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Volkan Bozkir (General Assembly President) sends a message to mark the International Day of Family Remittances
H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of 75th session of the General Assembly sends a message to mark the International Day of Family Remittances

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,
    It is my pleasure, to join this observance of the International Day of Family Remittances. I thank the organisers, IFAD and the Permanent Missions of the Philippines and Guatemala to the United Nations, for convening this important event.

   Remittances are a critical lifeline, for many vulnerable people around the world. Over 200 million migrant workers today, send money home, to their over 800 million family members.   These men and women, are leaving home in search of prosperity, and are doing a noble service to their families, and communities, by continuing to contribute, despite the distance between them.

   This makes a significant difference in their families’ lives, and the economy of their home countries. In some cases, remittances comprise up to 30% of GDP. This money is directly invested into food, shelter, education, and health care. We must be honest, and acknowledge that, remittances are essential, as we work towards meeting the targets of the 2030 Agenda.

    Indeed, if we are to better understand, this source of external financing, for low- and middle-income countries, there is a need for a better data collection , on remittances. This includes, data on the impact of external shocks, to the flow of remittances.

   The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on remittance flows ,was striking with variations across regions. Globally, low- and middle-income countries, received $540 billion in 2020 – , that’s a decrease of 1.6% in the previous year.

   Initially, we had feared that the pandemic, and related mitigation measures, would have a greater impact on remittances. However, key measures, reduced the impact on international migrant workers. Fiscal stimulus packages, in host countries, and the digitalization of money flows, provided an important buffer.

   Migrant workers are overrepresented, in sectors which were designated essential work, including agriculture, construction, and cleaning services.

   Many migrant workers in the healthcare sector, risked their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, to keep their host communities safe. Not only did they keep their host economy running, their income provided a key safety net , for their families, who were also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic back home. They are true heroes. 

   I also commend the Call to Action “Remittances in Crisis: How to Keep them Flowing”. This initiative has raised the level of awareness, regarding the importance of remittances, for low- and middle-income countries. The call for a reduction of transfer costs, and greater financial inclusion through remittances,  with contribution to the advancement of the Global Compact for Migration and the 2030 Agenda. This is a strong example, of collective action from policymakers, regulators and remittance service providers to benefit migrants, their families and local communities.

Ladies and gentlemen,
   It is imperative that, we support countries in special situations. This has been a key priority of mine throughout the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly. I have established a Board of Advisors on LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS with whom I interact regularly.

I hope that you will join tomorrow’s High-Level Meeting on Middle Income Countries – this will take place in the General Assembly Hall, and will be streamed live on UN Web TV. This important meeting has been organized in a sequential manner with the Joint Thematic Event on LDCs in order to galvanize this momentum and harness the support of all Member States and partners to advance our shared goals. 

Dear Colleagues,
   If we have learned one thing from the past year, it is that when we come together, we can overcome the most difficult, complex challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic, has been the greatest test for the international community, in the seventy-five year history of the United Nations.

   As we seek to build a more sustainable and resilient path forward, now is the time to recommit to multilateralism, global citizenship, and solidarity.

    Once again, I thank you for organizing this important event, and I wish you all of the best in your endeavours.

   Thank you
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Wednesday, 16 June 2021
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Observance of the International Day of Family Remittances 2021 - Recovery and resilience through digital and financial inclusion.
UNOCT International Expert Group Meeting on the Protection of Urban Centres and Touristic Venues (15-16 June 2021).
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General Assembly: 80th plenary meeting.
Implementation of note S/2017/507: Working methods - Security Council, 9798th meeting.
(3rd meeting) Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Fourteenth session, COSP14 (15-17 June 2021).
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(5th meeting) Special Committee of 24 (Decolonization Committee) - Resumed session, 14-25 June 2021.
(4th meeting) Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Fourteenth session, COSP14 (15-17 June 2021).
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International Seminar on Fostering International Peace and Security - In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of Korea’s Entry in the United Nations.
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