UN migration compact shows the world still believes in dialogue and international cooperation

The adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) by such an overwhelming number of countries in Marrakech is a historic milestone, a tremendous achievement by member states and the international community and a moment to celebrate multilateralism. The Global Compact will be the future point of reference on migration for years to come, the Danish Refugee Council and its Mixed Migration Center said today in a statement.

The GCM is strongly founded on and reaffirms the human rights of all individuals, regardless of their migratory status. This is a crucial aspect when it comes to mixed migration, where too many people face terrible human rights abuses.

“In a time of increasing nationalism and protectionism it is a strong sign of hope an solidarity to see countries cooperating to ensure migration is safe and positive and to protect the human rights of migrants everywhere, everyday. The challenges of migration, by nature, can only be addressed through international cooperation. Implementation of the GCM will improve global migration governance and will be beneficial for countries of origin, transit and destination alike, as well as, most importantly, for migrants themselves,” says Christian Friis Bach from Marrakech.

“Now the actual work will start: implementation of the GCM. It will be crucial for countries to develop national action plans for implementation. A solid monitoring and review system should be developed, and the proposed new structures, such as the UN Migration Network, the capacity building mechanism and start-up fund will have to be well-resourced and ensure a whole-of-society approach, with strong engagement of civil society, “ says Bram Frouws, Head of the Mixed Migration Centre.

“States now need to live up to their commitments. The GCM includes a clear objective to save lives. Yet, along migration routes globally, in the deserts, the forests and at sea, we are witnessing unacceptably high numbers of migrant deaths. On the Mediterranean, in September 2018 alone, almost 1 out of 5 people departing from the Libyan coast died or went missing, to a large extent because there are hardly any NGO rescue ships left, as their work has been made impossible. This is in direct contradiction to the objective 8 in the GCM. Saving lives is a non-negotiable priority,” says Christian Friis Bach.

“Objective 1 of the GCM speaks to the importance of data. Data will be crucial to have evidence on the progress of implementing the GCM. MMC will continue to provide unique primary data on people on the move, through its growing network of 4Mi monitors. This will provide crucial information, in particular when it comes to measuring progress on improving the protection of people on the move,” says Bram Frouws.

“We now have two global compacts, on refugees and on migration. However, the reality is often mixed, and refugees and migrants face many common challenges and risks. The two compacts together, give a better institutional foundation to address the mixed nature of flows, but only if we all work hard to ensure complementarity between the two compacts,” ends Christian Friis Bach.