Agenda items 14 and 122
Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields
Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit
The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 73/195, in which the Assembly requested the Secretary-General, drawing on the United Nations Network on Migration, to report to the Assembly on a biennial basis on the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the activities of the United Nations system in this regard and the functioning of the institutional arrangements. It is the first report responding to this mandate and is based on extensive input and consultation.
- The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was adopted at the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Marrakech, Morocco, and subsequently endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 73/195 of December 2018. The Global Compact sets out a cooperative framework for achieving safe, orderly and regular migration, including 10 overarching guiding principles and 23 objectives with attendant actions and a process for its implementation, follow-up and review, as well as guidance for support from the United Nations system.
- According to the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the Secretariat, the estimated number of international migrants is nearing 272 million. Over the past several decades, migration has become increasingly complex, due in part to political, environmental and socioeconomic changes in countries of both origin and destination. In this context, the Global Compact is based on the recognition that no single State can effectively govern migration without principled and effective international cooperation. The Global Compact creates a comprehensive 360-degree approach, and a common language, for discussing migration and provides tools for implementing well-governed migration policies.
- In the present report, issued two years after the adoption of the Global Compact, the Secretary-General looks first at what the implementation of the Global Compact means to the international community and the mechanisms created by Member States to realize its 10 guiding principles and 23 objectives. This is followed by an assessment of the impact the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has had on migrants, as well as specific actions taken by governments in accordance with the Global Compact. Finally, the Secretary-General looks at the activities of the United Nations system, paying particular attention to the United Nations Network on Migration and the functioning of the institutional arrangements.
- It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a fundamental impact on human mobility, while also emphasizing the many contributions made to societies by migrants who provide essential and front-line services. With many borders closed, and global mobility dramatically slowed, the potential for the Global Compact to navigate these new challenges has become apparent through a range of State practices. However, there are cases where State measures have exacerbated existing inequalities and eroded migrants’ rights and dignity, sometimes even at the cost of their lives.
- Governments now have an opportunity to take strong ownership of the commitments they made in the Global Compact, ensure consistent application of its guiding principles and respond to the evolving needs of migrants and their communities. While there is sound basis for optimism, concerns remain. In the report, the Secretary-General highlights a wide range of policies and initiatives designed to improve migration for the benefit of all. Building on these while addressing continued abuses of migrants’ rights and well-being, including through the forthcoming regional reviews to assess the state of implementation of the Global Compact, will be crucial. This is especially so in a context of deep social and economic disruption, where the lives, families and livelihoods of millions of migrants and their communities risk becoming ever more precarious.
- Overall, the degree to which countries and other stakeholders are beginning to draw on the Global Compact to help strengthen migration policies, governance and cooperation is to be welcomed. As States and others step up their efforts, so too will the United Nations system. Progress has been made since the establishment of the United Nations Network on Migration, building the foundation for enhanced support from the United Nations system for safe, orderly and regular migration at all levels in the years to come.