Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed’s remarks at the Global Migration Group principals’ meeting, in Geneva today:
I am honoured to be with you today at this principals’ meeting of the Global Migration Group. I thank Rector Malone and his team at UNU [United Nations University] for their excellent stewardship of the Group in 2017.
We are at a watershed moment, with migration high on the global agenda. It is imperative to strengthen international cooperation on migration. The New York Declaration provides a new commitment and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides the framework for action.
The promise of the 2030 Agenda is that no one should be left behind. This includes migrants and refugees, some of the world’s most vulnerable people. That is why target 10.7 of the 2030 Agenda calls for safe, orderly and regular migration.
It is also important to harness the development potential of migration for the benefit of migrants and their countries of origin, transit and destination. We can accomplish this by achieving all the interlinked and indivisible Sustainable Development Goals.
Ending poverty, improving health and well-being, and promoting education and decent work are all essential to empowering migrants to fulfil their potential. Addressing climate change, promoting peace, justice and strong institutions and reducing inequalities are critical to addressing the diverse drivers of migration and forced displacement.
A comprehensive and holistic approach to achieving the [Sustainable Development Goals] is therefore critical for effectively managing migration in a way that protects migrants and brings benefits to their societies. The proposed global compact on migration should therefore be framed in a way that is consistent with and supportive of the 2030 Agenda.
Concretely, this means that one of the objectives of the proposed compact should be to provide a practical road map of how to achieve target 10.7. It should also bring together means to implement other important frameworks relevant to migration, including Sendai, Addis, Quito and Samoa.
This is therefore an important moment for the Global Migration Group to show that the United Nations system can work in a coherent and coordinated manner to support the commitments of Member States on migration. The Group has an important role to play in advising the Secretary-General and informing the General Assembly debate as the global compact on migration is developed.
I am pleased to welcome the proposal for both FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] and IOM [International Organization for Migration] to be co-chairs in 2018 of the Global Migration Group, and I also welcome IOM’s role in supporting the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on International Migration, [Louise] Arbour.
A key challenge in working towards the facilitations of safe, orderly and regular migration will be to balance the interests of both origin and destination countries. To this end, the proposed compact should seek to foster stronger partnerships on migration between States and foster the recognition that migration should be seen as potentially beneficial to all parties.
We also need to take into account the diverse regional perspectives and various realities through an inclusive and transparent consultation process. The contribution and participation of all relevant actors from the global migration landscape in developing the global compact and forging a strong consensus will ensure that the outcome is owned by all stakeholders, including migrants themselves.
Both the Sustainable Development Agenda and the New York Declaration call for partnerships to implement action for the benefit of all people. This type of partnership is called upon for many — Governments, civil society, the private sector, migrants — and of course us, the UN system. Let us lead by example as we strive to give life to the promise of “leaving no one behind”. Thank you.