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Statement by the Chinese Delegation at the GA Informal Thematic Debate on International Migration and Development

2011-05-19 10:13

(May 19, 2011)

Mr. President,

At the outset, I wish to express appreciation to you for your initiative of convening today’s informal thematic debate on “international migration and development”. I am convinced that this debate will lay a sound foundation for the second GA High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development scheduled in 2013.

Mr. President,

The total number of international immigrants has reached 214 million. Normal flow of immigrants has resulted in effective allocation of talent, technology, capital and experience at the global level and promoted the economic and social development of countries. On the other hand, the tidal wave of migration has also been accompanied by ever more serious transnational crimes such as illegal immigration and human trafficking, which have posed challenges to social security and stability. Migration and development has become a major topic that the international community must address collectively. In this connection, China wishes to make the following observations and proposals:

First, address the source of migration. Ultimately, the cause of migration lies in the unevenness of economic and social development among countries. Currently, factors such as the financial crisis, climate change and natural disasters have rendered the situation of immigrants as a special group even more vulnerable. The fundamental way to address migration is to narrow the gap in wealth among countries and regions and promote the common prosperity and development of all countries. Countries of origin, transit and destination should cooperate closely and the developed countries should help the developing countries with capacity building in migration management.

Secondly, promote inclusion and facilitate immigrants’ integration in local communities. As a result of the financial crisis, there has been an increase of discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance against immigrants, and some countries have adopted more stringent immigration policies. Countries should acknowledge the positive contribution made by immigrants to economic recovery and growth, effectively safeguard the legitimate rights and interests as well as the dignity of immigrants, and guide the population and media towards fair perception and treatment of immigrants so as to help the latter to integrate in local communities and contribute to local development.

Thirdly, take an integrated approach to international migration within the framework of development. The issue of migration is closely linked to employment, education, health and other questions of economic and social development. Governments should take into comprehensive consideration political, economic, social and cultural factors, strengthen coordination among departments concerned in order to regulate the flow of immigrants and to let immigrants make due contribution to economic and social development.

Mr. President,

Since the beginning of China’s reform and opening up to the world, the economic, trade and cultural exchanges between the Chinese people and the people of other countries have grown tremendously. In 2010, we had 52 million entries and exits by foreigners, a 20% increase compared to the previous year. The Chinese government attaches great importance to capacity building in migration management and is continuously improving its immigration policies and laws and regulations so as to facilitate normal flow of personnel. At the same time, it has taken effective measures to curb illegal immigration. In April this year, China launched in cooperation with the IOM, ILO and EU the second phase of the project for capacity building in migration management, by which we will engage in exchanges in technology, information and personnel and carry out dialogue and cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win outcome.

Currently, the Chinese government is working vigorously to build a harmonious society that puts people at its center. It pays particular attention to the physical safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens overseas and also tries within the limits of its capabilities to provide assistance to foreign nationals. We will continue to take an active part in the international cooperation in the field of migration and work with others to promote normal flow of people around the world.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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