Statement by Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh during the launching of IOM’s World Migration Report 2018

Demystifying migration:

Launch of the World Migration Report 2018 and the Migration Governance Indicators

Date: Monday, 18 December 2017, International Migrants Day

Location: CR 8, UNHQ, New York

Statement by Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh during the launching of IOM’s World Migration Report 2018


Director General of IOM Ambassador William Lacy Swing,

Migration Experts and

Colleagues from the Civil Society.

Indeed, it is a pleasure for me to co-organize this event with Portugal and IOM. Thank you, Ambassador Swing, for sharing your valuable thoughts, your comments on ‘enormous inequalities’ surrounding migration and their consequences are well noted. Migration is a complex, multi-dimensional global phenomenon, a true reality, an in-built element of human behavior and surely it is here to stay.

Migration should be ideally considered as a matter of choice and not a necessity. Global community should appreciate the linkages of migration with development through effective implementations of migration related goals and targets enshrined in the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development and the positive narratives of migration should inspire the framing of GCM.

First and foremost, we need to understand that migrants are human beings and they have their rights just like us. They also have similar aspirations to live a better and dignified life. Therefore, it summons global response for better managing the phenomenon through better understanding, streamlining migration into respective national policies, enhancing international cooperation in migration and bolstering the global governance of migration through adopting a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.

We need to demystify the process of migration by highlighting its potentials and benefits to facilitate development in their countries of origin, transit and destinations. We also need to counter the negative rhetoric, charged with populist political languages. While we are advocating for opening up new channels for safer and regular migration, forced displacement beyond national borders, either due to conflict or natural disaster, remains an unceasing concern.

In this backdrop, I would like to mention that since 25 August 2017, around 650,000 Rohingya from Northern Rakhine State of Myanmar sought refuse in Bangladesh. The number is increasing every day. Bangladesh Government, besides bilateral engagement with Myanmar to solve the problem, despite her resource scarcity has engaged its fullest strength to cope with the humanitarian needs at the ground in intensive partnership with other Member States, relevant UN Agencies including IOM and other stakeholders. The robust role of IOM is praiseworthy.

In this context, I would like to highlight that closing the borders to stop the flow of immigrants is not the solution or safeguard to uphold countries sovereign authority. I support the comment of Ambassador Swing “We need to be more rational and less emotional while dealing with international migration.”

Bangladesh is one of the largest countries of origin (in 2015, it was positioned 5th, after India, Mexico, Russia and China), presumably in national wealth creation and development-  the role of remittance (around 11 billion USD/year) has been immense. We constantly advocate in favor of ethical recruitment, opening up of new legal pathways, responsible migration, decent work, protection of migrant’s rights including that of their family members, lowering the costs of remittance sending, portability of earned benefits, diaspora engagements, and informed and sustainable voluntary return. Bangladesh government is also mindful about the reintegration of returnees and their social and economic assimilation in the society through their meaningful engagement in nation building and backstopping their entrepreneurship potentials. Migration has been embedded in our national development policy to pave our journey to become a Middle-Income Country by 2021 and a Developed Country by 2041.

In her statement on International Migrants Day, Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina puts special importance on reducing the trends of irregular and unsafe migration saying, “The Global Community must work together and in coordination to implement the rules and measures for countering human trafficking and lower the recruitment costs for labor migration to a tolerable level.” She also stressed on complying with ILO Standards to stop discrimination and xenophobic attitude towards migrant labors.

Standing at the critical juncture of making history through adoption of a forward looking, action oriented Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, I welcome the 2018 version of World Migration Report produced by IOM. Our aspiration load on IOM has become greater than ever since its joining in the United Nations. I have firm conviction that the vast expertise and understanding of IOM in dealing with migration on the ground has shaped this report and convert it into a policy tool for the Member States in integrating migration into their national development policies. It has also embraced exemplary best practices prevailing at the local, national and regional levels. I am pleased to see that some of the best practices and pilot projects initiated in Bangladesh in partnership with IOM get placed in this rich report, for example; access of service through online platforms for hard to reach population.

I am confident that this World Migration Report 2018 will promote a balanced understanding on the opportunities and challenges offered by migration, based on evidence based disaggregated data, and enable national policy makers to properly conceptualize the trends and needs of contemporary international migration which ultimately leads to capacity building, efficient strategic planning and inform policy making by the Member States in better managing this global phenomenon.

I would also like to mention about the IOM’s Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) which has the potential of operating as a capacity-building tool, based on policy inputs, for strengthening migration governance. I see immense merit behind designing such indicators as MGI aims at advancing conversations on migration governance. Both documents complement each other perfectly.

I hope that this 2018 edition of the World Migration Report, IOM’s flagship publication, will remain as a close companion and a useful reference for the migration experts and researchers. The essence of this

Report will be reflected in the interventions made to shape the future global compact on migration with the spirit of improving the situation of migrants and the societies that embrace them.

I thank you.