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 Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People

People on the Move 

N° 94,  April 2004, pp. 205-210

Resolution adopted by the U.N. General Assembly*

[on the report of the Second Committee (A/58/483/Add. 3)]

58/208. International Migration and Development

The General Assembly,

Recalling the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development adopted at Cairo[1], in particular chapter X on international migration, and the key actions for the further implementation of the Programme of Action, set out in the annex to General Assembly resolution S‑21/2 of 2 July 1999, in particular section II.C on international migration, as well as the relevant provisions contained in the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development[2], the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development[3], the Platform for Action adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women[4] and the outcome documents of the twenty‑fourth[5] and twenty-fifth[6] special sessions of the General Assembly,

Recalling also its resolutions 49/127 of 19 December 1994, 50/123 of 20 December 1995, 52/189 of 18 December 1997, 54/212 of 22 December 1999 and 56/203 of 21 December 2001 on international migration and development, as well as Economic and Social Council decision 1995/313 of 27 July 1995,

Recalling further its resolution 57/270 B of 23 June 2003 on the integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic and social fields,

Reaffirming the obligations of all States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, reaffirming also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights[7] and recalling the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination[8], the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women[9] and the Convention on the Rights of the Child[10],

Recalling the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families[11], which entered into force in July 2003,

Recalling also that heads of State and Government at the United Nations Millennium Summit resolved to take measures, inter alia, to ensure respect for and protection of the human rights of migrants, migrant workers and their families, to eliminate the increasing acts of racism and xenophobia in many societies and to promote greater harmony and tolerance in all societies,

Reaffirming that the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council should carry out their respective responsibilities as entrusted to them in the Charter of the United Nations, and that Member States should strive to achieve the goals set at the relevant United Nations conferences in the formulation of policies and the provision of guidance to and coordination of United Nations activities in the field of population and development, including activities on international migration,

Reaffirming also the need for the relevant United Nations organizations and other international organizations to enhance their financial and technical support to developing countries, as well as countries with economies in transition, to foster migration that contributes to development,

Takingnote of the views of Member States on the question of convening a United Nations conference on international migration, its scope, form and agenda, and noting the low number of respondents to the survey of the Secretariat, and in this context inviting the Secretary‑General to continue considering the issue,

Noting the work undertaken under the International Migration Policy Programme by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Population Fund, in partnership with the International Labour Office, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Office of the United Nations High­ Commissioner for Human Rights and other relevant international and regional institutions, with a view to strengthening the capacity of Governments to manage migration flows at the national and regional levels and thus foster greater cooperation among States towards orderly migration,

Aware that, among other important factors, both domestic and international, the widening economic and social gap between and among many countries and the marginalization of some countries in the global economy, due in part to the uneven impact of the benefits of globalization and liberalization, have contributed to large flows of people between and among countries and to the intensification of the complex phenomenon of international migration,

Aware also that, in spite of the existence of an already established body of principles, there is a need to enhance international cooperation on migration issues and make further efforts, including through appropriate mechanisms, to ensure that the human rights and dignity of all migrants and their families, in particular of women migrant workers, are respected and protected,

Taking note of the rights of all migrants and their obligation to respect national legislation, including legislation on migration,

Noting that an overall commitment to multiculturalism helps to provide a context for the effective integration of migrants, preventing and combating discrimination and promoting solidarity and tolerance in receiving societies,

Recognizing the need for further studies and analyses of the effects of the movements of highly skilled migrant workers and those with advanced education on economic and social development in developing countries, and emphasizing the need for further studies, and analysis of the effects of those movements on development in the context of globalization,

Noting the importance of remittances by migrant workers, which for many countries are one of the major sources of foreign exchange and can make an important contribution to developmental potential, and stressing the need to consider the various dimensions of this issue in a sustainable development perspective,

1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General;[12]

2. Urges Member States and the United Nations system to continue strengthening international cooperation and arrangements at all levels in the area of international migration and development in order to address all aspects of migration and to maximize the benefits of international migration to all those concerned;

3. Calls upon all relevant bodies, agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system and other relevant intergovernmental, regional and subregional organizations, within‑their continuing mandated activities, to continue to address the issue of international migration and development, with a view to integrating, migration issues, including a gender perspective and cultural diversity, in a more coherent way within the broader context of the implementation of agreed economic and social development goals and respect for ail human rights;

