Member States and stakeholders exchanged views on the first-ever Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, to be adopted at an intergovernmental conference in 2018.
Participants to the 'Dialogue on the Global Migration Compact' said the Compact should be founded on existing international human rights agreements; operationalize existing obligations; promote further progress; establish the institutional and legal conditions for doing so; and be based on international agreements such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the Declaration of the 2013 High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development.
14 October 2016: The first-ever Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration should be founded on existing international human rights agreements, operationalize existing obligations, make further progress, and establish the institutional and legal conditions for doing so, said participants at the ‘Dialogue on the Global Migration Compact,’ which took place on 14 November 2016 in New York, US.
The event, organized by the Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD), provided a platform for representatives of governments, UN agencies, international organizations and other relevant stakeholders to exchange ideas on the matter. They noted that the Compact should be based on international agreements such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on financing for development, and the Declaration of the 2013 High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development.
Mehmet Samsar, Director General for Consular Affairs of Turkey, stressed the importance of regional mechanisms in tackling migration, noted that the GFMD troika intends to bring migration on the G20’s agenda, and suggested that the GFDM should serve as a guiding mechanism in the design of the global compact.
Gregory Maniatis, Senior Adviser to Peter Sutherland, the UN Special Representative for International Migration, stressed the need for creating a system that speaks with one institutional voice, monitors the migration-related commitments included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and minimizes the costs and risks of migration.
William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM), said the Global Compact should be comprehensive, coherent, cooperative and courageous. He explained that the Compact should: mainstream the narrative of migrants’ positive historic role; build on existing institutional architecture; and provide guidelines for the educational system, which should explain to children and youth why people are on the move, what they bring and what they have historically brought.
The Global Compact should be comprehensive, coherent, cooperative and courageous, said William Lacy Swing, IOM.
Gervais Appave, IOM, highlighted that a migrant is not only an economic agent, but also a social being and a “tightly woven web of relations.” He stressed the need for policies that address the multiple clusters of relations in which migrants engage: the relational cluster surrounding the migrant before departure; its family cluster, shaped by whether host-country policies allow family reunions; diasporas; and the societal cluster of the host community.
Enrico Fos, Permanent Mission of the Philippines to UN Geneva, noted the importance of brain gain and skills training programs, scaling up financial literacy programs with regard to remittances, and programs for reintegrating returning migrants in society.
Samantha Jayasuriya, Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to UN Geneva, said the Global Compact should address the multidimensional nature of migration, include social-cultural assessment tools, and contain measures for tackling human smuggling and trafficking.
Eva Sanding, NGO Committee on Migration, noted that the Global Compact should be based on the principle of inclusiveness of civil society, migrants and diaspora communities, contain commitments with clear deliverables, and include a robust monitoring and accountability mechanism for countries.
The discussion continued throughout the day, focusing on the social, economic and legal aspects of the Global Migration Compact.
At the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants, held on 19 September 2016 at the UN Headquarters in New York, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) decided to hold an intergovernmental Conference in 2018 focused on adopting a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The outcome document of the UN Summit, titled ‘The New York Declaration,’ includes an explicit commitment to strengthening global governance of migration. [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants] [IISD RS Sources]