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Panel #1: Sustainable development and poverty eradication

Statement held at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, 22-23 May 2017

Norway shares the view that when addressing the drivers of migration, our primary focus should be to address the factors that push people to move out of necessity or lack of opportunities. Migration should be safe, regular and orderly, for the benefit of the migrant, the recipient country and the country of origin. Migration should be a choice, not a must.

There will always be push-factors and pull-factors or a mix of both which make people decide to up-root and leave their homes. Often there is no other alternative when the situation is life-threatening to people. They flee out of necessity.

The 2030 agenda with the sustainable development goals has provided us with a unique opportunity. For the first time, the whole world has signed up to leave no one behind.

Norway believes that sustainable development can alter the drivers of migration, but it demands domestic policies and political will. SDG16 calls for “peaceful and inclusive societies, justice for all, and accountable institutions”. Hence, a key element is good governance. We all have to work hard to strive for peace, mobilization of national resources, a firm fight against corruption and combating human smuggling and trafficking. Governments in countries of origin should provide equal and fair opportunities for their citizens. Education must be accessible for all and job creation is crucial. Migration is often about finding a job, or a better paid one. 

Increased economic and social development will often lead to more migration in the short and medium term. In the long term, better economic opportunities and increased development in the countries of origin should reduce the need for people to move out of economic necessity.

Data is key to reach the sustainable development goals. Better data is needed to address the drivers of migration and should include internally displaced people. The international society has a key role to play to ensure that there is accurate information and correct data available.

Thank you.