Migrants matter to cities and for sustainable urban development

Migrants matter to cities and for sustainable urban development


Bettina Etter, Program Officer, GPMD, GPMD/SDC, Bern

On 29 and 30 September, Mayor Bautista of Quezon City in the Philippines hosted over 50 mayors and decision-makers from city administrations from around the world for the 3rd edition of the "Global Mayoral Forum on Human Mobility, Migration and Development". They deliberated on the critical role of cities in providing protection for vulnerable migrants and refugees affected by forced displacement and discussed how cities can facilitate development contributions by diaspora communities residing in their territories. The cities present at the Forum all gave testimonies on their experiences in dealing with these two important aspects of migrant inclusion and encouraged each other in taking initiative by sharing inspiring solutions.


A few weeks later, UN Member States adopted the "New Urban Agenda" at Habitat III, the "Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development" that took place from 17-20 October in Quito, Ecuador. Habitat III provided a platform to take stock of urbanization on a global scale and determine avenues to realize the SDGs in cities. The New Urban Agenda includes an explicit commitment on migrants, displaced persons and refugees in cities. It acknowledges the challenges faced by host communities yet also emphasizes that migrants shape urban life and contribute to development. It vows to support local authorities in establishing frameworks that enable the positive contribution of migrants to cities and strengthen urban-rural linkages.

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