Stakeholders meet in Geneva to discuss Global Compact on Migration

Stakeholders meet in Geneva to discuss Global Compact on Migration. Photo: UNODC27 October 2017 - UNODC has been actively engaged in the global compact on migration preparatory process to date, and most recently in October, participated in the second multi-stakeholder hearing in Geneva. The forum provided an opportunity to hear the views of a broader group of stakeholders, including Governments, businesses, academic institutions, regional organizations and civil society.

Opening the session, Miroslav Lajčák, President of the UN General Assembly said: "2017 was a year of commitments. We reaffirmed our obligations to refugees and migrants. We agreed to do more to uphold our responsibilities."

"None of us wants business as usual. None of us wants people to suffer," Mr. Lajčák continued, emphasizing that for this process to succeed, it must embrace diversity. "2018 must be a year of action. We need to step up our work to create the conditions for people to move out of choice, and not necessity," he added.

Also participating was Louise Arbour, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration. She stressed that the international community must strive to place the safety and dignity of all people at the centre of its deliberations. The global compact, therefore, must be people-centred and underpinned by those frameworks established to promote and protect the human rights of all people, including those on the move, she underlined.

As part of the consultation, the Chief of UNODC's Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section, Ilias Chatzis, moderated a panel discussion entitled "Smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons and contemporary forms of slavery".

"Human trafficking, slavery and migrant smuggling are complex crimes. They cannot be addressed by one actor, function, or community alone," said Mr. Chatzis in his opening remarks, underscoring the need for multi-disciplinary responses.

He went on to emphasize that many individuals and organizations have been working on these issues for years. However, most often, they have limited recognition, inadequate resources and no opportunity to share and discuss their experiences in an international forum. In this regard, he encouraged all to express their views during the multi-stakeholder meeting and throughout the global compact on migration process. "UNODC will continue to play an active role as preparations continue," he said.

The final session in the preparatory phase will be held in Geneva next month, and will be followed by a meeting in Mexico in December prior to the negotiation phase between February and July 2018.

The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants adopted in September 2016 by the UN General Assembly calls for the active participation of the private sector in implementing the commitments made for refugees and migrants. The global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration - to be adopted by UN Member States in September 2018 - will set out a framework for comprehensive cooperation on migrants and human mobility.

Further Information:

UNODC on human trafficking and migrant smuggling

Preparatory Process of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration