The UNGA adopted a resolution on the modalities for intergovernmental negotiations on a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, following consideration of its programme budget implications.
Also in preparation for the 2018 conference, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced that Louise Arbour, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for international migration, will serve as the secretary-general for the conference, and UNGA President Peter Thomson appointed the Permanent Representatives of Mexico and Switzerland as co-facilitators for intergovernmental consultations and negotiations.
6 April 2017: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution on the modalities for intergovernmental negotiations on a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, with an oral amendment regarding the timing of a three-day stocktaking meeting in Mexico. The modalities were negotiated in a consultation process co-facilitated by the Permanent Representative of Mexico, Juan Jose Gómez Camacho, and the Permanent Representative of Switzerland, Jürg Lauber.
The UNGA considered the draft resolution (A/71/L.58) in a plenary meeting on 6 April 2017. In operative paragraph 23, on the three-day meeting to convene in Mexico, the date will be changed from “late November” to “early December” to avoid a scheduling conflict, as noted by the Permanent Representative of Mexico.
Per the agreed modalities, the preparatory process will begin with a consultations phase, made up of several thematic sessions between April and November 2017. The first two sessions are expected to take place in April/May, in Geneva, on ‘Human rights of all migrants, social inclusion, cohesion, and all forms of discrimination, including racism, xenophobia and intolerance,’ and in May, in New York, on ‘Addressing drivers of migration, including adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters and human-made crises, through protection and assistance, sustainable development, poverty eradication, conflict prevention and resolution.’
The second, “stocktaking” phase will include the three-day meeting in Mexico in early December to inform the zero draft of the global compact, which is to be produced by January 2018. The final, negotiating phase is expected to take place from February to July 2018. In parallel to the three phases, the preparations will include four days of informal interactive multi-stakeholder hearings. The Conference will take place at UN Headquarters in New York, NY, immediately prior to the general debate of its 73rd session, in September 2018.
In an explanation of vote, the US welcomed the role of the International Organization on Migration (IOM) as providing support and expertise during negotiations and preparations for the Conference, and she welcomed the appointment of a new Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for international migration, Louise Arbour, and her anticipated leadership role. The US also stressed the importance of transparency and civil society participation during the preparatory process and conference. Canada, also for Australia and New Zealand, similarly would have preferred more inclusive language about civil society organizations, saying a non-objection basis does not provide adequate transparency or accountability for deciding on organizations’ accreditation. The resolution calls for a “non-objection basis” for agreeing on the NGOs, civil societies, academic institutions, private sector representatives, diaspora communities and migrant organizations who may attend and participate in the Conference process. Canada also said the human rights and gender dimensions of international migration should be “at the heart” of the global compact, and expressed support for the role of national human rights institutions (NHRIs).
In a statement of adoption, the EU expressed regret that the adopted text does not refer to the non-legally binding nature of the outcome document, which she said would be the basis for the EU’s future engagement.
The draft resolution was adopted following consideration of its programme budget implications (PBI) by the UN Advisory Committee for Administrative and Budgetary Matters (ACABQ) and the UNGA’s Fifth Committee, by which US$975,700 is agreed to be appropriated for the biennium 2016-2017 for implementing the modalities.
Also in preparation for the intergovernmental conference to adopt a global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018, and the global compact, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced that SRSG Arbour will serve as the secretary-general for the conference, and UNGA President Peter Thomson appointed Gómez Camacho and Lauber as co-facilitators to lead “the intergovernmental consultations and negotiations on issues related to the global compact, the intergovernmental conference as well as their preparatory process.” [Draft Resolution A/71/L.58] [IISD Sources] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Budgetary Discussions] [Letter on Appointment of Conference Secretary-General] [Letter on Appointment of Co-Facilitators] [UNGA Meeting Summary]