September 12th, 2006 13:36 EST
World Migration Trends Top Agenda of U.N. Meeting
Washington -- The U.N. General Assembly will hold its first-ever plenary session on the issue of migration September 14-15, with an emphasis on how to maximize the development benefit of migration.
“The United States promotes safe, legal and humane migration,” according to a September 11 fact sheet issued by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration in the countdown to the meeting. “The United States seeks to advance effective migration management policies.”
The United States is committed to migration policies based on human rights, refugee protection, migration controls, anti-trafficking measures and rapid integration of legal immigrants.
Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey will participate in the meeting and address a plenary session.
The United States has a long tradition of migration. Between 2000 and 2005, some 3.7 million immigrants became citizens and 5.8 million received legal permanent residence status, according to the fact sheet.
The contributions and cultural diversity migrants bring with them “have made the United States the country it is today,” the document says.
Regional migration dialogues are the most effective way to craft effective human migration policies, in the U.S. view.
Regional discussion lends itself to the identification of areas of cooperation and policies that will stress humane, orderly, authorized movements of individuals, according to the fact sheet.
MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT
One touchstone for the two-day session will be a report of the U.N. secretary-general issued in May, finding that international migration is a sound means to promote development to achieve “coordinated or concerted improvement of economic conditions in both areas of origin and areas of destination.”
Migration is undoubtedly a huge global economic force, with job opportunities serving as a significant reason that people locate to another country, the U.N. report said.
In doing so, migrants frequently bolster economies in their native lands, contributing to a global total of $173 billion in remittances sent home to developing countries in 2005, according to the report.
The report also points out how different the experience of migration has become in an era of rapid transportation and mass communications.
Migrants of the 21st century are able to maintain much stronger ties to their homelands than in the past, forming a “dynamic human link between cultures, economies and societies,” the report said.
The authors describe the report as “an early road map for this new era of mobility.”
A U.N. News Service article predicts that representatives from more than 120 governments will participate in the meeting.
For more information on U.S. policy, see The U.S. and Mexico: Border/Migration Issues and Immigration Reform.
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)