Stockholm: Migration and the Post 2015 Agenda and migrants in crisis situations will be the main two topics discussed in the 2014 Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), which is scheduled to be held in Sweden from May 14 till 16, president of Migrants Rights International (MRI) said.
"In the past 15 years, international migrants and the Diaspora have contributed significantly to progress on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to end poverty. As the current set of MDGs expire, it is time for new goals to recognise, and benefit from how migrants and Diaspora inevitably drive enormous development, with human development as a first, natural, healthy and productive starting point," William Gois, the president of MRI, said.
The GFMD is an initiative of the United Nations Member States to address the migration and development interconnections in practical and action-oriented ways.
So far, the six GFMDs held since 2007 have contributed greatly to the global, regional and national policy debates. It has provided a collegial space in which governments regularly share their experiences in the area of migration and development. "From business creation to remittance-matching programmes and Diaspora bonds, migrants and the Diaspora engage as individuals and in associations for human and economic development in countries of destination, origin and heritage. So it is very important to ending poverty and realising rights, migrant objectives and contributions like these are at the heart of achieving both Millennium (and "sustainable") Development Goals and national development plans," Williams added.
The UN officially counts 232 million international migrants. But the real number of international migrants and those in direct relation with them is well over a billion: more than 1 out of every 7 of us on the planet.
According to World Bank data, migrants and the Diaspora send more than 600 billion of earnings and remittances—their own money—home each year to their countries of origin and heritage. Even though this is only the recorded figure (the World Bank says that the actual figure is much higher), it is already more than three times the total amount of official development assistance.
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