To address issues relating to the nexus between migration, trade and development, two agencies of the United Nations are currently strengthening their cooperation. The agencies are the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Heads of the two bodies on July 10 at the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase joint programming.
Their joint work will support countries to ensure effective, efficient and responsible migration governance, border management, entrepreneurship, as well as the safe, orderly and regular migration and mobility of people.
IOM Director-General, António Vitorino, said ‘’developing country governments are seeking to establish a healthy balance between maximizing development benefits from migration and ensuring good governance and effective border management, security and control.’’
For UNCTAD’s Secretary-General, Mukhisa Kituyi, ‘’migration can contribute significantly to inclusive prosperity if properly aligned with policy instruments in areas of investment, finance and trade. It takes national and international effort to unlock the positive power of migration.’’
Adding, Vitorino said, ‘’facilitating legitimate cross-border mobility alongside cross-border trade of goods and services, contributes to much-needed socio-economic sustainable development, and realizing this balance.’’
IOM and UNCTAD had earlier joined forces, together with UNHCR, to develop a policy guide on entrepreneurship for migrants and refugees, currently being rolled out in different countries.
The agreement opens new avenues for cooperation in additional and complementary areas.
It offers a new data exchange service solution to countries that are using or planning to use the customs and border IT support solutions offered by the two UN organisations – UNCTAD’s customs management system, ASYCUDA, and IOM’s border management information system, MIDAS. The solution aims at enhancing coordinated/integrated border management and analyses.
Under the agreement, UNCTAD and IOM will support countries to strengthen international and intra-state cooperation between their national development, trade, customs and border agencies.
In addition, increased cooperation is expected in various areas addressing migration and development, such as investment, enterprise development and entrepreneurship.
Others include capacity development for countries and partners to harness the development potential of migration, integrated/coordinated border management, cooperation to better support states implementing tools for advance passenger information and enhanced facilitation and risk management.