HLPF 2022: Well-Managed Migration Accelerates COVID-19 Recovery and Advances SDGs
Related Sustainable Development Goals and Global Compact for Migration Objectives
The United Nations High-Level Political Review Forum (HLPF) is the central United Nations platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. 2022’s theme was “Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, and events highlighted how recovery policies - and the achievement of well-managed migration - could reverse the negative impacts of the pandemic on the SDGs and move countries on to a path to realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda.
Migrants are changemakers and, when it is well-managed for the benefit of all, mobility can help fulfill the promises of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which present our global roadmap for achieving a fairer, safer and more inclusive society. While migration is relevant to every SDG, it is particularly pertinent for achieving the 5 SDGs in focus for review at this year’s HLPF (click to read more about these interlinkages):
Nearly three years into COVID-19, recovery from the adverse impact of pandemic on sustainable development and “building back better” remains the central consideration of the development agenda at the global, national, and local levels. For this year’s HLPF, IOM has again put forth the message that we will not recover from this crisis unless we consider and leverage the potential of mobility to achieve our Global Goals.
Each year, Member States submit Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) to assess their progress towards the SDGs. Local governments also submit Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs). Many of the 44 VNRs submitted this year have integrated migration into their understanding of factors affecting SDG attainment. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) supports and calls on national and local governments to strengthen their analyses of migration in relation to the 2030 Agenda for future VNRs, as mobility affects States’ equality, peace, resilience and broader socio-economic development.
Every year, IOM submits a written review of how migration is contributing to progress towards the SDGs during the HLPF. Read our analysis for 2022 and revisit our 2021 submission. IOM also submitted a written statement1 during the HLPF, outlining our key messages:
IOM has long recognized the important role that well-governed migration can play to mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19, stimulate strong socio-economic recovery, build more inclusive societies that protect human rights, be better prepared to address future crises. Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, this message remains as relevant as before.
The pandemic has reversed hard-won development gains and altered human mobility dynamics around the world. It has also highlighted and exacerbated vulnerabilities faced by migrants, especially migrant women. Communities around the world are now facing a multi-faceted economic crisis–including rapidly increasing food and fuel prices. Meanwhile, climate and environmental change continues to impact the lives and livelihoods of millions around the world–including through climate related disaster. We expect forced migration and displacement to increase in the coming years, while those migrants already impacted by pandemic will continue to be vulnerable.
Despite these challenges, migrants’ important contributions to the COVID-19 pandemic response are a reminder of the positive role of migration for sustainable development. In fact, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be achieved without attaining safe, orderly, and regular migration –a message that emerged clearly at the first International Migration Review Forum, held this May.
Any plan to build back better must consider migrants as an essential component of the solution. Good practices developed during the pandemic must not be forgotten. States should build on the interconnections between migration, displacement, and sustainable development, and integrate them into policy strategies and international cooperation efforts. The international community should continue to pursue the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and harness the power of multilateralism to keep the achievement of the SDGs in sight.
The challenge ahead is significant. IOM is working tirelessly to support a swift recovery from the pandemic through direct assistance and programming for migrants, displaced populations, and the communities they live in, as well as providing technical advice to governments to advance integrated approaches for sustainable development and migration governance. In harnessing the potential of human mobility, there is an opportunity to build back better, and achieve sustainable development for all.
In a resounding success for the recognition of the importance of migration for a prosperous world and building on the earlier inclusion of migration in 2021, the HLPF Ministerial Declaration 2022 (advanced copy) has successfully included robust language on the positive role and contributions of migrants to sustainable development. It recognizes the positive role and contributions of migrants for inclusive growth and sustainable development. It calls upon Member States to take steps to support the full inclusion of migrants in the COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, in line with national circumstances.
The Ministerial Declaration recommits to the SDG 10.C (by 2030, reducing to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminating remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent). It appeals to the international community and national governments to work together to ensure development and investments in national statistical and data ecosystems, including disaggregated data of migration status to inform policy making.
To create the future we want and need, we must empower migrants, which can in turn have positive ripple effects for communities locally, regionally and globally. We have no time left before 2030. To reach our goals, we will need to include everyone.
1. The submitted statement will be available on the HLPF/ECOSOC website.