A. International migration and development

Basis for action

10.1. International economic, political and cultural interrelations play an important role in the flow of people between countries, whether they are developing, developed or with economies in transition. In its diverse types, international migration is linked to such interrelations and both affects and is affected by the development process. International economic imbalances, poverty and environmental degradation, combined with the absence of peace and security, human rights violations and the varying degrees of development of judicial and democratic institutions are all factors affecting international migration. Although most international migration flows occur between neighbouring countries, interregional migration, particularly that directed to developed countries, has been growing. It is estimated that the number of international migrants in the world, including refugees, is in excess of 125 million, about half of them in the developing countries. In recent years, the main receiving countries in the developed world registered a net migration intake of approximately 1.4 million persons annually, about two thirds of whom originated in developing countries. Orderly international migration can have positive impacts on both the communities of origin and the communities of destination, providing the former with remittances and the latter with needed human resources. International migration also has the potential of facilitating the transfer of skills and contributing to cultural enrichment. However, international migration entails the loss of human resources for many countries of origin and may give rise to political, economic or social tensions in countries of destination. To be effective, international migration policies need to take into account the economic constraints of the receiving country, the impact of migration on the host society and its effects on countries of origin. The long-term manageability of international migration hinges on making the option to remain in one's country a viable one for all people. Sustainable economic growth with equity and development strategies consistent with this aim are a necessary means to that end. In addition, more effective use can be made of the potential contribution that expatriate nationals can make to the economic development of their countries of origin.

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