Meeting Details

Information Note

Program of Work


Final report of the meeting (Arabic)

Report of the Secretary-General for the Sixtieth Session of the General Assembly on International Migration and Development

General Assembly Resolution: International Migration and Development (A/RES/59/241)

Report of the Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM)

Background Papers

The role of transnational communities in fostering development in countries of origin

Remittances of labour migrants in the Arab Region

Demographic transition, employment and labour migration in the Arab region

Evaluation of Labour immigration policies in the GCC: Lessons for the Future

Remittances and socio-economic development in the Arab Maghreb countries: Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco

Governing Labour migration policies in the GCC countries: Risks and Opportunities)

More Background Papers

Population Division-DESA

Migration, remittances and development in the Arab region (Richard Adams, World Bank)

Migration policies and their effectiveness in GCC countries (Nasra Shah, Kuwait University)

The impact of international migration on the economic development of countries in the Mediterranean basin (Andrea Gallina, Roskilde University)

International migration in the Arab region: Trends and policies (Philippe Fargues, Consortium for Applied Research on International Migration)

Brain drain in the Arab countries (Caglar Ozden, World Bank)

Education levels and skills of Arab emigrants in OECD countries (Jean-Christophe Dumont, OECD)

International migration in the Arab region (United Nations Population Division)


Information Note

Expert Group Meeting on International Migration and Development
in the Arab Region: Challenges and Opportunities
Beirut, 15-17 May 2006‎

As the issue of international migration gains more weight at the international level, regional ‎organizations and governments are becoming more attentive to the challenges and opportunities it ‎presents. It has been globally agreed that international migration affects and is affected by the ‎development process; hence, its economic, social and cultural benefits should be more effectively ‎captured and its negative costs better managed. Taking note of the Secretary General’s advisement, ‎the General Assembly decided in its fifty-eighth session (A/RES/58/208) to organize a high-level ‎dialogue to discuss the multi-dimensional aspects of international migration and development in New ‎York on 14 and 15 September 2006. ‎

To facilitate dialogue at the regional level, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, in ‎collaboration with the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, ‎organized an expert group meeting (EGM) on “International Migration and Development in the Arab ‎Region: Challenges and Opportunities” in Beirut during the period 15-17 May 2006. The EGM ‎provided a regional forum for the substantive examination of international migration, in order to ‎identify ways and means to maximize its development benefits and minimize its negative impact in ‎Arab countries. ‎

While analyzing examples of good practices and predicting viable opportunities, the EGM placed ‎strong focus on the contradictions and weaknesses in current migration policies in the region, as well ‎as on the challenges of achieving the internationally agreed development goals. In addition, the ‎meeting addressed and analyzed such prevailing factors of relevance as the coexistence of labor ‎immigration and youth unemployment in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States, the ‎ineffectiveness of national capacity programs to formulate and implement coherent migration ‎policies, and the potential trade-off between population momentum and the transitory demographic ‎bonus. Within this framework, the meeting aimed at: ‎

a.‎ Assessing the impact of international migration on socio-economic development; ‎
b.‎ Evaluating policies responses and actions to improve the implementation of regional and ‎global agreements; ‎
c.‎ Enabling stocktaking of lessons learned and best practices of both the sending and receiving ‎countries; and ‎
d.‎ Defining a framework for a regional dialogue that would enable these countries to capture the ‎benefits while coping with the challenges ‎

Participants of the meeting included experts from academia and research centers, government ‎officials, representatives of international organizations, civil society and the private sector. The EGM ‎agenda comprised seven thematic sessions, each one covering three sub-regions: Arab Maghreb ‎Experience, Arab Mashrek Experience, and Gulf Cooperation Council States Experience.‎

‎•‎ International migration trends and policies in the Arab region
‎•‎ International migration and socio-economic development ‎
‎•‎ Temporary labor migration in the Arab region
‎•‎ Highly-skilled migration: challenges and opportunities
‎•‎ Transnational communities and return migration
‎•‎ Remittances: development impact and policy responses
‎•‎ Migration in the Arab world: governance, management, and capacity building



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