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India seeks UN focus on global migration

india Updated: Oct 20, 2006 10:44 IST
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India wants the United Nations to focus on promoting teamwork amongst nations to maximise the benefits of international migration while reducing its negative effects.

"In the context of globalisation, there is need to recognise the inevitability of international migration," Indian delegate Anil Basu said in a UN General Assembly committee debate on 'Globalisation and Interdependence' on Thursday.

The increased demand for specialists in developed countries can be matched by their availability in developing countries, he noted but developed countries also need to be more receptive to enhanced market access.

"This can be a win-win situation," Basu said citing the World Bank's Global Economic Prospects 2006, which notes that a rise in migration from developing countries raises incomes of natives in high-income countries.

The Indian delegate also asked the international community to integrate intellectual property rights regimes into development dimensions and find pragmatic ways to promote research and development in developing countries.

As such regimes are often used as tools to restrict, control and deny technologies, rather than facilitate their transfer to developing countries. Basu considered it imperative that development dimensions are integrated into such regimes as quickly as possible.

While the revolution in information and communication technologies offers the tools to face the challenges of globalisation, he said, "It is ironic that the shrinking of the world as a result of technology and communications should be accompanied by evolution of controls that restrict movement for the peoples of the developing world."

The spirit of globalisation is rapidly reshaping the world today, but its benefits and costs are unevenly shared and distributed, Basu said suggesting that deepening of global imbalances continues to pose a major risk to global growth and stability.

Caught between the intellectual property rights and trade regimes, as well as the conditionalities imposed by the World Bank and IMF, the developing countries increasingly find erosion of the much needed policy autonomy and flexibilities to evolve their own policies and strategies to achieve sustained economic growth and development.

"It is incumbent upon the international community as a whole to consider the issue of an appropriate balance between national policy space and international disciplines and commitments when deciding collectively on future disciplines and commitments as well as on the implementation and interpretation of the existing ones," Basu said.

Expressing concern at the current impasse in the Doha round of trade negotiations, the Indian delegate stressed the importance of addressing systemic issues and suggested comprehensive reforms of the international financial architecture in a time-bound manner.

"Unequal bargaining power leads to regimes that are unfair. The international community must find ways to contracting the circles of exclusion. Fair globalisation requires political will that can be manifested externally by the United Nations," Basu said.

Noting an erosion in the role of the UN over the years in providing political guidance to shape the international economic agenda, he said an equitable and rules-based regime must be evolved to manage global trade, investment flows, technology transfer and movement of services.

The determinants of development are rapidly shifting along several paths; from agriculture to manufacturing; from manufacturing to services; from capital resources to knowledge resources, Basu noted.

In conditions where access to critical resources are severely restricted by international rules and regimes, the challenge before the developing world is to fully tap the enormous productive potential of the non-material knowledge resources, he said.

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