Tuesday, June 06, 2006

U.N. Demographic Statistics Show That Continued Rise In Global Migration Is Inevitable Given Developing World's Lagging Capacity To Provide Employment

UNITED NATIONS, June 6 — "Secretary General Kofi Annan said today that the rapid growth in global migration should help, not harm, all countries, but that broad international cooperation would be necessary to assure that.

"We now understand better than ever before that migration is not a zero-sum game," Mr. Annan said. "In the best cases, it benefits the receiving country, the country of origin and migrants themselves."

Mr. Annan made his comments in a report he delivered to the General Assembly on migration and development, subjects which will be a focus of the annual gathering of heads of state at the United Nations in September.

The report noted that alarm over the growing numbers of migrants had cast the issue in a negative light but that the emphasis was misplaced.

"We think that societies don't ask themselves enough what they would do without migrants," said Hania Zlotnik, director of the United Nations Population Division.

Mr. Annan said he hoped the September meeting would take up measures to improve conditions, including tightening law enforcement to curb smuggling and trafficking, promoting entrepreneurship among migrants, easing visa and naturalization rules, and establishing reliable financial services to enable money to be sent home.

From 1990 to 2005, the report said, the numbers of migrants in the world rose from 155 million to 191 million. It estimated remittances that migrants send home amounted to $232 billion in 2005, with the $167 billion of it that went to developing countries representing a larger amount than the total official aid from donor countries....

Listing demographic statistics that will make a continued rise in migration inevitable, the report said that in developed countries at the moment, there is an average of 142 young entrants to the labor force for every 100 persons about to retire but that in 10 years, the ratio will be 87 young persons for the 100 who leave the labor force.

This, it argued, creates a deficit that only migrants can offset. At the same time, it said, developing countries will have 342 candidates for every 100 jobs that open up, increasing the pressure on people to move across borders."

Warren Hoge "U.N. Chief Backs Growth of Global Migration" New York Times, June 6, 2006.


A worker -- most likely from Eastern Europe -- hoses down a Danish chicken house. Danish experts say U.S. farmers, who often feed antibiotics to livestock to avoid infections, can cut down on antibiotic use by simply disinfecting livestock pens on a regular basis.

Photo credit: Rebecca Davis, National Public Radio. With thanks.



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