General Assembly General Assembly

51st Session
Commission on Population and Development
General Debate:Agenda 3(b)
Sustainable cities, human mobility and international migration
10 April 2018 

Ms. Paulomi Tripathi, First Secretary


Thank you Mr. Chairman,

1.    India associates with the statement made by Egypt on behalf of the G-77. 

2.    In today’s increasingly interconnected world, over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. This is expected to cross a level of two-thirds by 2050. 

3.    We are meeting at a time when the New Urban Agenda agreed by all of us is entering the implementation phase, in times of this unprecedented pace and scale of urbanization around the world. 

4.    The theme of this session also refers to human mobility and international migration. Mobility of people is among the prime movers for urbanization. 

5.    Internal migration is major contributor to urbanization in most places.Also, today more people live outside their countries of birth or origin than ever before in human history. Most of these international migrants also live and work in urban areas. 

6.    Mobility of capital, technology, goods and services and peoples are defining features of this era of globalization.

7.    Urbanization is, therefore, a transformative process for economiesas alsosocieties.

Mr. Chairman, 

8.    While on the one hand, migration brings new ideas, energy and cultural diversity to urban areas, unplanned urbanization and migration also pose serious development challenges in terms of delivery of services and living conditions. The problems worsen if migration is accompanied by high levels of segregation and a lack of integration with the host community. 

9.    Sustainable urbanization and ensuring a safe, orderly, and regular migration is a mutually beneficial process and, therefore, a collective challenge for all nations of the world. 

Mr. Chairman, 

10.    We are currently engaged in a very comprehensive negotiation process to finalise a Global Compact on ensuring safe, orderly and regular migration that helps the global economy and sustainable development of societies and at the same time minimize the myriad negative ramifications of irregular migration.

11.    We are confident that the deliberations will lead to a constructive and balanced outcome by the end of this year. 

Mr. Chairman,

12.    India, with one sixth of the world's population is also urbanizing at a rapid pace. 

13.    The Government of India is according high priority to build sustainable and smart cities that are resilient to meet the challenges posed by rapid urbanization. 

14.    A strengthened Municipal System envisioned through the 74th Constitution Amendment Act provides for adequate powers, functional and financial autonomy including planning mechanisms. This has helped in making the cities more inclusive, self-governing entities.

15.    Inclusiveness is the cornerstone of our development initiatives in the housing and urban development sector in India. Adequate and affordable shelter is a priority area. Government of India also has launched the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). It focuses on development of basic urban infrastructure with special provisions for senior citizens and differently abled people. 

16.    The Smart City Mission has been launched by our Prime Minister to promote inclusive and sustainable urban development by proving 'smart solutions' to the cities with pre-existing core infrastructure, through retro-fitting and redevelopment strategies. 

17.    Development of well-planned and fully serviced new areas or 'green-fields' around cities in order to accommodate the rapidly expanding population is also part of the strategy. Innovations and new technologies are at the heart of developing and adapting 'smart solutions' applicable for different contexts.

Mr. Chairman, 

18.    We need a comprehensive and balanced approach to deal with the issues of sustainable cities and human mobility. Our discussions at this session will help in improving our collective understanding on these issues. 

I thank you Mr. Chairman.