Architects of a New Dawn

We’d like to show the side of the world you don’t normally see on television.

Migration : A World On The Move
Rene Wadlow, Representative to the UN, Geneva, Association of World Citizens

Today, migration policy and legislation is made largely at the national level. Thus, recent news reports from Europe have indicated that one country declared a state of emergency because of the presence of undocumented immigrants in its territorial waters. Another country dispatches asylum seekers to offshore islands in foreign jurisdictions before considering their applications. In another country, genetic testing is seen as a proper tool for coping with possible abuses of family reunification laws.

Yet migration is a world issue influenced by three dynamics:

1) Since the end of the Cold War in 1990, the pattern of geo-strategic power has shifted in the world, and migration is an issue that is inextricably linked to these changes. Migration is an issue that spans the globe and is symbolic of the new patters of power and of the post Cold War conflicts such as those of Iraq and Afghanistan.

2) The classical differences between the national, the regional, and the world levels have increasingly been blurred, creating new interdependencies. While the ideal of the free circulation of ideas, trade and finance is proclaimed by many states, there is at the national level greater limits imposed on the right of entry and the right to residency. The European Union has tried to develop a single European immigration and refugee policy at the Tampere Summit in 1999. Yet in practice, the EU policy has focused on the ‘security of borders’ — a very limited vision. No relationship exists between border security policies and the development of countries of origin.

3) The relevant political scale for dealing with and regulating migratory patterns has moved to the world level while implementation remains largely at the national level. Migratory flows have become more diverse, creating more complex and varied routes.

Human poverty, not only lack of income but also health care, scarcity of food, obstacles to education, inequality of opportunities, including gender discrimination, affect migratory flows. However, poverty is not the only factor that drives emigration. Other features are important such as the existence of social and family networks woven by migrants as well as a kind of ‘migratory imagination’ to increase access to health, education, and career-development. Thus migration is often a choice and an opportunity. It can be an empowering experience rather than just a survival strategy.

A new quality of discussion on migration has been started by the United Nations such as the High-level Dialogue on Migration and Development in 2006 and the Global Forum on International Migration and Development in 2007. As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has stated a world migration policy requires that we “understand what we, as policymakers, can do to maximize the benefits of migration for development, while ensuring that development leads to qualitatively better migration.

An important challenge is the promotion of the human rights of migrants in the countries of origin, transit and destination. When the human rights of migrants are ignored or curtailed, their capacity to contribute to the development of their own country and of host societies is undermined. Thus, as citizens of the world, we call for a true world policy on migrations in which migrants themselves have a say. As migration is a defining feature of the contemporary world, your participation in forming policy recommendations is welcome.

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Comment by Christa Lore Urban on August 21, 2009 at 12:32am
This trully is a global issue. I am sure it will be difficult to obtain consensus. Human rights and dignity of all must be considered. Everyone seeks to have the best life possible. Would support to the nations with the highest exodus help? In the US policies have not stopped the flow. I see it as the long standing struggle of the haves and have nots. This trully is a difficult issue, my feeling is education and adequate infrastructure as well as healthcare could help reduce the flow. Less money to weapons more money for schools.
Thank you for sharing this
Best Regards


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