During an informal meeting on the UN General Assembly's (UNGA) upcoming high-level meeting (HLM) to address large movements of refugees and migrants, Member States provided comments on the revised draft resolution on modalities for the HLM, which the co-facilitators had issued on 27 May 2016.
Governments also gave preliminary views on the co-facilitators' non-paper on possible elements that could be part of the HLM outcome document, which had been circulated on 31 May.
2 June 2016: During an informal meeting on the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) upcoming high-level meeting (HLM) to address large movements of refugees and migrants, Member States provided comments on the revised draft resolution on modalities for the HLM, which the co-facilitators had issued on 27 May 2016. Governments also gave preliminary views on the co-facilitators’ non-paper on possible elements that could be part of the HLM outcome document, which had been circulated on 31 May.
HLM Co-Facilitators David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland, and Dina Kawar, Permanent Representative of Jordan, expressed hope to produce a zero draft of the outcome document by the end of June, and to conclude negotiations by the end of July 2016. The HLM will convene on 19 September 2016 in New York, US.
On the modalities for the HLM, Donoghue said a key issue to be resolved is a paragraph in the draft resolution that requests the UNGA President to draw up a list of “other relevant representatives” of “relevant non- governmental organizations,” civil society organizations, academic institutions and the private sector who may attend the HLM and participate in the interactive roundtables, and to submit the list to Member States for their consideration on a non-objection basis. Donoghue said bilateral meetings with delegations will continue on this matter in the coming days.
Regarding the themes for the roundtables which will take place as part of the HLM, Guatemala for 15 countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Uruguay, asked for clarifications on the theme of Roundtable 3 (‘international action and cooperation on refugees and migrants and issues related to displacement: the way ahead’), especially on language on “issues related to displacement.” On Roundtable 2, Philippines expressed concern on language related to “large movements” of migration, highlighting the need to better define this concept.
On the outcome document of the HLM, many of the delegations that spoke said the non-paper represents a good start for future discussions, and some provided preliminary comments. The EU supported a political declaration as an outcome of the HLM, and, along with Bangladesh, called for a balanced way to address migrants and refugees in the outcome document.
Donoghue expressed hope to agree on the ‘Global Compact on responsibility sharing for refugees’ as part of the negotiations on the HLM outcome document, noting that much of its related content has already been proposed in the UN Secretary-General’s report, ‘In Safety and Dignity: Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants’ (A/70/59), and is also available elsewhere. He added that a complete form of the Global Compact could be annexed to the HLM outcome document. However, he said, the ‘Global Compact for safe, regular and orderly migration’ will involve a longer timetable to reach agreement.
Bangladesh said the global compact on “responsibility sharing for refugees” and the global compact for “safe, regular and orderly migration” that were proposed in the UN Secretary-General’s report cannot be considered in isolation. The US said the proposals made in the UN Secretary-General’s report on these compacts need additional refinements, especially on how they complement each other. The US added that the outcome document should also build on the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS).
The co-facilitators intend to convene informal meetings on a weekly basis throughout June, to finalize the modalities resolution and advance consultations on the outcome document, leading to the preparation of a zero draft by the end of June. July is expected to be a month of “intensive negotiations,” said Donoghue, in order to conclude negotiations on the outcome document by the end of the month. IISD RS Story on Revised Draft Modalities Resolution and Outcome Elements Non-Paper] [Revised Draft Resolution, 27 May] [Elements for Outcome Document, 31 May] [IISD RS Sources]