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Sharing Best Practices for Diaspora Engagement at the UNGA77 Side Event

Veronica Uribe-Kessler
06 October 2022

Sharing Best Practices for Diaspora Engagement at the UNGA77 Side Event

Panelists highlighted the significance of diaspora contributions and dynamic responses to humanitarianism, development, and peace.

Government officials and leaders of diaspora organizations participated in the virtual Side Event “Diaspora as Key Partner Across the Humanitarian-Development Peace-Nexus” (HDPN) on September 23 during the high-level week of the 77 United Nations General Assembly. The International Organization for Migration organized the side event to highlight the diaspora’s contributions to humanitarianism, development, and peace and recognize their value as allied partners during critical times. More than 200 participants registered to attend the virtual event.


This side event stems from the success of the Global Diaspora Summit (GDS) Dublin 2022 in which 30 member states supported and committed to upholding the Dublin Declaration, a key document designed to commit States to clear next steps to effectively engage with diaspora globally. The GDS paved the way for the International Migration Review Forum that took place in New York in May 2022, and which sought to review the progress to implement the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration - which calls for the creation of conditions for migrants and members of diasporas “to fully contribute to sustainable development in all countries”.
The diaspora leaders who participated in the virtual event “are actors who have made significant efforts to engage with their diaspora in both fragile and stable contexts to meet the emergency needs of their communities while laying the foundation for communities’ resilience and longer-term developments” said Deputy Director General Ugochi Daniels.

Key Messages during the event:
•    There is a need to keep investing in the development of innovative and rigorous data collection that allows Member States and other relevant stakeholders to understand the concrete composition, skills, talents, and motivations of their diaspora communities.
•    Diaspora contributions bring socio-economic benefits to the countries of origin and destination not only in remittances but also knowledge, transfer skills, investment, and entrepreneurship.
•    Diasporas play a unique role in attending communities in times of crisis, and they are often first responders and engage longer during emergencies.
•    Diaspora communities are offshore assets, and they are a critical force to achieve inclusive development and mobilization of resources while coordinating emergency operations as well as translating the needs of others.
•    Diasporas must have avenues to allow them to contribute to the development of their regions permitting them to unleash their full potential wherever they are. 
•    Diaspora groups bridge the humanitarian-development-peace- nexus because they have a long-standing relationship and have long supported development in countries impacted by disasters; They have important networks for communication and support.
•    A top priority for the humanitarian-development-peace-nexus should be localization in which diaspora organizations play a role in bridging the gaps between the professional humanitarian and development communities. 
•    There is an urgent necessity of prioritizing investment in engagement with diaspora and diaspora organizations during all phases of a humanitarian crisis given their dynamism and activism in the communities they live.
•    Mobilizing the global diaspora to strengthen economic development, rout governments into creating vibrant environments for diasporas, and create vibrant entrepreneurship opportunities to support them is vital to allow diasporas to thrive wherever they are. 
•    Governments and organizations were called to keep moving forward and were encouraged to adhere to and uphold the Dublin Declaration.

The side event evidenced that many governments are committed to continuing working to give a voice, protection, and space for diasporas to thrive. The statements made by diaspora leaders and government officials demonstrated that a lot is being done but more support is needed to unleash the full potential of diasporas. Great steps are being carried out to make the Dublin Declaration a roadmap for diaspora engagement, but as Minister Colm Brophy urged, it is time for more member states to uphold the declaration and allow diasporas to become more empowered so their contributions can have far-reaching impacts.

Statements from the floor included:
 H.E. Mr. Vladimer Konstantinidi, Deputy Minister, Government of Georgia, 
 Mr. Peter Kwok, Chair of the Global Diaspora Confederation.
 Dr. Charles Senessie from the Afro-European Medical and Research Network (AEMRN)