First Meeting of the Working Group on Migration and Development Held
Within the UNDP’s Migration and Development Project, the first meeting of the Working Group on Migration and Development was held in Sarajevo on March, 24th and 25th, 2014. In this meeting, UNDP, in cooperation with representatives of seven national institutions, including the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees and two institutions of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, five representatives of local governments, three non-governmental organisations, as well as the Swiss Cooperation Office of the Embassy of Switzerland and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), jointly discussed the recommendations on how to tap on the benefits of migration for development in BiH.
Established in order to achieve a common understanding of all stakeholders gathered in this project, the Working Group that operates under the guidance of the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, discussed the potentials of migration for the development of the country, but also building a consensus on key recommendations that will allow adequate use of migration potential. In this way, through the inclusion of aspects of migration in development policies and plans of the relevant institutions, institutions at the local level will also be included.
Past experience has shown that the diaspora is regularly involved in the development processes, especially bearing in mind that its greatest contribution is reflected in remittances sent, in the amount that annually exceeds 2 billion convertible marks. But as remittances in most cases are used for consumption and not development, it is important to define policies and establish mechanisms that will enable advanced cooperation of domestic institutions with the diaspora.
Having defined the key points of the first meeting of the Working Group on Migration and Development, the next meeting (out of five as planned) is scheduled for May 2014, to discuss the current policy, institutional and legal framework relevant for the inclusion of migration into development, and to identify which policies and mechanisms are needed to achieve long-term and sustainable changes to allow the use of potentials of migration for development of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, activities will be carried out to strengthening the capacity of relevant institutions at all levels of government involved in the work of the Working Group on Migration and Development.
This two-year project consists of three components: (i) integration of the concept of migration for development in development strategies in ten selected municipalities in BiH, (ii) capacity building of relevant institutions in the field of migration and development, and (iii) defining a common strategic framework and guidelines for long-term action in the field of migration for development.