International Migrants Day

Message of the President of the UN General Assembly for International Migrants Day

18 December 2015



On this International Migrants Day, I call on all Governments to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their migration status.

I urge Governments to ratify and implement all core international human rights instruments, including the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.

Migration is not a new phenomenon and has been an integral part of human history. For centuries, migrants have made critical contributions to social and economic development in countries of origin, transit and destination.

Regrettably, today, we witness unprecedented levels of human suffering associated with migration, particularly due to forced displacement. Furthermore, many migrants are subject to discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance.

On 25 September 2015, the General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which presents a transformative vision for a better world. Through it, member States committed themselves to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.

The international community, national governments and leaders from all parts of society must now give effect to these commitments. They must address the root causes of forced displacement including by ending conflict. And they must speak out in support of the rights of migrants and against all forms of discrimination.

On this important day, I encourage all leaders to embrace migration as a key enabler of sustainable development and to renew their commitment to open and diverse societies.