Global Migration Compact meeting begins in Morocco
London, Dec. 10, 2018 (AltAfrica)– More than 100 state leaders and representatives have arrived Morocco for the UN Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration” in Marrakech
The two day conference runs from Monday to Tuesday when a formal announcement of the adoption of the document is expected.
UN Special Representative for International Migration Louise Arbour said she is “very confident” on the future of an international pact on migration, although a number of countries have chosen not to adopt it
Louise Arbourys told a news conference on Sunday that the document is a re-affirmation of the values and principles embodied in the UN Charter and in international law.
She said the implementation of the Global Compact for Migration would forever change the way the international community manage human mobility.
The envoy saluted the efforts of the Kingdom of Morocco in creating an inspiring environment to launch “one of the defining projects of our generation’’.
“The Marrakech Compact will remain the reference for all future initiatives dealing with cross-border human mobility,’’ she said.
She announced that UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, would declare the conference open while other speakers would include the President of the General Assembly, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés; President of the International Organisation of Employers, Erol Kiresepi and the co-founder of One-Child organisation, Cheryl Perera.
According to Arbour, more than 150 governments represented by their Heads of States, Heads of Government or senior officials are expected to participate in the conference.
In addition to government officials, over 700 partners, including high-level representation from civil society and the private and public sectors as well as migrants would engage in discussions about innovative partnership opportunities, collaboration and cross-sectoral initiatives with governments.
Arbour said the conference would focus on encouraging creative and cooperative thinking around the full range of the Compact’s objectives with specific discussions on implementation, innovation and partnerships.
“A plenary debate would provide Member-States with the opportunity to formally announce initiatives and confirm their political commitments to the Compact,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, the conference programme showed that two dialogues would run parallel to the plenary, bringing together high-level panellists from different sectors.
The speakers include Ms Madeleine Albright, Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, Mr Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Ms Tendayi Achiume, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
Others are Dr David Fine, Global Head of McKinsey’s Public and Social Sector Practice, Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for Liberian President and Chair of the High-Level Panel on International Migration in Africa, Ms Manuela Carmena Castrillo, Mayor of Madrid, Dr Joanne Liu, President of Doctors without Borders and Mr Tarik Yousef, Director of the Brookings Doha Centre.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is the first-ever, inter-governmentally negotiated agreement to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.
It was born out of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly in 2016.
It is the culmination of 18 months of discussions and consultations among the Member States and other actors, including national and local officials, civil society, private and public sectors and migrants themselves.
It provides a platform for cooperation on migration.
However, it is not legally binding and therefore, no new legal obligations arise under domestic or international law for participating States.
The text is an agreed outcome from the intergovernmental negotiations and it is for each State to determine its next steps.
UN member states divided
In July, the UN member states approved the global migration pact, which aims “to better manage international migration, address its challenges, and strengthen migrants’ rights while contributing to sustainable development.”
However, some countries, including the US, Italy, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Israel, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Switzerland, have declined to join the UN pact or are still in the consideration phase.
“I am very confident: a large number of states continue to keep their word, they reached agreement on July 13 in New York after very serious and very intense negotiations,” Arbour told AFP.
“The countries dropping out of the process today had, after all, obtained concessions during the negotiations, and I must admit that I find it a little surprising.”