17.11.2011 - Social and Human Sciences Sector

Migration and climate change: the Global Migration Group (GMG) meets at UNESCO

© UN Photo/Evan SchneiderFlooding in Punjab Province, Pakistan.

Bringing together 16 international organizations that work on international migration, the Global Migration Group (GMG) met on 15 November 2011, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, who has been chairing the GMG since 1 July 2011, opened the private meeting of GMG Principals which concluded with a GMG joint statement on one of the most pressing challenges in the world today: the impact of climate change on human migration.

Concurrently, this is the main focus of the recent UNESCO and Cambridge University Press book entitled Migration and Climate Change, which is considered the first authoritative UN report on the subject.

This publication, which was discussed during the meeting, brings together around thirty experts to address the myths associated with climate change, one of the most controversial and least understood phenomena of our time. Authors highlight major concerns, in particular human rights considerations, and provide recommendations for policy-makers at local, national and international levels.

Three experts presented during the GMG meeting: Neil Adger, lead expert from the UK Foresight Project on Migration and Global Environmental Change; Sandy Thomas, Head of Foresight at the UK Government Office for Science; and Pratikshya Bohra-Mishra of Princeton University who will present a case study from her home country, Nepal.

Peter Sutherland, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Migration, also attended.

Participating GMG members include: William Lacy Swing, Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Mr Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as well as high-level representatives from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women, and the United Nations Fund Population Fund (UNFPA).

The statement is also available in French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian. Please see http://www.globalmigrationgroup.org/en/gmg-documents for more information.

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