3 July 2006

Expert Meeting on Migration and Development Conclude in Turin

(Received from a UN Information Officer.)

TURIN, 30 June -- Scientific discussion of migration issues this week in Turin will provide Governments with useful input as they begin taking up migration issues at the United Nations, the President of the Economic and Social Council told experts at the symposium today.

Ambassador Hachani (Tunisia) added that the interaction of academics and agencies, like the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), with Government representatives exemplifies the kind of input the United Nations is seeking from civil society on this and other issues.

The three-day meeting, closing today, brought together 325 participants for 28 workshops on themes ranging from how money sent home by migrants can advance development, how migrants contribute to and can best fit in with host societies, how to stop illegal trafficking in persons, responsibilities of sending countries and how to promote education and entrepreneurship.

One third of the participants at the United Nations symposium were representatives of Governments, from all major regions of the world.

The General Assembly has already decided to debate the theme of international migration and development at a high-level session, 14-15 September in New York.  The United Nations Secretary-General, in a report released earlier this month, recommended the United Nations as a useful venue for governmental exchange of views on the issue.

"What set this meeting apart was the keen interest of the Governments, and their active interventions asking for clarification, raising questions, challenging assumptions," said Hania Zlotnik, head of the United Nations Population Division and main organizer of the Turin International Symposium on Migration and Development.

The Turin-based Rosselli Foundation cosponsored the symposium and aided in its organization.

Workshops were organized by a range of international agencies, including the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Development Programme, World Bank, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, United Nations Population Fund, the International Labour Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund.

Contributing United Nations regional commissions were the Economic Commission for Africa, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.  The main organizer of the Symposium itself, and of several workshops, was the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

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