• 07 October 2013

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    Category : Opinion

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    The United Nations faces the challenge of incorporating migratory priorities in its development agen

    How can we recognise the skills and training of immigrants in favour of the development of origin and destination countries? Since remittances are such an important capital flow, why aren’t systems proposed to provide incentives for people who want to invest their savings in the countries of origin?

    The answers to these questions will be discussed during the Dialogue on Migration and Development in New York. It’s time to move towards a system that promotes people’s mobility while respecting their rights. How? Defining the “rules of the game” for migratory flows would be beneficial to all parties involved – a guaranteed system.

    We face numerous challenges that affect our daily lives. This is important for all of us. For everyone who comes to Europe and for the Europeans who leave to go to other countries. Globalisation and the crisis are capable of turning us all into immigrants. In New York, they are tackling essential issues, such as: people having the option to emigrate, rather than out of necessity; the countries’ of residence recognition of migrants’ professional training and degrees; and incentives to encourage the participation of migrant communities undergoing development.

    How will these migratory priorities be integrated in the development agenda?
    It’s clear that migrations can have negative repercussions on country development, such as in the case of Jamaican doctors “fleeing” to the United Kingdom – a phenomenon known as a brain drain. The idea is therefore to minimise the negative aspects, but above all, to increase the positive impact of migrations. Which initiatives have achieved positive impacts?

    The experience of the United Nations’ Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals programme (TOKTEN) in Africa; circular migration, such as the case of seasonal workers in the agricultural industry; and facilitating access to social benefits acquired during the migratory phase, such as the Multilateral Ibero-American Social Security Agreement.

    If we have the same difficulties in common, we must also share the solutions. How do we do it? For example, by establishing spaces for dialogue between the origin and destination countries involved in migratory flows. There are some interesting experiences building alliances around the topic of migration. Since 2008, the FIIAPP, in collaboration with various relevant administration departments, has accompanied the “Rabat Process” http://processusderabat.net/. Over the course of 33 meetings, more than 350 delegates of the EU, the Maghreb, Western and Central Africa and the European Commission discussed the protection systems for unaccompanied minors in Africa, proposed actions permitting the circulation of workers in Europe, and agreed on a cooperation agenda to prevent illegal immigration, among other issues. This exercise resulted in the definition of a specific road map, with objectives and activities to be carried out in the countries of origin, transit and destination for migrations. Future challenges: to continue making progress in developing sound migratory policies.

    Meanwhile, Dialogue has allowed us to preview the proposals the Latin American and Caribbean nations will defend before the United Nations. These countries have very attractive labour markets. Such is the case of Brazil, which is rethinking its migratory policy, taking into account other processes and proposing a State Policy. It will be very interesting to learn about their vision and their position – how will they approach the debate?

    Sara Bayés
    Head of the FIIAPP’s Migration and Development Programme

    The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the sole responsibility of its author.