UN Women Statement on behalf of the Global Migration Group at the Ninth GFMD Summit

Statement delivered by UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri on behalf of the Global Migration Group at the Ninth GFMD Summit, “Migration that works for Sustainable Development for All: Towards a Transformative Migration Agenda”, on 10 December, 2016, Bangladesh


[Check against delivery]

Honorable Prime Minister,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am honoured to address you this morning on behalf of the Global Migration Group, or GMG, of the United Nations system which has chaired in this critical year by UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the Chair of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh Shahidul Haque, for his able leadership and dedication, and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina Wajed for his global vision on the synergies between a transformative migration agenda and sustainable development for all.

This year has proven to be a benchmark with the adoption of the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, a demonstration of the international community's willingness to come together in response to the largest migrant and refugee flows in 70 years. 

2016 also marks the first year of implementation of the transformative and universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and migration is an integral part of it. In fact, the GMG has identified 22 migration-related targets across 11 Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 10.7 on safe, orderly and regular migration, and worked out their interlinkages.

Building on the nexus between Agenda 2030 and the New York Declaration, the GMG is committed to work with all stakeholders towards leveraging the benefits of migration for sustainable development, particularly through the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.

When migration is safe, orderly and regular, it is a positive sum game. It empowers migrants on the move and their families, it is a win for migrants and a win for sustainable development with new ideas and additional resources being generated and flowing into, enriching and benefitting origin and destination countries.

The GMG believes the Global Compact could become a dynamic governance vehicle for the much needed transformative migration agenda that helps us ensure that no one is left behind, including migrants.

We do not merely need a compact on regulations and processes, we need a compact for migrants as subjects, focusing on their human rights, their voice, their empowerment their participation, their leadership and their social inclusion. 

We must also prioritize gender equality and women's empowerment, as an enabler and beneficiary of sustainable development throughout the migration cycle, for SDG5 on achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls to be achieved for migrant women.

Securing borders is not sufficient in order to achieve safe, orderly and regular migration. We need more legal channels for all women and men on the move, based on complementarity and not only for students and highly skilled migrants.

We need an inclusive negotiations process leading to the adoption of an actionable agenda. Engaging all relevant stakeholders in the migration chain particularly migrants and their organizations, private sector and civil society, including women’s organizations, will be crucial.

The world is buffeted by a wave of xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment. We need constant vigilance, even now as we negotiate the modalities and we must build safeguards and accountability into the Compact.

Let me conclude by thanking the GFMD Chair for a rich year of engagement and partnership as well as for its active support for the integration of a strong gender perspective in all global processes on migration, in particular throughout the GFMD’s areas of work.

The GMG and UN WOMEN looks forward to working with you and the upcoming GFMD co-Chairs, Germany and Morocco in the years ahead.

Last but not least, we would like to thank Switzerland for its support for the GMG's mission, and let me also congratulate IOM on its new relationship with the UN which will enable it to play an even more important role.

Thank you.