The larger group of UN organizations and other partners mandated by the CEB in 2012 to prepare the Recommendations and Outcomes paper on migration for the HLD reflects the ever-widening interconnectedness between migration and other fields of public policy – a crucial fact for the post-2015 development agenda discourse.
The agencies contributing to this volume cover almost all angles of migration and development, including: human rights, employment, education, health, social protection, agriculture and food security, climate, environment, security, family, children, gender, remittances and humanitarian action, among others. They also bring some new perspectives on migration and development in facing such pressing contemporary challenges as environmental degradation and climate change, rescue on the high seas, protection of intellectual property, South–South migration, internal migration and urbanization.
To cite just a few examples of the innovative initiatives by and among the agencies described in the ensuing chapters:
(a) a global framework for climate services or a global platform on disaster risk reduction can serve the needs of migration and development policymakers, those assisting displaced and vulnerable persons on the ground, and migrants themselves;
(b) a Migration Crisis Operational Framework supports State efforts to better monitor and respond to migration patterns that occur in connection with humanitarian crises;
(c) a Postal Payment Services Agreement may hold postal service providers to standards and guidelines on international money orders and lower remittance costs for migrants and diaspora;
(d) a global system for ePassport validation (that is, through the International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO] Public Key Directory), together with a more equitable system for issuing entry visas, can facilitate border crossing, lower the cost of mobility and reduce protection risks for migrants;
(e) a global agreement on intellectual property and patent policies may help foster international mobility of skills beneficial to both developing and developed countries; and
(f) an operational framework for equitable access to migrant-sensitive health services might help migrants attain their human development potential and reduce the health costs of migration for migrants and societies.
Underpinning all such policy and partnership initiatives are the combined efforts of many of the HLCP–GMG agencies, most of them GMG members, to enhance data collection, research tools and knowledge bases. Recent and new initiatives include, for example, the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Observatory on Migration, the MigrantInfo database on migrant children and adolescents, and the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development. The EC–UN supported JMDI Programme, which engages five UN agencies, IOM and UN Country Teams in local projects with governments and civil society across many countries, demonstrates how the international system can deliver “as one” to provide practical, evidence-based policy recommendations on migration and development. At the regional level, the Situation Report on International Migration in South and South-west Asia, prepared jointly in 2012 by IOM and a large number of UN, non-UN and regional agencies, offers a useful reference text on migration dynamics across 10 countries in Asia. All of these examples and more are showcased in the ensuing chapters.
The growing number of joint actions within the international system illustrates the wide range of competencies required, which in reality are already being applied by many of the international agencies and their partners, to deal comprehensively with migration (and development). The preparations being undertaken by the CEB for the 2013 HLD have garnered the knowledge and inputs of one of the largest groups of international expert agencies around core challenges of migration and, in the process, offered some important insights into how the international system is beginning to cohere on this issue.