Contributions of migrants and diaspora to all dimensions of sustainable development

Statement by Senior Adviser Mr. John Petter Opdahl at the fourth informal thematic session on facilitating safe, orderly and regular migration entitled Contributions of migrants and diaspora to all dimensions of sustainable development, including remittances and portability of earned benefits, 25 July 2017.

| Facilitating safe, orderly and regular migration

I thank the Chair and the panel for their input to this discussion.

Let me also thank the organizers for having prepared a very substantial, informative and thought provoking issue brief for this thematic session. This statement from Norway will cover the first three panels of this meeting, and our comments should be seen in relation to the suggestions in the issue brief for ways forward and commitments.

We welcome very much the inclusion of the term “social remittances” in the brief, which provides us with a better and more holistic idea of the importance or remittances towards development. We should keep in mind that migrants’ transfer of knowledge, ideas and values might be as important as their financial contributions towards the development of their countries for origin.

The Sustainable Development Goals are closely related to the migration agenda, and when looking at the role of remittances we must not forget the related SDGs in the areas of health, education, labor rights and the creation of legal identity and migration data. As for Norway, the 2030 Agenda with the Sustainable Development Goals harmonizes well with our priorities for international cooperation and our international development priorities constitute the main part of our national SDG-strategy.

Regarding target 10.7 on facilitating migration and mobility in orderly forms, I will point out that while well-organized migration may contribute to economic development, which it clearly has done in Norway – irregular migration does the opposite. Uncontrolled migration promotes organized crime, undermines public acceptance of migrants, and causes conflict between countries of origin and countries of destination.

The rapid integration of immigrants into the labour market is particularly important. At the same time, we must maintain and secure a high level of employment in our societies, decent working conditions and social security, for all.

Norway will continue to improve all its efforts in striving towards maximizing the impact of migration on development. We will contribute towards solutions that will reduce the cost of transferring remittances. Better financial inclusion and financial education programmes for recipients, in particular for women should be enhanced.

And finally, Norway very much support work that will provide better data, as well as any research of technology that can decrease cost and improve the security of the transfer of remittances.

Thank you.