United Nations, Apr 11 (PTI) Unplanned urbanisation and migration pose serious development challenges in terms of delivery of services and living conditions, India has said at a UN session and called for a comprehensive approach to deal with the issues of sustainable cities and human mobility.

First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Paulomi Tripathi said here yesterday at the 51st Session Commission on Population and Development that over half of the world’s population was living in urban areas and the figure is expected to cross a level of two-thirds by 2050.

“Today more people live outside their countries of birth or origin than ever before in human history. Most of these international migrants also live and work in urban areas. Mobility of capital, technology, goods and services and peoples are defining features of this era of globalisation,” she said.

“Urbanisation is, therefore, a transformative process for economies as also societies,” she said at the session themed ‘Sustainable cities, human mobility and international migration’.

Tripathi said there was a need for a comprehensive and balanced approach to deal with the issues of sustainable cities and human mobility.

She asserted that while migration brought new ideas, energy and cultural diversity to urban areas, “unplanned urbanisation and migration also pose serious development challenges in terms of delivery of services and living conditions”.

“The problems worsen if migration is accompanied by high levels of segregation and a lack of integration with the host community,” Tripathi said.

She said India was urbanising at a rapid pace and the government is according a high priority to building sustainable and smart cities that are resilient to meet the challenges posed by rapid urbanisation.

Tripathi said the development of well-planned and fully serviced new areas or ‘green-fields’ around cities in India in order to accommodate the rapidly expanding population was also part of the strategy.

Sustainable urbanisation and ensuring a safe, orderly and regular migration is a mutually beneficial process and also a collective challenge for all the nations of the world, she said.

The international community is currently engaged in a comprehensive negotiation process to finalise a Global Compact on ensuring safe, orderly and regular migration that helps the global economy and sustainable development of societies and at the same time minimise the myriad negative ramifications of irregular migration.

“We are confident that the deliberations will lead to a constructive and balanced outcome by the end of this year,” she said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.