A Virtual Discussion On Migration And Sustainable Development In The Context Of COVID-19 Held

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A virtual discussion was held with selected Nepali secondary level students, UN Resident Coordinator and Heads of IOM and UNDP in Nepal on the topic ‘migration and sustainable development in the context of COVID-19’.

The event marks the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Action Week 19 – 27 September 2020 especially during the UN General Assembly High-level Week and the UN’s 75th Anniversary which is being celebrated through dialogues and discussions reaching out to as many people possible including youth across the world.   

Congratulating the winners and thanking all the young participants, Valerie Julliand, Resident Coordinator noted “providing spaces for young people to express their views and thoughts on migration and the sustainable development goals is so important. I found their insights informed, thoughtful and inspiring. What an excellent way to mark the 5th Anniversary of the SDGs”.

“We must remember the incredible contribution that Nepali migrants working abroad make to their families, communities and the country large, as well as their undeniable contribution to their destination countries. Nepal and Nepali migrants have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the UN, we support the government in addressing the needs and concerns of migrant workers, particularly those most vulnerable” she noted.

Prior to the event, following call for registration targeting the students of all over the country for selection round of the elocution competition, total of 62 entries (52 female and 20 male) from six provinces were received. Then a judge panel consisting of IOM, UNDP and an English language teacher picked up the best three speakers for the event.

The young student speakers expressed their delight for the opportunity to participate on the SDGs-related dialogues and demanded that migration needs to be managed well so everybody – the migrants, their family, host country, as well as the sending country benefit from it.

“Owing to the pandemic, job opportunities both in destination countries and in home have shrunk making the migrants and communities more vulnerable to unsafe migration, human trafficking, and psychosocial distress,” said Lorena Lando, IOM Chief of Mission for Nepal.

She went on to say, “Therefore, there is a need to set up an integrated gender-responsive sustainable reintegration package as well as create livelihood opportunities matching their skills which eventually contributes to the country’s economic revival where migration becomes an ‘informed choice’ as envisioned by the SDGs-rooted Global Compact for Migration (GCM).

The event was organized with the aim to bring together young people into discussion on migration issues with its impact on individuals, families and the whole country and thereby contributing to draw attention of all tiers of the government into accelerating localization of SDGs reflecting on strategy and actions for prosperity and revive from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government representatives from various relevant Ministries, young students from six out of seven provinces of the country, civil society organizations, academia, development partners, and UN staffs attended the event virtually.

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