Migration and its link to Peace, Security, and Sustainable Development Agenda

2 credits / 6 weeks weeks
6 Nov 2023 - 17 Dec 2023

Professor José Riera-Cézanne

Never, since the creation of the United Nations, has migration been higher on the international agenda or more prominent in national political debates and discourse, quite often in a negative or alarmist light. Today’s large-scale movements of millions of refugees and migrants, which are an important dimension of globalization, are proving to be a source of tension in bilateral and multilateral relations, and being portrayed as a threat to international peace and security. Migrants and refugees are being demonized as never before an in ever-growing number of countries. The so-called ‘global migration crisis’ has spurred a range of initiatives around the globe to improve international cooperation on migration and refugee flows, including an unprecedented UN General Assembly Summit on ‘large movements of refugees and migrants’, which adopted the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants in September 2016.
The course will familiarize students with available empirical evidence on the flows and dynamics of international migration in today's world, as well as the impact of migrants on national economies and societies. Students will learn about the legal regimes applicable to different groups of migrants and the protections these provide, especially for irregular migrants, asylum-seekers and victims of human trafficking. The course will look at the constellation of UN and other actors who play a role in the ‘governance’ of international migration and recent initiatives to improve such governance. Looking ahead, students will learn about the link between migration and sustainable development made in the UN’s 2020 Sustainable Development Agenda and the aspirations it contains. Students will be asked to reflect upon what the prevailing and foreseeable international climate with respect to migration and refugee movements augurs for closer and more effective international cooperation on migration.

José Riera-Cézanne

Professor José Riera-Cézanne (United States) is Adjunct Professor in the Department of International Law at UPEACE. He joined the faculty after 32 years of distinguished service with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), most recently as Special Adviser to the Assistant UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Protection). Professor Riera-Cézanne is a seasoned expert in multilateral consultations and negotiations relating to refugees and other populations of concern to UNHCR, as well humanitarian issues more broadly. He brings to UPAZ his in-depth knowledge of international refugee law and protection issues; international humanitarian law and norms relating to the protection of the world’s growing number of internally displaced persons; international law relating to statelessness and nationality; human rights law; international migration and efforts to improve global governance of international migration and refugee flows; climate change and its ramifications for migration, displacement and planned relocation of affected populations; humanitarian accountability; evaluations of humanitarian assistance; and the UN’s cooperation with faith-based actors in development and humanitarian interventions. Professor Riera-Cézanne holds degrees from Yale College (BA cum laude, SY ’77), Columbia Law School (JD ’81), the Parker School of International Law (Certificate in Public International Law ‘81). He has also worked towards a doctorate from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland, and studied at The Hague Academy of International Law (Private international law and Public international law). His principal area of academic research is documenting the impacts of climate change on human mobility and identifying effective adaptation strategies and State policies to promote them.

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