UN High Level Dialogue to Tackle International Migration and Development

By Karoline Popp

If you are interested in how States deal with migration multilaterally, 2013 is a big year. On 3-4 October 2013, Member States of the UN will come together – for the second time in the history of the General Assembly – to debate international migration, in the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.

The High-level Dialogue is also not an isolated event. It takes place at a critical time when the international community is renegotiating the global development framework: with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaching their deadline in 2015, preparations have already started to come up with a successor agenda for development. Whether this agenda takes the form of “MDGs plus”, “sustainable development goals” or something else remains open.       

Some important questions could be at stake: what could the governance of international migration look like in the future? Will Member States come to a consensus outcome or will they remain split along North-South, origin-destination lines, as in the past? What role does the UN have in migration? What place, if any, will migration have in a future development agenda? 

All of these questions could have a direct impact on IOM and the way in which IOM carries out its migration mandate.   

IOM has been working to make sure IOM’s experience and views on migration (and its links to development) will be heard at the High-level Dialogue and beyond: IOM Member States have voiced their position in a resolution; together with the Global Migration Group and other partners IOM and UNFPA have coordinated recommendations on migration for the UN system; IOM will take on the chairmanship of the Global Migration Group in July 2013; many IOM country and regional offices have already started preparing their counterparts for the High-level Dialogue; IOM, UNDESA and UNFPA are holding a series of roundtables in New York ahead of the High-level  Dialogue; and the list goes on.

More information on IOM and the UN High-level dialogue is available on the IOM website.


Karoline Popp is a Migration Policy Officer for IOM