UN to release the World Economic and Social Survey 2004: International Migration

WHERE International Press Centre Residence Palace
Room “Passage” (ground floor)
WHEN 29 NOVEMBER 2004, 10:30 AM
SPEAKER: Jean-Pierre Gonnot, Chief of the Inclusive Development Section of the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs (DESA)
EMBARGO: The report, including the information below, is under strict embargo until 29 November at 06.00 PM Brussels time.
CONTACTS: Regional United Nations Information Centre
(RUNIC).  Coordination: Jean-Luc Onckelinx,
Information Officer for the BENELUX and the EU
Tel. 32.2.788.84.84; cellular phone: 32.476/215.485

The Global launch will be held in New York but subsidiary launches will take place in Brussels, for the European region and in Mexico for the Latin American region.
In Europe, immigration can and has offset many of the consequences of population ageing and labour shortages, but by itself is not the salvation of struggling pension programmes, the United Nations says.
Alongside appreciation of immigration’s advantages lie anxieties that it brings down wage and employment rates (perceptions largely confounded by empirical data, the UN finds), and that it can dilute or fracture cultural identities and values. These conflicting impulses appear to be reflected in a growing duality among national immigration policies within Europe, says this year’s UN World Economic and Social Survey.
In 1976, 83 per cent of European governments assessed immigration levels as satisfactory, while 17 per cent found them too high and none as too low, according to the Survey. By 2003, however, only 67 per cent maintained policies neutral to immigration volume, with 9 per cent encouraging higher flows and 23 per cent seeking restrictions.
“Migration affects the social fabric of both home and host societies,” the Survey says. “The dynamics of social relationships among migrants, home and host societies are complex but the over-riding challenge for host countries is to integrate migrants into local society.”
“Recently, however, there has been disenchantment with multicultural principles in some receiving countries, where there is increasing debate about ways of making migrants conform to national norms,” the Survey continues. In addition to instilling knowledge of local language and civic culture in migrants, the it suggests that there also is “great scope for increased action to promote respect of cultural, religious and ethnic diversity in most receiving countries
The UN Economic and Social Survey is published annually by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which monitors, evaluates and analyzes relevant trends and upon request of Member States sets standards and goals. Part I of the Survey reports on economic and macroeconomic conditions of the past year and projections for the next. Part II covers a selected theme of international significance and timeliness.

For more information, contact the Development Section of the UN Department of Public Information, through Tim Wall, 1-212-963-5851, or Ellen McGuffie, 1-212-963-0499.

World Economic and Social Survey 2004: International Migration (Sales No.: E.04.II.C.3; ISBN 9211091470) is available for $45.00 from United Nations Publications, Two United Nations Plaza, Room DC2-853, Dept PRES, New York, NY  10017, USA, Tel. 800-252-9646 or 1-212-963-8302, Fax. 1-212-963-3489, E-mail:; or Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, Tel. 41-22-917-2614, Fax. 41-22-917-0027, E-mail:  Internet:; In Belgium: Librairie Jean Delannoy, 202 avenue du Roi-Koningslaan, 202-1050 Brussels.