Closing of Second informal interactive multi-stakeholder hearing

– As delivered –

Closing statement by H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, at the second informal interactive multi-stakeholder hearing of the preparatory process for a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration



Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Thank you for participating in today’s interactive multi-stakeholder hearing. We received a lot of information and we encountered new perspectives. Most importantly, we heard expertise and experiences based on stories of people around the world.

We heard about people turning to smugglers in their search for a safe place to live. People being exploited by criminals and forced into labor. Undocumented migrants coming out from the shadows and sharing their experiences for the benefit of others. People – particularly young people – leaving their homes, not because they want to, but because they felt like it was the only way to have a decent life. We heard how lack of opportunities and decent work drives people on the move.

Today’s hearing also included some good news. We listened to accounts of new initiatives at the regional level, which have been met with success. We received information on initiatives to improve skill recognition to advance labor migration. We heard about cooperation between entities, and across borders.

The aim of today was to engage, to listen, and to learn. We did all of that.

And I think it is safe to say that we have come to at least three conclusions.

First, that the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration must be anchored in realities on the ground, instead of perceptions or assumptions. To be credible, it must respond to the real needs and challenges that people around the world are experiencing.

This is the real priority of my Presidency – to bolster United Nations truly capable of delivering global solutions to global challenges that affect so many lives on our planet.

We have heard today many examples of best practices of regional cooperation on migration. While many of these are very specific to their respective regions, we should study them carefully and use them to inform the global compact.

The beauty and strength of multilateralism is in learning from each other, so that everyone doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel by themselves.

This brings me to my second conclusion. As said by one of the panelists today: “Wheels exist, but we have to get them rolling”. There are existing normative frameworks and cooperation agreements. However, the implementation is lagging behind.

The beauty and strength of multilateralism is in learning from each other, so that everyone doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel by themselves.


President of the UN General Assembly

We still have a long way to go in strengthening our response to migration in all its dimensions. The high ambition of the global compact is to help us manage migration in a way that makes it safer, more orderly, and regularized.

Today’s discussions on smuggling and trafficking, as well as on irregular migration and labor mobility have been illustrative of the challenges that the global compact will need to address in a comprehensive and balanced manner.

The third conclusion we can draw is that there is a real strength in diversity. The mosaic of views and perspectives present today has been to great benefit to our discussions. Member States, civil society, labor unions, private sector, academia and national human rights institutions all have their unique point of view to migration in all its aspects.

This process deserves our continued engagement. On Friday, after the sixth and final thematic session we have reached the end of the first phase of our preparations.

Let us not fool ourselves – while the past months have been labor intense, the real work still lies ahead.

I am confident that we will bring the information we gained today, and the conclusions we drew, into our work ahead.

The next phase of the process will focus on taking stock of everything we’ve heard and learned between May and this Friday. It will culminate in the stock-taking meeting in Mexico in early December, with dedicated opportunities for stakeholder engagement and participation. Preliminary information on the meeting is available on my website.

During the second phase of the process, I will also organize the third multi-stakeholder hearing, on 18 December, the International Migrants Day, in New York. I count on seeing many of you again then.

Thank you for your participation.