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Statement by Ms. Chen Yingzhu of the Chinese delegation at the Second Committee of the 67th session of the General Assembly on Agenda 22: Globalization and Interdependence: International Migration and Development

2012/10/18
 

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation endorses the statement made by the representative of Algeria on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Mr. Chairman,

With migration an increasingly global phenomenon in today's world, its significance and complexity have never been greater. Migrant population worldwide has seen a marked increase, reaching 214 million in 2010. New migration waves, be it economically, politically and socially motivated or due to demographic reasons, are producing profound and far reaching impact on the socioeconomic development of both countries of origin and those of destination. Migrants face new survival challenges compounded by financial crisis and rising unemployment, which in turn, fuel racial discrimination and xenophobia as has been seen in certain countries. Natural disasters are becoming more notable causes for migration. The international community should seize the opportunity of the second High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development during the 2013 session of the GA to properly address the question of migration by conducting in-depth analysis of the nexus between migration and development, safeguarding the legitimate rights and interest of migrants and enabling migrants to play a positive role in socioeconomic development. In this connection, China would like to make the following observations and recommendations:

First of all, the impact of migration on development must be evaluated in an objective manner. In recent years, South-North migration has overtaken South-South migration to become the dominant trend of migration. Officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries were estimated to have reached $372 billion in 2011, a 12% increase over the previous year. Remittance flows not only constitute an important source of household income for migrants' families back home, but also increase the foreign exchange reserves of countries of origin and enhance their investment capabilities. Remittance flows therefore play an increasingly important role in the efforts of these countries to eradicate poverty and achieve development. China encourages the G-8 to effectively implement its 2009 initiative of reducing the actual global average costs of transferring remittances from the present 10% to 5% in 5 years and make financial services more accessible to migrants. However, it must be emphasized that expatriate remittances are private funds and cannot substitute official development assistance.

Secondly, the rights and fundamental freedom of migrants must be protected. Against the backdrop of global shortage of skilled labor, international migration has made up for the labor shortage in countries of destination and generated great wealth, thus contributing to the economic and science and technological development, population growth and job creation in countries of destination. States should recognize the positive contribution of migrants to economic recovery and growth, foster an open and inclusive social environment, guide local population and public opinion to a fair view of migrants, and facilitate social integration of migrants. It is also necessary to combat racial discrimination, effectively safeguard the dignity and legitimate rights and interest of migrants, and protect the most vulnerable groups, migrant women and children in particular.

Thirdly, international cooperation and capacity building should be strengthened. It is the common responsibility of states to promote safe and legal international migration while addressing problems that underlie international migration such as poverty, lack of job opportunities, armed conflict and environmental degradation. Developed countries should continue to provide necessary funds and technology and assist developing countries in capacity building. China is in favor of maximizing the role of such mechanisms as the Global Migration Group and Global Forum on Migration and Development so as to enhance policy coordination and pragmatic cooperation among countries and facilitate the exchange of experience and good practices in this field. It is our hope that during the current session of the General Assembly the preparatory work for the 2013 High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development will proceed well so as to prompt all parties to strengthen partnership and formulate an effective global strategy for migration and development.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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