome the thematic focus of this session of the Commission on Population and Development on ‘new trends in migration-demographic aspects.’
At the outset we would like to reaffirm our strong support for and commitment to the full implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, held inCairoin 1994. Chapter X of the Cairo Programme of Action, remains one of the most comprehensive internationally agreed texts on international migration to date. This year’s theme is all the more important in view of the preparations for the High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, which will be organised by the United Nations General Assembly on 3-4 October 2013, in the framework of its sixty-eight session.
The important links between migration and development issues are clearly recognised both in the EU’s Global Approach to Migration and Mobility, which sets the overarching framework for the external EU migration policy, and in the EU’s new development policy framework, the ‘Agenda for Change’. Since 2005, the EU and its Member States established a broad and truly comprehensive migration policy, which looks at all dimensions of migration and mobility, which takes into account the concerns of its partner countries, and respects the principle of Policy Coherence for Development and addresses relevant issues also from a migrant’s perspective. The EU also acquired valuable expertise in promoting bilateral and regional cooperation on migration through the support of regional dialogue processes, mobility partnerships, and technical and financial cooperation. The EU and itsMemberStatesstand ready to share their experience in these areas.
As the Secretary General report 9/2013/3 points out, ‘the last twenty years have seen major changes in the size, direction and complexity of migration both within and between countries.’ In this regard, we are of the view that it is crucial to broaden the current development and migration agenda, notably by recognising changing migration patterns (a consequence of changing economic, social, demographic and environmental conditions), and by better addressing South-South migration and the role that can be played by well-managed migration in economic and social development. Also, further consideration should be given to promoting the integration of migration with development strategies, including inter alia forced migration, as well as the potential synergies between migration and other areas such as employment policy and trade. In this context, possibilities should also be considered for ensuring that the important links between migration and development are adequately recognised in the post-2015 development framework.
We would also like to address the impact of migration on gender equality and women’s empowerment. This can present tremendous opportunities but also important challenges. As the report of the Secretary General notes, women are increasingly migrating on their own as heads of households and principal wage earners for themselves and their families. This can promote women’s empowerment. But women, children and youth migrants are also particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. For example young migrant women face high risk of sexual violence. Successful policies for migration will need to pay particular attention to the diversity of migrants vulnerabilities and experiences.
However, the difficulty of obtaining internationally comparable data remains an obstacle in devising more effective policy-making tools on the trends and impact of migration on demography. Ever since the HLD in 2006, the European Union has been at the frontline in contributing to the evidence base of migration and development. Especially within the framework of the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility, the EU has developed a number of cooperation tools and frameworks, for instance;
- Migration Profiles – launched by the EU in 2005 – which are effective tools to support policy-making on migration. Extended Migration Profiles, launched in 2008, brings together all stakeholders in a country-specific process in order to identify and address data gaps and needs regarding current migration patterns, labour market trends, legislation and policy frameworks, information on remittance flows, diasporas and other development-related data.
- Mobility Partnerships – considered as the most elaborated bilateral cooperation frameworks under the Global Approach – which are offering a political framework for an enhanced and tailor-made dialogue and cooperation with third countries in a wide range of fields related to migration and mobility, with concrete actions covering the four priority areas of the Global Approach.
Regional mobility is a key component of broader regional integration agendas and can provide significant benefits in terms of promoting people-to-people contacts, strengthening transnational labour markets and boosting trade and economic growth. Given that the majority of international migration occurs between countries within the same region, the EU feels that measures to strengthen governance frameworks for regional mobility worldwide can make a significant contribution to improving the conditions for and promoting the development impact of migration, including South-South flows.
The European Union and its Member States looks forward to the Special Session on ICPD beyond 2014 to be held during the 69th Session of the GA to assess the status of the implementation of the Programme of Action and to renew political support for actions required for the full achievement of its goals and objectives – as required by GA resolution 65/234. We will continue to engage constructively and actively as we approach this important Special Session.
* Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
+ Iceland continues to be a member of EFTA and the European Economic Area.