United Nations Alliance of Civilizations on the Social Inclusion of Migrants

BlogPicMigrantBlog post on the side event held by the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the Club of Madrid, on February 10, 2014 on “Social Inclusion and Migration: Developments for the Post-2015 Agenda”

The UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the Club of Madrid, an NGO that gathers former presidents and prime ministers from over 60 countries, held a side event to the Commission for Social Development on February 10 on the theme “Social inclusion and Migration: Developments for the Post-2015 Agenda”.

The meeting was held in the presence of the former president of Spain, Mr. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, whose presidency (2004-2011) was marked by the adoption of controversial social reforms like gay marriage (2006) and legalization of abortion (2009). Mr. Zapatero rarely appears publicly since he left the presidency of Spain in 2011.

The interventions concentrated on the issues of migration, which has become “one of the biggest issues of the 21st century”, according to Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations, and on the integration of migrants in the receiving countries. Following the outcome of last year’s Commission on Population and Development, which stated that “the international community should channel adequate support to effective programs to address the causes of movement of refugees and displaced persons”, the speakers asked for migration to be taken into account in the post-2015 agenda.

Mr. Zapatero remarked that “indicators of the social inclusion and the respect of the human rights of the migrants shall be created” to measure the efficiency of the policy of integration of migration of the countries. In this regard, he added that “we have to start by setting the example and from that point, Europe has many things to improve in its migration policy”. He insisted on the steps undertaken by Spain during his mandate: “when I was head of government, I had a policy for integration and respect for migrants. Their beliefs and their rights had to be respected.” He concluded hoping that “the migration problem can have a bigger role in Post-2015 agenda”.

WYA is very concerned about the welfare of migrants, since their condition in transit puts them in a situation of vulnerability, and they are exposed to a constant threat of violation of their human dignity. We promote a person-centered perspective, according to which migrants are all human beings and their dignity shall be respected in their country of adoption. They all have the potential for creativity that should be fostered through good living conditions.

 By Servane Haycraft, a WYA Advocacy Volunteer from France