The much-awaited Global Compact for Migration is one step closer to adoption, as the United Nations finalized the text on Friday. Plans for that adoption are set for December at a conference in Morocco.
The Global Compact initiative was approved in 2016 during the Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants summit at the UN General Assembly. It was widely praised for its goal of global coordination on migration, in response to a tide of refugees, migrants and the internally displaced unprecedented in the modern era.
Despite the United States withdrawal from the compact in 2017, which the U.S. said was based on sovereignty grounds, U.N. member states have moved forward with their Global Compact goals. Friday’s announcement followed more than a year of discussions and consultations among member states, local officials, civil society and migrants themselves, the U.N. said.
“Agreement on the text of the Global Compact is a significant achievement,” said U.N. Secretary General António Guterres. “It reflects the shared understanding by governments that cross-border migration is, by its very nature, an international phenomenon and that effective management of this global reality requires international cooperation to enhance its positive impact for all.”
General Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák said the agreement does not encourage migration nor does it aim to stop it. “It is not legally binding. It does not dictate. It will not impose. And it fully respects the sovereignty of states,” he said.
Lajčák said the compact will help nations to become more proactive on migration. “It can help us to draw out the benefits of migration, and mitigate the risks,” he added.
A copy of the Global Compact document is available here.
Image: IOM file