Globalisation has a variety of dimensions.
The growth in international trade, investment and capital flows as well as the rapid increase in social, cultural and technological exchanges, shape people’s everyday life all over the world.
We appreciate that the Secretary-General in his report this year brings to our attention the important role played by innovation and technology in the globalizing economy, and we share the main thrust of his message. However, as we emphasized throughout the WSIS process, and at the information society summit itself: technology alone, without the appropriate democratic policy framework, will do little to promote sustainable development and bridge the digital divide.
Recognizing that the freedom to seek, receive and impart information, knowledge and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, is increasingly the key to development, and to pluralistic, prosperous and socially stable societies, any government with the desire to make its people prosper and develop as members of this new, global information society, must promote and protect human rights, including the right to freedom of expression.
Only by accepting diverging views and fostering critical questions, can a society be innovative and prosperous in the long term.
This crucial role of good governance, in a broad sense, is equally true for the dimension of globalization which is the main subject of my intervention; migration.
Different aspects related to migration flows have recently been put on the agenda both at the national, regional and international level. The High Level Dialogue in September provided a good opportunity to discuss how international migration should be managed and how migration can contribute to development.
One of the main challenges today is to deal with the fact that the contrast in living conditions, and the potential to achieve realization of rights and opportunities, can be huge between countries of destination and countries of origin.
It is expected that international migration will increase further in extent and complexity due to economic disparity, demographic evolution, and conflicts. No country can deal with these issues alone.
Multidimensional challenges of this kind have to be addressed at all levels, including through multilateral cooperation. It is therefore Norway’s position that the United Nations should have an important role to play with regard to migration issues.
Migration should be linked to common interests between countries and especially between North and South.
Improvement of economic and political conditions and protection of rights in countries of origin, and a regulated and reasonable migration, will benefit rich and poor countries alike. To promote stability and growth, we believe that social as well as economic effects of international migration must be addressed. In response to this, Norway is aiming to integrate international migration issues into our development policies.
The fundamental challenges and concerns are the same for all countries –although in different ways: What must be done to ensure rights-based and sustainable development, providing fair distribution and real opportunities for all, both for nationals and immigrants, to get a decent job and a chance to make a living?
Moreover the underlying factors that lead to uncontrolled migration must be reduced.
To address the some of the issues raised here, Norway will work on concrete measures within the following areas:
With regard to labour rights the Government is working towards a more equitable distribution, not just between countries, but also between the rich and poor in individual countries. We are actively encouraging all countries to respect and apply the ILO’s fundamental conventions. Experience shows that this is a good way of boosting stability and the conditions for economic growth.
The gender aspect of migration is important. Today almost half of all migrants are women, but they have little presence as development actors. Norway will highlight the priority that must be given to the rights of women, and their participation in all decision making.
Migration also affects a large number of children and youth, although little mention is made of them in the documents that have been produced prior to the High Level Dialogue. Norway will highlight the rights of children migrants.
Flexibility in the pattern of migration is important. Access to knowledge and competence is vital for development. An important area for international cooperation is ensuring good basic conditions for circular, non-permanent migration. A growing number of people live outside their country of origin for short periods, and have a valuable opportunity to develop and exchange skills and knowledge.
This is something Norway wishes to promote, and more flexible regulations for dealing with different types of migration will be considered in connection with the drafting of new immigration legislation.
An important reason for promoting circular migration and transfer of competence is that it can contribute to limiting brain drain. Finding ways of limiting the number of people who take valuable skills and qualifications from countries that need them is a global challenge.
Norway wishes to develop a cheaper and more secure system for private money transfers via finance institutions. Cooperation with countries and institutions with experience in this area will be important.
Norway will continue to be an important actor in the international efforts to combat human trafficking. Our efforts are along three axes: prevention, protection and prosecution.
Norway is helping countries of origin to strengthen their efforts to prevent recruitment and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Norway provides support and protection for the victims of trafficking and is actively combating the international networks that are behind these crimes.
International migration requires initiatives and commitments to realise its full positive potential all over the world. Norway is committed to these issues.
We look forward to study in detail the Chairman’s summary from the migration High Level Dialogue, released last Tuesday. We also look forward to the first global forum on migration and development to be organized next year.
Thank you Chairman