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Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Migration (A/71/728) [EN/AR]

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Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit

Note by the Secretary-General

The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the General Assembly the report of his Special Representative on Migration, Peter Sutherland, who has served in this role for more than 11 years. The report includes a forward-looking agenda for action and offers 16 recommendations for improving the management of migration through international cooperation.

The pioneering work of the Special Representative has helped to place migration and human mobility on the international agenda in ways that foster trust, cooperation and progress. The report is grounded in the same basic principles that have informed his tenure — above all, it is rooted in a profound belief in the dignity of every human being.

The recommendations presented by the Special Representative in his report were developed over the course of nearly two years and were enriched by the ideas of numerous experts, whose contributions are acknowledged in the annex to the report.

When the Special Representative fell seriously ill in September 2016, his recommendations were already well established. In the following months, the members of his drafting team worked closely with senior officials and experts of the Secretariat to see the report through its final stages.

In the end, the report remains a statement of the Special Representative’s personal perspective on the topics addressed, presenting his road map for improving the governance of international migration.

Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Migration

Summary

The present report, which was prepared by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Migration, makes recommendations for the better management of migration through international cooperation, and proposes ways of strengthening the engagement of the United Nations on migration, as noted by the General Assembly in its resolutions 70/302 and 71/1. While the report is addressed to Member States, it is offered as a contribution to all interested stakeholders. Drawing on the experience of the Special Representative on Migration, it is intended to inform the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, which Member States have committed to negotiate, beginning in early 2017, and which is to culminate in an intergovernmental conference on international migration in 2018, at which the global compact will be presented for adoption (resolution 71/1 annex II, para. 9). The report is organized in three sections: the introduction posits that, in the face of public concern, States will have a much better chance of reasserting control over who enters and stays on their territory if they work together, rather than unilaterally, thereby facilitating safe and legal migration, which is greatly preferable to migration forced underground. The second section sets out an agenda for action, resting on three sets of commitments, between States and migrants, among States, and between States and other stakeholders, and the following five policy priorities: (a) managing crisis-related movements and protecting migrants in vulnerable situations; (b) building opportunities for labour and skills mobility; (c) ensuring orderly migration, including return; (d) fostering migrants’ inclusion and development; and (e) strengthening migration governance capacities. The final section lays out 16 recommendations on how willing coalitions of States, working with other stakeholders, can begin to tackle these priorities and gradually broaden the consensus on what a functioning international architecture for migration should look like in 2018 and beyond.