Migration: A Crucial Force for Development and Global Integration

The evolution of humanity has been shaped around the migration of people between regions and continents. Therefore, I am honored to participate at this year's United Nations Summit on Refugees and Migrants, where we can coordinate more effective multilateral efforts for the protection of migrants and for the recognition of their contributions to development. This is a historic meeting that embodies the sensitivity and the political will of the international community to agree on a globally and comprehensive approach to migration, guided under the principle of shared responsibility.

Migrants symbolize the force that moves humanity forward. Their culture, their traditions and their knowledge enrich the cultural heritage of the societies where they decide to settle, contributing to a merging of cultures and to building new vibrant and prosperous nations. Migrants also embody our resilience to overcome adversity since time immemorial.

Today, it is with great concern that we witness that migrants and refugees face rejection, discrimination and abuse. These threats are further aggravated by the stigmatization in their countries of destination, being easily targeted for the issues and challenges those countries face, because of ignorance, racism or mere political opportunism. That is why I am convinced that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has done well to promote a better protection of migrants rights and in policies that address the causes of migration.

Now more than ever, migrants, their dignity and well-being must be at the center of international support. The international community has an outstanding opportunity to tackle global migratory flows. Mexico, as a country of origin, transit, destination and return of migrants, is no stranger to this phenomenon.

Mexico is proud to be a mestizo and multicultural nation; the result of the vibrant heritage of multiple waves of migration throughout history. The great cultural, economic and social wealth of Mexico and other countries cannot be understood without migrants. A clear example of this is the Mexican community living in the United States. Mexican migrants, with their hard work, talent and creativity, contribute daily to build the prosperity and development of the U.S. They account for 8% of U.S. GDP and pay billions of dollars in taxes every year, helping to support social programs across the U.S.

The agreements emanating from this UN meeting must be based on international cooperation and shared responsibility. They must aim at strengthening the State's capabilities for the protection of migrants and their human rights, while recognizing their contributions to economic development and achieving their social inclusion, in order to eradicate intolerance and racism.

Acting as a global responsible player, Mexico has offered to host an International Preparatory Meeting, in 2017, to facilitate the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees, which will be adopted in 2018.

We cannot turn our backs on the suffering of millions of persons, that leave their countries seeking better opportunities or flee from conflict, violence and humanitarian crisis around the world. I firmly believe that the future of mankind depends on fraternity and solidarity. Mexico will continue working unsparingly for the protection of refugees and the recognition of migrants as agents of change and development, to uphold their rights and to combat hate and discrimination.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post to mark the occasion of two critical conferences at the UN on the Refugee and Migrant crisis: the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants (Sept. 19th, a UN conference) and the Leaders Summit on Refugees (Sept. 20th, hosted by U.S. Pres. Barack Obama, at the UN). To see all the posts in the series, visit here. To follow the conversation on Twitter, see #UN4RefugeesMigrants.