4. Requests the Secretary-General, in cooperation with relevant bodies, agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system and other relevant international, regional and subregional organizations, to continue convening meetings, as necessary, in order to coordinate their activities regarding international migration, and to collect information to assist States in identifying critical issues and discussing future steps;

5. Takes note of the initiatives undertaken by Member States to continue to identify the many dimensions of international migration and development in order to better understand international migration processes and their linkages with globalization and development, to address the issues related to international migration, to analyse the gaps and shortcomings in the current approaches, to maximize the benefits of international migration and to strengthen international, regional and subregional cooperation;

6. Encourages Governments of countries of origin, countries of transit and countries of destination to increase cooperation on issues related to migration, and notes with appreciation the numerous meetings and conferences convened relating to migration and development,[13] in particular in the context of regional cooperation;

7. Invites Governments, with the assistance of the international community, where appropriate, to seek to make the option of remaining in one’s country viable for all people, in particular through efforts to achieve sustainable development, leading to a better economic balance between developed and developing countries;

8. Requests the Secretary-General, as an exception, to submit a report to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth instead of its sixtieth session on the implementation of the present resolution, which, inter alia, provides an update of the results of relevant activities within the United Nations system and of United Nations cooperation with the International Organization for Migration and other relevant intergovernmental organizations concerning international migration and development, including best practices on managed migration and polices to increase understanding and strengthen cooperation in the area of international migration and development among States and other stakeholders, reviews major initiatives of Member States and suggests action-oriented options for the consideration of the General Assembly;

9. Decides that in 2006 the General Assembly will devote a high-level dialogue to international migration and development, in accordance with the rules and procedures of the Assembly; 

10. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session on the organizational details off the high-level dialogue, bearing in mind that:

(a) The purpose of the high-level dialogue is to discuss the multidimensional aspects of international migration and development in order to identify appropriate ways and means to maximize its development benefits and minimize its negative impacts;

(b) The high-level dialogue should have a strong focus on policy issues, including the challenge of achieving the internationally agreed development goals;

(c) Round tables and informal exchanges are useful for dialogue;

(d) The outcome of the high-level dialogue will be a Chairperson’s summary, which will be widely distributed to Member States, observers, United Nations agencies and other appropriate organizations;

11. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-ninth session the sub-item entitled “International migration and development”.
*78th plenary meeting, 23 December 2003
[1] Report of the International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, 5-13 September 1994 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.95.XIII.18), chap. I, resolution 1, annex.
[2] Report of the World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, 6-12 March 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.8), chap. I, resolution I, annex I.
[3] Ibid., annex II.
[4] Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 4-15 September 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E. 96.IV. 13), chap. I. resolution I, annex II.
[5] Resolution S-24/2, annex.
[6] Resolution S-25/2, annex.
[7] Resolution 217 A (III).
[8] Resolution 2106 A (XX), annex.
[9] Resolution 34/180, annex.
[10] Resolution 44/25, annex.
[11] Resolution 45/158, annex.
[12] A/58/98.
[13] Including the European Conference on Migration, held at Brussels on 16 and 17 October 2001; the International Symposium on Migration: Towards Regional Cooperation on Irregular/Undocumented Migration, held at Bangkok from 21 to 23 April 1999, which adopted the Bangkok Declaration on Irregular Migration (see A/C.2/54/2, annex); the Regional Conference to Address the Problems of Refugees, Displaced Persons, Other Forms of Involuntary Displacement and Returnees in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and Relevant Neighbouring States, held at Geneva on 30 and 31 May 1996; the Regional Conference on Migration in North and Central America; regional migration policy capacity‑building and cooperation meetings organized and planned by the International Migration Policy Programme; the Mediterranean Conference on Population, Migration and Development, held at Palma de Mallorca, Spain, from 15 to 17 October 1996; the Technical Symposium on International Migration and Development of the Administrative Committee on Coordination Task Force on Basic Social Services for All, held at The Hague from 29 June to 3 July 1998; and the First and Second Ministerial Regional Conferences on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, held at Bali, Indonesia, from 26 to 28 February 2002 and from 28 to 30 April 2003.