Recognizing the need to develop a comparable framework for compilation of International Migration Statistics, efforts started with the fourth session of the International Labour Conference in 1922 to identify international migrants on a uniform basis.
Over the past decades of the twentieth century, particularly after the 1970 international migration has become a global phenomenon, with growing scale and complexity. International migration is currently at the forefront of the international agenda as the numbers of countries that are the source or destination of sizable international migration has been rising. Policy makers need statistics on migration to formulate appropriate policies and make informed decisions; hence the need for more complete and timely international migration statistics is on demand.
With globalization and increasing flow of migrants in many countries the issue of international migration, has gained renewed attention, and been in the agenda of the General Assembly six times since 1995. Over the past 10 years, the Assembly has thus provided a forum for the exchange of views and experiences among Member States on this issue. The high-level dialogue on international migration and development, to be held in 2006, will provide a further opportunity for the consideration of strategies and mechanisms to address the many facets of this issue.
More recently and in response to General Assembly Resolution 59/241 of 28 February 2005 on International Migration and Development, which recognizes the important contributions the regional commissions can provide and calls for them to continue to address the issue of international migration within the broader context of the implementation of agreed economic and social development goals such as the MDGs,
ESCWA organized an Expert Group Meeting in close collaboration with United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), International Labour Organization (ILO), Organization of the Islamic Conference (SESRTCIC), International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) on "International migration statistics" in Cairo, from 14 to 16 November 2005 as one of a series of meetings related to the UN 2010 World Programme of Population and Housing Censuses. This Meeting addressed the standards and methods in regard to statistics on international migration.