INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT - ViaMUN

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INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT - ViaMUN

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of SwitzerlandSession of the Commission on Populationand Development of the United NationsEconomic and Social CouncilDelegate: Egle JaceviciutePOLICY PAPER OF SWISS CONFEDERATION ONINTERNATIONAL MIGRATION ANDDEVELOPMENTSwitzerland is well placed to attest to the positive aspects of migration on both sidesof the equation. Over two million migrants came to Switzerland in the years followingthe second world war, making significant contributions to the country’s economicdevelopment. Further back, thousands of Swiss were compelled to leave theirhomeland for economic reasons. Today around 10% of the Swiss population livesabroad. Globalization has not only increased the volume of migration, but also itspolitical, economic and social relevance. Swiss Confederation is well aware that aninnovative migration policy based on partnership can enhance its positive aspectsand combat the negative.Challenges of global migrationMigration constitutes a major challenge to states and societies. Every year millions ofpeople become victims to people-traffickers and people-smugglers. Many developingcountries suffer from the brain drain as well-educated young men and womenemigrate, taking their expertise with them. Certain industrialized countries find itdifficult to integrate foreigners.Switzerland states that a coherent national migration policy should combine externaland internal perspectives, involve local authorities, the private sector, civil-societyinstitutions and migrant associations in the formulation and implementation ofmigration policy.Globalized world of today needs international mechanisms, dialogue andcooperation. Switzerland has positioned itself as an important partner in theinternational migration dialogue by launching the Global Commission forInternational Migration (GCIM). Switzerland is also involved in the High LevelDialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD) at the UN GeneralAssembly and is particularly concerned about combating people-trafficking. In orderto protect its victims, Switzerland contacts governments and agencies in theircountries of origin.Switzerland’s interests and concernsSwitzerland seeks for migration partnership in order to establishe a dialogue betweenthe parties, thus creating mutual understanding and opening up new ways to findconstructive solutions for the problems of global migration. One objective ofmigration partnership is to help to prevent people being forced to migrate by penury


and to improve living conditions in the way that people could feel secure in theirhomeland. Switzerland makes a significant contribution to this process through itscommitment to Human Security, peace, respect for human rights and developmentcooperation.Switzerland is also helping migrants to return home by providing financial andlogistical support for voluntary repatriation. Our country conducts about tenrepatriation-aid programmes in various states and regions.Labour migration in Swiss ConfederationSwitzerland has a dual system for granting foreign nationals access to the Swisslabour market. Persons from European Union (EU) or European Free TradeAssociation (EFTA) member states, regardless of their qualifications, are grantedeasy access to the Swiss labour market under the Agreement on the Free Movementof Persons. By decree of the Federal Council, only a limited number of well-qualifiedemployees are admitted from all other countries if their skills are urgently required.With the enlargement of the EU in 2004 the existing bilateral agreements betweenSwitzerland and the EU were automatically extended to the new member states. Theonly exception is the agreement on free movement of persons of 1999 for whichamendments had to be negotiated with the EU. The transitional regime for the newEastern European member states envisions a step-by-step and controlled opening ofthe Swiss employment market. Restrictions within the employment market (priorityfor Swiss nationals, rising contingents, auditing of salary conditions and terms andconditions of employment) will remain in effect until April 30, 2011.Switzerland seeks to revitalize the international dialogue on migration and topromote the development of international approaches. Switzerland has already madea major contribution to these efforts through its involvement in the Berne Initiativeand in GCIM. The Berne Initiative aims to improve the control and management ofmigration at regional and global level through an inter-governmental consultationprocess and it helps states to cope with the challenges associated with migration.Switzerland realizes that the level of internal security can only be maintained if theauthorities can co-operate with their colleagues abroad both closely and without anybureaucratic barriers. Switzerland is open for co-operation and ready for negotiationin order to find the best solution. However, our country is concerned about internaland global security issues, respects sovereignty of every nation and believes thatevery country knows better which policy is most suitable for it. Switzerland invitesinternational community to start discussion on present-day migration but carefullytaking into consideration every possible consequence.

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