Published on People Move

UNGA HLM on Refugees and Migrants, September 19, 2016

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You are probably all aware that a high-level plenary UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants will take place on September 19, 2016.  At the KNOMAD seminar on July 8, 2016, the zero draft of the Declaration for this HLM has been presented by HE David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations.  Jointly with HE Dina Kawar, Permanent Representative of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the United Nations, they are the co-facilitators of this HLM. 

The 12 pages zero draft includes:
  • a set of policy principles which will govern our response to large movements of refugees and migrants;
  • a set of commitments for migrants;
  • a set of commitments for migrants and refugees jointly;
  • a set of commitments for refugees;
  • a Global Compact on Responsibility-Sharing for Refugees; and
  • a process to develop a Global Compact for Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration.
The zero draft includes many interesting and important issues, for example it says that “migration should be a choice, not a necessity”. It notes that besides “conflict, persecution or poverty”’ also “natural disasters, climate change or other environmental factors” are reasons why people move reactively. The zero draft welcomes “to bring the International Organization for Migration (IOM) into a closer legal and working relationship with the UN”. And it requests the UN Secretary-General to ensure an annual assessment of progress on commitments made at the HLM, which should form part of the reporting to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on implementation of the 2030 Agenda. 

The most recent version of this Declaration which is now publicly available is the one from July 12, 2016: see link

Any comments and suggestions you have for the role Multilateral Development Banks can play in following the commitments in this Declaration are welcome.



Dilip Ratha

Lead Economist and Economic Adviser to the Vice President of Operations, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, World Bank

Hanspeter Wyss

Senior Program Officer, DECIG/KNOMAD, World Bank

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