Mexico Hosts Migration Stocktaking Meeting
UN Photo/John Isaac
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A three-day preparatory meeting will include: a retrospection session to look back on Phase I (consultations); an “idea lab” session to stimulate analysis, innovative visions, and concrete objectives; six 'Action Groups' addressing various dimensions of migration; and a follow-up and implementation session on forming a coherent institutional architecture and partnerships.

On the eve of the meeting in Mexico, the US announced that it has decided to “end participation in the UN process to develop a Global Compact on Migration." Also ahead of the meeting, UNICEF and World Vision issued recommendations on placing uprooted children's wellbeing at the center of the global compact.

4 December 2017: UN Member States are gathering to take stock of inputs to the global compact on migration, on which they will enter negotiations in early 2018. The preparatory stocktaking meeting convenes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, from 4-6 December 2017.

The meeting marks the beginning of the second phase of the preparatory process for the Conference. It follows a first phase, which took place from April to November 2017, and included informal thematic sessions, regional consultations and multi-stakeholder hearings, during which governments and stakeholders provided views and information on migration.

The stocktaking meeting is co‑chaired by Juan José Gómez Camacho, Permanent Representative of Mexico, and Jürg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland. According to the programme released on 1 December, the three-day meeting will include: a retrospection session to look back on Phase I (consultations); an “idea lab” session including TED-style talks and a Davos-style panel, to stimulate analysis, innovative visions, and concrete objectives; six ‘Action Groups’ addressing human dimensions, community dimensions, local/subnational dimensions, national dimensions, regional dimensions, and global dimensions; and a follow-up and implementation session on forming a coherent institutional architecture and partnerships.

On 3 December, the US announced that it has decided to “end participation in the UN process to develop a Global Compact on Migration.” The statement notes that the New York Declaration that mandated negotiations on the compact contains “a number of policy goals that are inconsistent with US law and policy,” and that the Declaration commits signatories to “strengthening global governance.” The announcement, issued by the US Department of State, reads that the US cannot support a process “that could undermine the sovereign right of the United States to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders.” UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Miroslav Lajcak expressed regret for the US decision, and said the country’s role is “critical as it has historically and generously welcomed people from all across the globe and remains home to the largest number of international migrants in the world.”

Ahead of the meeting in Mexico, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released a report underscoring the need to protect uprooted children as an element of global migration policies. The report titled, ‘Beyond Borders: How to make the global compacts on migration and refugees work for uprooted children,’ identifies ways for governments to care for and protect refugee and migrant children, even in countries with stretched resources. It presents case studies of successful efforts to support and integrate uprooted children and their families, which can be replicated in different contexts and inform policy changes to be agreed in the framework of the Compact. The report also presents UNICEF’s six-point agenda for action, as a basis for policies to protect refugee and migrant children, particularly those unaccompanied, and ensure their wellbeing from exploitation and violence. The authors advocate for keeping families together as the best way to protect children and give children legal status.

Also ahead of the stocktaking meeting, World Vision issued recommendations from civil society groups, relevant UN agencies and other stakeholders aimed at placing children at the core of the global compact. [Correspondents’ Note on Preparatory Meeting] [Website on Migration Compact Process] [UN Press Release on UNICEF Report] [US Government Announcement] [IISD Sources]


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