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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
Mr. Jimmy Blas
Representative of the Philippines to the U.N.

At the Second Committee of the 61st General Assembly


Agenda Item 55 (b) International Migration and Development

19 October 2006


Madam Chairperson,

My delegation wishes at the outset to associate itself broadly with the views of the Group of 77 and China on the agenda item before us, an issue of particular importance to the Philippines as a country with a sizeable portion of its population working overseas.

We have carefully gone over the report of the UN Secretary-General on the subject of international migration and development and we share his views on a number of issues, in particular his call for intergovernmental cooperation on international migration.

In a fast globalizing world, the movements of peoples across national boundaries at an unprecedented pace point out to migration as an enduring phenomenon with multi-dimensional implications, that require sound management at the global level, if we are all to reap its positive effects for both sending and receiving countries, as well as address its negative effects for sending countries.

The Global Commission on International Migration has done an exemplary task of identifying 33 recommendations to strengthen national, regional and global governance of international migration, which the recently concluded High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development have duly taken into account. The Philippines was privileged to have served as one of the 19 expert commissioners. The Berne Initiative has also produced the International Agenda for Migration Management, which deserves further reflection.

My delegation joins the group of like-minded countries that call for a continuing process of consultations between and among the sending and receiving countries in order to maintain the momentum of dialogue. The ideal mechanism of this consultative process should be within the auspices of the UN. However, if the prospects for the early evolution of a UN mechanism are stalled by the tedious and protracted negotiations, a more feasible option is for an informal process of consultations of concerned sending and receiving countries to proceed with an open-ended Global Forum that can eventually be mainstreamed in the UN.

The Philippines would like to share, in particular through the proposed Global Forum, its “best experience” in its national management of migration, featured by the establishment of several agencies that cater to the needs of our migrant workers, their protection and the maximization of their contributions to the development of their host countries. Our institutional and legal framework has been cited by UN agencies as a model worth looking into by similarly situated countries.

Work on migration at the international level has focused to a large extent on the human rights dimension. This issue is akin to the development dimension of migration. In fact, they cannot be divorced from each other. It is in this context that my delegation wishes to flag the importance of the promotion and the protection of the human rights of migrants, whether documented or otherwise. We, therefore, call on all Member States who have not done so to affirm the importance of migration and development by acceding to the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and Their Families.

Finally, another important dimension of migration is the role that the management of migrants’ remittances can play in their countries of origin. We co-sponsored resolution A/60/206 last year on remittances. A lot of work remains to be done in this field and the consensus of the international community in this regard will be very useful for migrants themselves.

Thank you.

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