Closing remarks by H.E. Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN at the Ambassadorial level meeting of the Group of Friends of Migration held on 19 February 2021

I thank you Ambassador Tierney for providing an excellent summary.

It was a great discussion.  Rich and stimulating.

Allow me now to add a few points to the summary provided by Ambassador Tierney.  A few of my takeaways and messages from the discussion:

First, in this pandemic, migrants have been the frontline contributors as doctors, health professionals, and caregivers in their communities. Yet they had to bear the heaviest brunt of this crisis. We need enhanced global solidarity and cooperation to help them recover better from this crisis. It is very important now, more than ever, to implement the GCM fully.

Again, very reassured to hear DG Vitorino’s priority on the health requirements of migrants, as well as about including migrants for vaccines.

Second, for harnessing the development potentials of migration, the international community should endeavor to further integrate migrants and mobile populations into the global development discourse.  We are happy to see enhanced focus of the 13th GFMD on innovative partnership across the entire spectrum of migration governance.

Third, it is critical to increase national capacities of major migrant sending countries.  The UN agencies, IOM and other development partners should provide special support measures to national Governments to upskill and reskill migrant workers, especially those impacted by the Covid, including the returnee migrants.  We need to leverage the benefits of advanced technologies and STI to empower migrants.

Fourth: the impact of climate change on migration has been highlighted by several speakers, including DG Vitorino.  The upcoming COP26 provides an important opportunity to have more in-depth discussions on this issue.

Fifth, we have just completed the organizational session of the LDC-5 prepcom, which I am co-chairing with Permanent Representative of Canada.  Migration and remittances came up as one of the priority issues for the LDCs in the meeting. Many of them are highly dependent on remittances as a key source of their external financing. It is imperative to ensure scaled up international support to the LDCs to tackle this challenge. Any important suggestions and inputs to that important process from this Group would be greatly welcomed.

Finally, it is imperative to foster global solidarity to address gaps in migrant’s protection. The need of the hour is to ensure the access of migrants to vaccines. We need strong political will to ensure the rights, well-being, and dignity of migrants during this unprecedented crisis and beyond.

On behalf of the co-chairs of the Group of Friends of Migration, let me once again thank the Director General of IOM and DPR of UAE for joining us today. I thank you, Mr. Vitorino, for staying with us through the meeting.  We will count on your continued strong engagement and support in the coming days.

I thank you all for your active participation and contributions to the discussions today.  It was very good discussions.  We shall certainly take on board the many good suggestions, proposals and ideas that you brought to the discussion today, in taking forward our work and our future engagements with all.

This meeting is adjourned.