United Nations chief urges world leaders to celebrate migration as a positive

UN pushes countries to open up migration despite US boycott

Migration should be act of hope, not despair; UN chief proposes ways to maximize migrants' contributions

Guterres presented a report to the General Assembly on ways to address the plight of the 258 million global migrants, some of whom are trapped in legal limbo.

"Worse still, they unintentionally encourage illegal migration".

In the report, the United Nations chief showed his vision for constructive worldwide cooperation on migration, and urged governments to treat migration as a positive global phenomenon and refrain from setting up barriers to legal worldwide migration.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged countries Thursday to cooperate in negotiating a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, pushing forward despite the withdrawal of the US - the world's top destination for migrants - from the process.

Governments that crack down on migrants are only harming themselves, Secretary-General warned on Thursday ahead of United Nations talks on a global response to migration boycotted by the.

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However, the USA will be absent from the event, which aims to adopt a global compact on the issue by December. "It powers economic growth, reduces inequalities, connects diverse societies and helps us ride the demographic waves of population growth and decline", said Mr. Guterres, launching Making Migration Work for All at UN Headquarters, in NY.

Managing migration poses one of the most "urgent and profound tests" for the worldwide community, Guterres noted in his report, and he advised countries to open new legal pathways to migration.

The U.N. estimates 258 million international migrants worldwide in 2017 - comprising 3.4% of the global population - with 106 million of them originating from Asian countries.

It is often assumed the majority of migrants are men, but 48% are women, who tend to send home a higher percentage of their earnings than men, said the report. He said the compact has to be finalised this year.The report, Making Migration Work for All, highlights that there is a clear body of evidence that, despite real challenges, migration is beneficial both for migrants and host communities, in economic and social terms.

He recommended member states instead find "more credible pathways for migrants who do not qualify for worldwide refugee protection but face insurmountable obstacles to return".

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A spokesman told The Guardian: "Most of the world's worldwide migrants already move through legal safe channels and it's important to make this point, because you get a sense in the media and in politics that migration is something chaotic that involves flouting laws".

"We have a youthful south and an ageing north, a big economy in the north and growing economy in the south - are you going to have the planning in place to bring up low-priced labour to take care of your elderly?"

The comments could be seen as a jab at U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, which had been taking steps to crack down on migration.

The Trump administration is threatening to deport thousands of immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children and were allowed to stay under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme, which Trump has since scrapped.

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