Following are UN Deputy Secretary‑General Amina Mohammed’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, to the fifth round of negotiations towards a Global Compact for Migration, in New York today:
It is a pleasure to be with you as you engage in the penultimate round of negotiations towards a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Allow me to convey the full support and encouragement of the Secretary‑General as you enter the final stages.
In the midst of intense negotiations, it can be difficult to recognize the importance of the endeavour you are engaged in. But it is important to do so. As the first‑ever intergovernmental agreement to address international migration in all its complexity, the Global Compact for Migration holds within it the promise to strengthen our collective approach to one of the most important challenges of our time: how best to maximize the undoubted benefits of migration, while better managing its downsides. It holds within it, too, the promise to fortify collective commitment to the human rights of all, to protecting the most vulnerable and to generating shared prosperity by situating the migration agenda firmly within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
I commend the progress and the efforts you are making towards these goals. You have before you a robust cooperative framework with welcome room for the many stakeholders that can make migration work for all, now and in the years to come. I welcome in particular the emphasis in the current draft on the positive contribution that millions of migrants make in our societies; on the critical importance of international cooperation and capacity‑building; on the need for a gender‑responsive approach to migration cooperation; and on the deep interconnections between the Global Compact for Migration and the 2030 Agenda.
You are on the verge of a significant achievement. But of course, implementation will be the ultimate proof of the Compact’s success. Much will depend on the ability of Member States to leverage the common ground captured in the Global Compact towards more effective and scaled‑up cooperation. A strong, fluid, multilayered follow‑up framework, supported by a solid evidence‑based and open, inclusive mechanisms, will also be essential.
In addition, the United Nations system will also play an important role. Over the past several months, the Special Representative and I have led consultations to that effect. A clear consensus has emerged on the way forward, and that consensus is reflected in paragraphs 44 and 45 of the current draft. The proposed course of action encompasses both structural changes and steps to strengthen cooperation among United Nations entities.
On structure, the Secretary‑General has decided to establish a new United Nations Migration Network. This Network will succeed the Global Migration Group and have the following features:
- It will have a clear focus – to ensure effective and coherent system‑wide support to the implementation of the Global Compact;
- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will serve as its coordinator and secretariat;
- The Network will report to the Secretary‑General on its activities, and he, in turn, will report to the Member States as required;
- The work of the Network will be structured around a core membership and an extended membership, with the former comprising those United Nations entities with clear mandate‑driven relevance and capacity;
- Drawing from both memberships, a focused number of working groups will be established, based on the final shape of the Compact and on the 2030 Agenda;
- Each working group will be chaired by a United Nations entity, with IOM as secretariat;
- We also see the need for periodic meetings, at least annually, of the Network’s extended membership, together with other stakeholders, for information‑sharing and agenda‑setting.
Let me emphasize three further points about the Network. First, its detailed methods of work, including specific working groups, will be established in a framing conference with participants from the United Nations system, in the fall, to be convened by the Special Representative, with IOM support.
Second, the Network will bring clarity regarding the greater responsibilities to be assumed by IOM. It will allow us to optimize the range of expertise and mandates on migration. And it will avoid duplication with — but rather encourage support for — pre‑existing coordination mechanisms, whether in development, humanitarian action or at the country level. As Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group and of the Joint Steering Committee to Advance Humanitarian and Development Collaboration, I will ensure that there is both a clear division of labour and strong alignment between the new Migration Network and these other mechanisms.
It is also important to note that coordination on migration matters at the national level, via United Nations country teams and the Resident Coordinator system, will be further enhanced through the new arrangement approved by the General Assembly last week in resolution 72/279 on the repositioning of the United Nations development system.
Third, this Network can ensure integrated support to any capacity‑building mechanisms you might establish, and link the system’s support with the measures you put in place for follow‑up and review.
Turning now to the elements aimed at strengthening trust and cooperation between individual United Nations entities, we are all aware that more can be done to better integrate the United Nations system on migration. To that end, the Secretary‑General is calling on relevant United Nations entities to clarify with each other their respective areas of responsibility. Accordingly, where appropriate, memoranda of understanding should be refreshed or drawn up. Further, the Secretary‑General will also review the effectiveness of this new configuration on a periodic basis.
Finally, let me say a few words regarding IOM. First, we must all — Member States, IOM and other United Nations entities — resist referring to the United Nations system and IOM. IOM is part of the system; it is already firmly integrated in many United Nations coordination and funding mechanisms from the global to the country level. Second, we welcome IOM assuming its new role as coordinator of the United Nations Network on migration. This is the logical next step for the system, which we embrace. Third, we call on IOM and its membership to make every effort to situate the organization such that it can fully support implementation of the Global Compact, as coordinator of the Network and in full accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.
The Secretary‑General continues to believe that this will best be achieved, in part, by IOM becoming a specialized agency — a move of both technical and symbolic significance. The Secretary‑General will continue to explore this option with IOM. In parallel, the Secretary‑General will work with IOM to ensure it has the capacity to take up the reins as Network coordinator and secretariat. He will also be working with IOM to ensure that its relationship agreement with the United Nations is supplemented, as necessary, to reflect its new role.
This has been a complex undertaking, but one that has highlighted a strong consensus and commitment within the United Nations system. As we enter 2019, I am confident that we will have a United Nations system fully positioned to give immediate life to the Compact — one that is coherent, cohesive, results‑driven, principled and transparent.
Allow me to express my thanks to Louise [Arbour, Special Representative for International Migration] and her team for coordinating this internal review; for supporting the process throughout and for the work they will undertake between July and December to ensure that the Morocco summit is the success it must be. Allow me also to thank our distinguished co‑facilitators, Mexico and Switzerland, for stewarding the intergovernmental process with dedication, enthusiasm and great skill.
I encourage all Member States to go the extra mile in this final stage: to trust in the co‑facilitators and each other; to find the courage to compromise where necessary; and to deliver to the world a Global Compact that will facilitate greater international cooperation towards safe, orderly and regular migration, and an essential vehicle towards implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.