United Nation High Level Dialogue (UNHLD)

For only the second time ever, United Nations’ Member States organized a High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD). In December 2012, Member States adopted a resolution (67/219) in the UN General Assembly spelling out the overarching themes and modalities for this second High-level Dialogue (HLD). The overarching theme is: “Identifying concrete measures to strengthen coherence and cooperation at all levels, with a view to enhancing the benefits of international migration for migrants and countries alike and its important links to development, while reducing its negative implications.

The HLD is a two-day meeting primarily of government representatives (3-4 October) preceded by a single day for civil society to interact with the governments three months earlier (15 July), and a panel discussion (25 June), all at the UN headquarters in New York. As was the case with the first HLD on International Migration and Development in 2006, the HLD 2013 brought together high-level representatives of governments, including heads of state, ministers, vice-ministers and senior officials in a series of plenary sessions and four round tables. In the resolution, states decided upon four overarching round table themes:

  1. Effects of international migration on sustainable development and identifying relevant priorities in view of the preparation on the post-2015 development framework
  2. Measures to ensure respect for and protection of the human rights of all migrants, with particular reference to women and children, as well as to prevent and combat the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons and to ensure orderly, regular and safe migration
  3. Strengthening partnerships and cooperation on international migration, mechanisms to effectively integrate migration into development policies and promoting coherence at all levels
  4. International and regional labour mobility and its impact on development

The resolution did not specify the outcome of the HLD. It was up to Member States to decide whether to negotiate an outcome document to be adopted, such as a resolution, or not. In the end, a draft resolution was submitted by the President of the General Assembly: Declaration of the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development. Available here in all UN official languages: A C E F R S. Civil society saw the HLD in 2013 as an opportunity with great hope and expectations to find longer term solutions, commitments and institutional changes that address migration comprehensively at the global level.

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