LONDON – This month, for only the second time in its history, the United Nations General Assembly will focus on international migration. The stakes are high. In the balance rests not only the well-being of the world’s 232 million migrants, but also the health of our societies and economies. So governments should come to New York to make commitments, not just statements.
The first such UN summit in 2006 led to the establishment of the Global Forum on Migration and Development. The Forum was fiercely opposed by some, but it has since proved invaluable in building trust among states and fostering a common understanding of migration.
This year’s summit, however, will be a failure if it produces only rhetoric and process.
Much of the focus in recent months has centered on integrating migration into the UN’s development agenda. This is a crucial goal and will be a headline issue at this month’s High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development. It is vital to ensure that development stakeholders fully understand how migration can help us meet both the original Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals that are expected to succeed the MDGs in 2015.