Migration compact must balance regional, global realities, says UN envoy

Louise Arbour (right), Special Representative for International Migration, speaks to a journalist at UN Headquarters in New York following a special event on the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. UN Photo/Mark Garten

1 December 2017 – A Global Compact on migration has to be “truly global” but it also has to take into account the regional specificities given the very diverse nature of the phenomenon, a senior United Nations official on international migration has said.

“There are some 250 million migrants in the world and they move and settle in very different circumstances,” said Louise Arbour, the UN Special Representative for International Migration, told UN News ahead of a meeting on the Global Compact, to be held Monday in Mexican city of Puerto Vallarta.

“If you look at Asia for instance, even within the continent there are lots of different configurations of migrant workers: people who move permanently, others who move temporarily but sometimes for decades with the expectation of coming back home,” she explained.

At the three-day stocktaking meeting, UN Member States, civil society and other stakeholders will jointly shape a vision for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

They will review the outcomes and recommendations gathered during the consultations phase of the Global Compact, held between April and November this year, as well as look at the process going forward.

Enumerating her hopes from the meeting, Ms. Arbour said that the Puerto Vallarta is the “last opportunity” for Member States to “express clearly to each other” what their expectations are.

“We will probably be in a better position coming out of this meeting to understand where the work has to be done were there still room for potential disagreements or more problematic area. So I think it's a critical really important step towards a Global Context.”

VIDEO: Louise Arbour discusses importance of preparatory meeting in Mexico in efforts to reach a global compact for migration.

AUDIO: Migration compact needs to be 'truly global,' says UN Special Representative Louise Arbour


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