UN Secretary General: ‘Migrants sent $600bn home last year’
In a speech on Thursday, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, highlighted the vital role migration plays in fostering international development.
Speaking during an informal meeting of the General Assembly, Mr. Guterres said:
“Migrants make a major contribution to international development – both by their work and by sending remittances to their home countries. (These) added up to nearly $600 billion last year, three times all development aid”.
The remarks came as the UN launched a new report into how migration can achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The report, entitled Making Migration Work For All, seeks to develop international cooperation on migration and offers policies to overcome related challenges. The document forms the organisation’s first steps towards achieving a ‘global compact’ on migration. The UN’s intention is to create an agreement among member states that will be used to govern international migration in a safe, orderly and regular way.
The Secretary-General emphasised the need for cooperation on international development that takes into account human mobility;
“It is essential to provide more opportunities for people to be able to live in dignity in their own countries and regions. Migration should be an act of hope, not of despair”.
He also said that states need to strengthen the rule of law which protects migrants, emphasising that this benefits their economies.
“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".
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Image Credit: Eric Bridiers