Panel Statement by H.E. Mr Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70th session of the General Assembly at UNHQ Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Business Mechanism Thematic Meeting
18 July 2016
Excellencies, Esteemed Panelists, Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning.
Thank you kindly for the introduction Mr. Koser.
I regret my having to depart this Panel in a short while but I am extremely happy to have the opportunity to address this important topic.
There is a long history of governments and non-state actors cooperating to meet the needs of refugees and migrants.
Demands and expectations, however, are increasing.
We are all aware of the unprecedented flows of migrants and refugees across the world today.
September’s high level plenary meeting of the General Assembly is an opportunity for all actors to advance a better response to this phenomenon.
A series of proposals to that effect have been put forward by the Secretary-General’s recent report, ‘In Safety and Dignity’ (May 2016), including a call on all parts on the UN system and external actors to play their part.
Member states and others are currently in the process of negotiating the outcome document for the Summit which will address many of these proposals.
Overall, however, the September Summit is an opportunity to make progress on three core issues.
First, for refugees. The Summit can advance the “global compact for responsibility sharing for refugees” suggested by the SG.
Second, for migrants. The Summit can advance the ‘global compact for safe, regular and orderly migration’ and an Intergovernmental Conference for Migrants in 2018, and strengthen the institutional relationship between the International Organization of Migration (IOM) and the United Nations.
Finally on narrative. The Summit is an opportunity to initiative a narrative based on universal values informed by the positive contribution that migrants and refugees make in both countries of destination and origin.
On each of these issues, the private sector can make a significant contribution.
To this end, I am impressed by the foresight and initiative of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Business Mechanism launched last year.
I applaud your efforts and encourage you to contribute more; to be concrete, progressive and kind in your contributions; to be empathetic and welcoming in your words.
Please also join us at the upcoming Summit.
And help the international community foster new ways of working to deliver a more humane, more effective response to large movements of migrants and refugees.