Migration Co-facilitators Provide Technical Updates, Clarifications on Zero Draft
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The co-facilitators issued a 'zero draft plus' consisting of technical updates and clarifications, with no substantive changes to the zero draft.

Ahead of the second round of intergovernmental negotiations, they note that issues requiring further discussion include: the differentiation between irregular and regular; the differentiation between migrants and refugees; implementation and capacity-building; and follow-up and review.

5 March 2018: The co-facilitators for negotiations on the global compact on migration presented a ‘zero draft plus’ of the compact to UN Member States. Revisions address the Paris Agreement on climate change, national sovereignty and labor mobility, among other issues. The co-facilitators also updated delegations on plans for the second round of intergovernmental negotiations, which will take place from 12-15 March 2018, in New York, US.

In the letter accompanying the ‘zero draft plus,’ co-facilitators Jürg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland, and Juan José Gómez Camacho, Permanent Representative of Mexico, explained that the next text consists of “technical updates and clarifications” of the zero draft. They underscored that no substantive changes have been made in this version, as more discussions are needed.

The co-facilitators noted four issues that require further discussion: the differentiation between irregular and regular; the differentiation between migrants and refugees; implementation and capacity-building; and follow-up and review. They invited delegates to prepare to discuss these issues during the first three days of the upcoming negotiations.

Among the technical updates and clarifications in the text, references to the Paris Agreement have been added both in the preamble and under the objective to ‘Minimize the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave.’ In the section on drivers of migration, the text now includes the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 among the international agreements whose operationalization the global compact will promote (alongside the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda).

By the updated text, the compact reaffirms the right of States to exert sovereign jurisdiction with regard to national migration policy, “in conformity with applicable international law.” National sovereignty was strengthened under the objective to ‘Manage borders in an integrated, secure and coordinated manner,’ where Member States now commit to manage their “national” borders in a coordinated manner that ensures security and facilitates regular cross-border movements of people, “in accordance with national sovereignty.” Under the objective to ‘Enhance consular protection, assistance and cooperation throughout the migration cycle,’ States now commit to strengthen consular protection and assistance only to their “nationals abroad.”

The new text calls for developing and enhancing mechanisms that facilitate regional and cross-regional labor mobility, such as free movement regimes, visa liberalization or multiple-country visas, and labor mobility cooperation frameworks, “in accordance with local market needs and skills supply, through international and bilateral cooperation.”

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is being prepared for adoption at an intergovernmental conference convening from 10-11 December 2018, in Morocco. Negotiations on the text of the Compact are taking place in six rounds between February and July 2018. [Letter of Co-Facilitators] [Zero Draft Plus] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on first round of negotiations] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on zero draft] [Negotiations Webpage]

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