JIS News

Jamaica is to present its draft migration policy to the United Nations (UN) High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in October.

State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, said the UN will be inviting Jamaica to explain the development of the policy and “in doing that, it will become a template for other countries that will be developing migration and development policies.”

He was addressing a session of the just concluded Jamaica Diaspora Conference in Montego Bay.

Jamaica’s elaboration of an International Migration and Development Policy, which includes a Diaspora and Development Policy,is intended to improve the Government’s capacity to monitor and manage international migration in line with the country’s socio-economic development priorities as outlined in Vision 2030 Jamaica.

The policy development initiative is being led by a consultant and the process is being funded by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Consultations are being held to finalise the draft document for submission to Cabinet, after which it will be tabled in Parliament as a Green Paper. Once ratified, it will become a White Paper, which will be the policy of the country.

Mr. Brown informed that a five-year action plan is being developed and funding has already been secured for the policy’s implementation.

“Within the context of the Diaspora and Development Policy, we are currently looking at the institutional framework that will give efficacy to the implementation of resolutions and recommendations coming out of this conference,” he informed.

State Minister, who has responsibility for Diaspora affairs, said the move to develop the policy puts Jamaica “ahead of the curve.”

“In fact, we are the first Caribbean country to be breaking ground in this particular area. The International Migration and Development Policy represents a paradigm shift in terms of how we view migration, and when it is completed, it will be one of the more progressive policies in the world,” Mr. Brown said.

The International Migration and Development Policyserves as a response to global developments, which have exposed the need to address the broad and evolving range of challenges and opportunities associated with the trans-boundary movement of people, while promoting better understanding of the links between migration and development.

The Government recognises that effective management of migration can contribute to the achievement of development goals including poverty reduction, maternal and child health, primary education, and gender empowerment.

The General Assembly of the UN will hold the second High-Level Dialogue (HLD) on International Migration and Development from October 3 to 4.

The Assembly will identify the concrete measures to strengthen coherence and cooperation at all levels, with a view to enhancing the benefits of international migration for migrants and countries alike and its important links to development, while reducing its negative implications.

This will be a joint exercise of the IOM, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).