Migrants are integral part of society, contributing to mutual understanding and sustainable developmentboth in both their origin and destination communities.. Safe, orderly and regular migration is in the interests of all.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, International Migrants Day, New York, 2019

Today, more people than ever live in a country other than the one in which they were born. In 2019, the number of migrants globally reached an estimated 272 million, 51 million more than in 2010. International migrants comprise 3.5 per cent of the global population, compared to 2.8 per cent in 2000 and 2.3 per cent in 1980.  The proportion of international migrants in the world population continues to grow. Safe, orderly and regular migration is in the interest of all. And national priorities on migration are best achieved through international cooperation. These principles are enshrined in the 2018 Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

Institutional Background

Since the United Nations General Assembly convened the first high-level dialogue on international migration and development in 2006, attention to the issue of international migration and development has grown. Pursuant to its resolutions 63/225 and 65/170, the United Nations General Assembly encouraged a balanced, coherent and comprehensive approach to international migration and development and invited relevant organizations of the UN system to provide input to the second high-level dialogue on International Migration and Development,  held in October 2013.

At its first regular session of 2012, the Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) requested the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Global Migration Group (GMG), to lead an inter-agency consultation process to prepare an analysis of key gaps and challenges in leveraging migration for development, as well as to draft proposed recommendations in preparation for the October 2013 high-level dialogue on international migration and development. DESA supported UNFPA and IOM in the preparations.

At its March 2013 meeting, the HLCP recommended, for endorsement by CEB, a set of proposed recommendations and outcomes for the 2013 high-level dialogue on international migration. It also agreed to bring the recommendations and outcomes to the attention of Member States and the wider UN system by integrating them into the 2013 report of the Secretary-General on international migration and development. The HLCP requested IOM and UNFPA to continue to facilitate system-wide input in the lead-up to the high-level dialogue, in collaboration with GMG.

The high-level meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants, convened by the General Assembly in 2016 in response to large outflows of migrants and refugees, culminated in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, launching a process of intergovernmental negotiations in preparation for an intergovernmental conference. In December 2018, 24 years after the Cairo Conference on Population and Development, Member States adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (Global Compact), in Marrakech, Morocco. The Global Compact affirms that migration is of major relevance for the sustainable development of countries of origin, transit and destination and recognizes that migration contributes to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In the fall of 2018, the Secretary-General decided to establish a collaborative community of UN entities with a focus on migration, the United Nations Network on Migration, with the aim of supporting Member States’ implementation of the Global Compact, hosted by IOM. The Network further established the Knowledge Platform and Connection Hub and the Migration Multi-donor Trust Fund, which serve as an instrument for ensuring robust, coordinated, inclusive and coherent UN system-wide support to Member States.



  • Migration
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Chief Executives Board (CEB)
  • High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP)


  • Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 19 December 2008 (A/63/416/Add.2) 63/225 - International migration and development

    PDF | 36.21 KB

  • Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 20 December 2010 (A/65/438/Add.3) 65/170 - International migration and development

    PDF | 107.67 KB

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