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(Dr. Arun Kashyap, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative (l) and Ambassador Paola Amadei, Head, Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica( 2nd l) present a copy of the JMDI Handbook Migration for Development: A Bottom-Up Approach A Handbook for Practitioners and Policymakers to Senator AJ Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (3rd l) and Minister Arnaldo Brown (r), State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade at the recently held Final National event for the three European Union funded EC-UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative projects in Jamaica. Looking on is Sonia Gill, Assistant Resident Representative, UNDP, Jamaica. Photo credit: Ishango Photography)
While not a new phenomenon, migration has become of such a scale and complexity worldwide, and in Jamaica, has caused the government to focus on the nexus of migration and development and re-align the current policy framework.
Senator AJ Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, speaking at the National Event for the EC-UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) held last Friday, February 17, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, emphasized the importance of migration for development and the government's continued support to ensure that migration serves the development needs of Jamaica.
"It is essential that priority attention be given to this issue, since, for origin countries such as Jamaica, migration has to be considered as a key factor in our economic and social forward thrust. I am obliged to pause to underscore the role of the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (which) has ensured that the required attention is directed towards migration and development," said Minister Nicholson.
The Final National event was staged to symbolically close the three Migration for Development Jamaican projects funded by the European Commission through the EC-UN JMDI and celebrate the achievements of local actors in advancing migration for development. Supported and monitored by the UNDP Jamaica country office, the three projects-Knowledge Networks for Connecting Jamaica and the Diaspora, Supporting Deported Migrants and their Children, and Mitigating the Impact of Migration on Multi-Generational Households in Jamaica-were implemented between 2009 and 2011 and included a range of local and international small actors including the Jamaica Diaspora Institute at the Mona School of Business, UWI; the Institute of Sustainable Development, UWI; Hope for Children Development Company and UK-based organizations, Kajans, Hibiscus and HelpAge International.
Ambassador Paola Amadei, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica pointed out that the EC-UN JMDI specifically targeted small actors. "This is in recognition of the importance of the role that they play or could play in implementing priority actions in migration and development and the promotion of migrants' rights."
The collaboration of local and international actors was also deliberate as the work of the United Nations and the Global Forum on Migration and Development evidences that the countries of origin and destination have to work together with multilateral organizations, private sector, diaspora and other stake holders to create options, tools and incentives to maximize the development benefits of migration.
Dr. Arun Kashyap, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Jamaica, explains:
"Migration and remittances by themselves do not enable any country to escape poverty; they are not an answer to alleviating national or global poverty; the structural problems behind persistence of poverty must be addressed by the national governments. International community can assist by working in partnership with the national and local governments. It is vital that remittances, Direct Foreign Investment and ODA work hand in hand so that the policy makers do not lose sight of sustainable human development, social cohesion, cultural plurality, and human rights in both sending and receiving countries. At the same time, the governments of the countries of origin as well as the countries of destination have to jointly ensure that enforceable policies are in place to protect migrants. The challenge is to get the balance right."
Senator Nicholson accepts this challenge.
"The Government of Jamaica is unequivocal in its support for such an approach. We also take the view that the four priority areas identified under the initiative, namely, migrant remittances, migrant communities, migrant capacities, and migrants' rights constitute the enabling mix for enhancing this partnership," said Minister Nicholson.
In addition to several significant achievements of the three projects, including the development of a web portal http://www.jamaicadiasporaconnect.com and the formation of the non-profit National Organization of Deported Migrants, other major national developments are reflecting the Jamaican government's acceptance of and growing interest in the strong links between migration and development. Over the next few months the Planning Institute of Jamaica will be developing a National Policy and Plan of Action on International Migration and Development funded through the European Union and the Global Migration Group and supported in Jamaica by the UNDP.
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