In recent years, there has been an increased global recognition of the relationship between migration and development. This recognition is just now being translated into programs and policy measures designed to maximize the positive effects of migration for development and minimize potential negative consequences. This joint conference held by CMS and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), explored the benefits and impact of migration on development while highlighting methods for integrating migration into development planning. This discussion helped to bridge the gap between two major UN Conferences: the 2011 May UN General Assembly Informal Thematic Debate on International Migration and Development and the 2013 UN High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development and was of great importance as the international community begins its reflections on the post-2015 development agenda. The conference was attended by fifty civil society leaders, academics, UN colleagues, and delegates from diplomatic missions.
Mainstreaming migration into development planning can be a beneficial policy plan and operational tool only if governments create the necessary policies and programs designed to maximize the positive benefits of migration, such as remittances, while minimize negative consequences, such as brain drain. Creating adaptive national migration policies that account for possible challenges, using reliable data to measure development gains, harnessing the ‘social contributions’ of migrants such as knowledge sharing and diaspora investments and ensuring the integration of migrants into the host society are all instrumental for tapping into the development gains of migrants for developing countries. Moreover, the relationship of migration and development-related objectives requires dedicated international attention, especially within the UN, particularly as the international community begins its reflections on what will eventually constitute the post-2015 development agenda.