United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

29 March 1996



General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Items 45, 97 (g), 106, 107,
  109, 111 and 113 of the
  preliminary list*

*    A/51/50.

                            FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT


                             ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN

                              CONFERENCE ON WOMEN



                            HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS

      Letter dated 27 March 1996 from the Permanent Representative of
      Mexico to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

     I enclose herewith the text of a joint communique' issued on
14 March 1996 in the town of Puebla, Mexico, at the close of the
Regional Conference on Migration.  As you can see from the enclosed
document, the participants were the Governments of Belize, Canada,
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua,
Panama and the United States of America.

     Given the importance of migration in the activities of our
Organization, I venture to request that the enclosed document be
circulated as a document of the General Assembly under items 45, 97
(g), 106, 107, 109, 111 and 113 of the preliminary list.

                                              (Signed)  Manuel TELLO
                                                  Permanent Representative


                       Regional Conference on Migration

              Joint Communique' issued in Puebla on 14 March 1996

     A Regional Conference on Migration was held on 13 and 14 March
1996 in Puebla, Mexico, with the participation of the Governments of
Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico,
Nicaragua, Panama and the United States of America.  After a useful
and productive dialogue, the participating Governments issued the
following joint communique'.

     The Governments recognized that the origins, manifestations and
effects of migration, including refugee movements are important issues
on the agenda of the international community.  By and large, migration
is beneficial and has potential advantages, both for the countries of
origin and for the countries of destination; however, in order for
these benefits to be realized migration must be orderly.  Migration is
a complex historical phenomenon.  In recent years there has been an
increase in large migratory flows due, in part, to asymmetries between
different economies and labour markets and also due to political and
social factors, natural disasters, environmental degradation, rapid
population growth, trade and investment barriers and also to civil
conflicts.  The Governments therefore drew attention to the need for
mutual cooperation in order to promote economic growth and employment
in order to reduce poverty.

     The Governments also recognized that each country perceives the
causes, dimensions and consequences of migration in its own way.  They
agreed that a comprehensive, objective and long-term approach to the
origins, manifestations and effects of migration in the region would
contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon, help
counteract anti-immigrant attitudes and strengthen relations between
participating States.

     They also recognized the need to promote regional cooperation in
order to attenuate the structural factors that give rise to migration
in the region, without detriment to the bilateral cooperation

     The Governments recognized the sovereign right and legitimate
interest of each country to safeguard its boundaries and to enforce
its own immigration laws, always observing strict respect for the
human rights of the migrants, as defined in the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights of 1948 and other relevant international instruments,
irrespective of their nationality, race, age, religion, sex or
immigration status.

     The participating Governments agree to:

     1.   Expedite the development and adoption of a comprehensive,
objective and long-term approach to the regional phenomenon of
migration in order to address both its causes and its manifestations
in an effective manner.

     2.   Promote a better understanding of the regional and
international phenomenon of migration through specialized studies that
will identify and contribute to the implementation of measures to
resolve the issues that prompt migration and that derive from it.

     3.   Promote the economic and social development of the region by
encouraging trade and productive investment and by implementing
economic and social policies as factors which, along with
international cooperation, can help address some of the causes of

     4.   Recognize that migration can make a positive economic and
cultural contribution both to countries of origin and to countries of

     5.   Condemn violations of the human rights of migrants and
others, irrespective of their immigration status, and to strive to
eliminate such violations.  Particular attention will be given to the
special needs of women and children, including their protection when

     6.   Enhance public awareness of the human rights of migrants as a
way of promoting respect for their dignity and counteracting anti-
immigrant attitudes and eradicating illegal acts targeting immigrants.

     7.   Promote national cooperation and other forms of cooperation
in order to establish programmes that will help meet the basic needs
of undocumented migrants who are in the custody of immigration
authorities in each country pending the determination of their
immigration status.

     8.   Recognize and encourage the work of non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), that develop programmes of assistance for
migrants, as a supplement to Government efforts in this area.

     9.   Encourage States of the region, and in particular those with
common borders, to promote consultation mechanisms on immigration
matters and protection of the human rights of migrants with the
participation of the authorities at various levels of government, law-
enforcement officials and consular and diplomatic representatives of
the countries.

     10.  Promote in the appropriate forums the exchange of information
and experience regarding immigration labour issues.

     11.  Consider and, where appropriate, encourage consultations
prior to the adoption of immigration measures which may affect
countries in the region, particularly States with common borders, with
full respect for the sovereignty of each State.

     12.  Establish an exchange of immigration legislation and
procedures as a resource for use by countries of the region in
analysing, reviewing and improving immigration laws and procedures.

     13.  Affirm the importance of taking steps to facilitate
documented migration.

     14.  With full respect for the national sovereignty and
territorial jurisdiction of each country, and within the context of
juridical arrangements established with other States, coordinate
efforts to combat criminal organizations engaged in migrant
trafficking.  To that end, the Governments undertake to exchange
timely information so as to give countries of the region a chance to
adopt appropriate measures to combat networks and connections of
migrant traffickers; and to exchange additional data to prevent and
detect such criminal organizations.

     15.  Encourage the characterization, in the national legislation
of States which have not done so, of trafficking in migrants as a
criminal offence in order to help eradicate the organizations of
traffickers operating in the region.

     16.  Promote better understanding, in order to raise society's
awareness, of the harmful effects of migrant trafficking, by
condemning the human degradation, indignities and abuses associated
with this activity, through public information programmes as a means,
among others, of helping to identify and implement measures designed
to reduce and resolve the problems deriving therefrom.

     17.  Expand regional cooperation in the field of technical
assistance and training so as to refine national systems for the
investigation, handling of evidence and prosecution of traffickers in

     18.  Encourage the exchange of experience regarding the phenomenon
of migration in appropriate multilateral forums and, where
appropriate, further consultations with relevant international

     19.  Hold periodic consultations between countries in the region
in order to advance cooperation on specific issues relating to
migration.  To that end, inter alia, sponsor meetings of immigration
officials, using the experience of the work done by the Central
American Commission for Migration (OCAM), and other regional
coordination bodies.

     20.  Promote the exchange of information and regional cooperation
aimed at technical assistance and human resources training in order to
control the flow of undocumented migrants from outside the region.

     21.  Advance more effective mechanisms to combat the falsification
and adulteration of immigration documents.

     The Governments expressed satisfaction at the positive spirit and
cooperation which characterized the debates.  Participating
delegations also thanked the Government of Mexico for organizing the
Conference and recognized the need to continue the constructive
dialogue on that important issue in order to strengthen regional
cooperation on migration.  Accordingly, the Governments decided to
hold a meeting, at the technical level, in Mexico in the third quarter
of the present year, in order to follow up and give effect to the
agreements reached at this Conference.  They also decided to have
another meeting, at the political level, in the first few months of
1997, in Panama City, Republic of Panama, and to consider the
possibility of inviting some South American States to that meeting as
observers.  To that end, the Government of Panama is to request
logistical support from the International Organization for Migration


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Date last posted: 28 December 1999 17:35:10
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