CLOSING REMAKS BY MARIO PEZZINI, OECD DEVELOPMENT CENTRE DIRECTOR
LEVERAGING MIGRATION, REMITTANCES AND DIASPORA FOR FINANCING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
15:30-18:00 (local time)
Hotel Elilly, Conference Hall
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
(As prepared for delivery)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It has been both a privilege and a pleasure for the OECD Development Centre to co-organise this side event with the Global Migration Group and the World Bank. Thank you for working with us.
And many thanks to all of you for this very thoughtful conversation this afternoon.
Today’s high-level discussion on the role of migration, remittances and diasporas in financing development is perhaps one of — if not the only discussion – of its kind during this entire Conference. It recognises two clear realities.
First, by broadening the focus beyond remittances, today’s conversation highlights that migrants are among the main actors of financing for development.
And, second, the discussion recognises migration’s prominent place in the post-2015 agenda, given the inclusion of migration-related targets in the SDGs.
What we learned today
So, in this new reality, today’s discussion left me with three key take-aways:
Let me explain each of these.
First, emigrants contribute to the development of their countries of origin probably more than most other sources of finance for development.
Second, the impact of migration, remittances and diasporas is felt not just in countries of origin, but also in countries of destination.
And third, migrants can best contribute to the development of both countries of origin and destination if they can move safely and work in conditions equal to native citizens.
Now, I see some clear policy implications from what our panellists brought to light today. Policy makers in both countries of origin and destination have concrete choices ahead of them.
They can help lower the costs associated with two things: with moving from one country to another and with sending remittances.
Policy makers in countries of destination should strengthen their anti-discrimination and integration policies.
Policy makers should also create an enabling policy environment for leveraging migration’s development impact.
What this discussion confirms for sure is migration’s central role in the global development agenda for both countries of origin and countries of destination.
This year in particular -with this conference and with the upcoming adoption of the SDGs in the fall in New York -migration’s place on the development agenda can gain the prominence it deserves.
We have an opportunity now to create greater coherence among policies to maximise migration’s role as a driver of development. So, let’s make it happen. Because, ultimately, we cannot say that migration and remittances are key to financing development if we then adopt increasingly anti-immigration measures all around the world.
Thank you very much.