General Assembly President Stresses ‘Benefits of Migration Outweigh Challenges’, at High-Level Meeting on International Migration, Development

GA/12123
27 February 2019
Seventy-third Session High-Level Debate on International Migration and Development (AM & PM)

General Assembly President Stresses ‘Benefits of Migration Outweigh Challenges’, at High-Level Meeting on International Migration, Development

The crucial, interlinked and deeply dependent themes of migration and sustainable development took centre stage during a special high-level meeting of the General Assembly today, as participants called for urgent, evidence-based and inclusive policies aimed at making migration less risky for all.

“The benefits of migration outweigh the challenges,” said María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés (Ecuador), President of the General Assembly, in opening remarks.  Noting that human migration has impacted and transformed the history of all nations, she recalled that recent years have seen a large-scale global movement of migrants.  In response, the Assembly endorsed the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration — adopted by Member States in Morocco in December 2018 — which calls for well-managed migration and the inclusion of migrants in all efforts to expand basic services and to build peaceful, inclusive societies.

Noting that the majority of remittances earned by migrants working abroad are sent back to developing countries — with an impact estimated to be three times greater than that of official development assistance (ODA) — she added that 85 per cent of migrants’ earnings remain in host countries, bolstering their economies.  Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the best tool to protect against irregular migration in the future, she said, emphasizing that well-managed migration poses a threat to no State.  Outlining several elements for States to examine, she spotlighted the critical threats posed by human trafficking and smuggling and the intersection between migration and labour policies.

She added in closing remarks that international and regional cooperation are critical to adequately addressing migration patterns, investing in migrants and preventing risky situations and abuse.

Throughout the day-long meeting, participants in two high-level panels explored those themes, as well as others related to national and global efforts to streamline migration policies.  Many echoed the Assembly President’s calls to harness the potential benefits of migration, including in the context of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Participating in a morning panel focused on progress towards achieving migration-related goals and targets, Santiago Javier Chavez Pareja, Vice-Minister for Human Mobility of Ecuador and Chair of the Global Forum on Migration and Development 2019, said migration is an inherent part of all the Goals and targets enshrined in the 2030 Agenda.  In the context of Sustainable Development Goal 8 — on the promotion of sustainable and inclusive economic growth, full employment and decent work for all — he said migrants make a positive contribution to their countries of origin and destination, through both taxes and remittances.

Meanwhile, António Vitorino, Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), spotlighted target 7 of Sustainable Development Goal 10 on reducing inequality, which he said is fully in line with the Global Compact.  It is up to Member States to choose their priorities and implement them, he said, adding that IOM stands ready to support Member States, either through the United Nations system framework or bilaterally.

Also participating in that discussion were the Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations and a representative of the Insan Association, who also serves as Civil Society Chair of the Global Forum on Migration and Development.

During an afternoon panel discussion, participants focused on addressing capacity-building gaps, mobilizing resources, developing processes and policies and building partnerships related to migration.  Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, said his country focuses on several core elements in its national mobility policies:  the potential benefits of migration to development; the harmful effects of human smuggling; the connection between climate change and displacement; and remittance management.  Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), recalling that, in 2015, migrants contributed an estimated $6.7 trillion to the global economy, underlined the need to work with employers and the private sector while promoting the use of data and evidence-based migration management.

Also participating in that discussion were Henriette Geiger, Director for People and Peace Directorate General for Development and Cooperation of the European Commission; Roberto Suárez-Santos, Secretary-General of the International Organization of Employers; and Alexis Bautista, representing Migrant Forum in Asia, Global Coalition on Migration.

The Assembly will reconvene in plenary at 10 a.m. on Friday, 1 March, to discuss the role of diamonds in fuelling conflict.

Opening Remarks

MARÍA FERNANDA ESPINOSA GARCÉS (Ecuador), President of the General Assembly, said almost three months have elapsed since the organ endorsed the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the first international instrument to address all aspects of the phenomenon.  Noting that today’s debate addresses migration and sustainable development — two critical, interconnected and deeply dependent themes — she declared:  “We will not be able to achieve the [Sustainable Development Goals] if we do not comprehensively include migrants.”  Indeed, target 10.7 calls specifically for planned and well-managed migratory policies.  Migrants must be included in all plans to expand basic services, such as health care and education, and they should be active in the building of peaceful, inclusive societies.  Recalling that recent years have seen a large-scale global movement of migrants, she stressed that achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be the best tool to protect against irregular migration in the future.

Indeed, she continued, no one flees their home and family without a pressing reason.  Noting that the elements of the Global Compact were structured in line with the 2030 Agenda, she spotlighted human trafficking and smuggling, as well as the intersection between migration and labour policies as two crucial aspects.  Concerning the latter, she underlined the importance of including migration in planned commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2019.  Also critical is addressing the needs of migrant women, who often face more restrictive labour policies and greater barriers to accessing health services, while constituting the vast majority of the victims of smuggling and trafficking.  Underlining the enormous contribution of migration to development, she stressed that evidence shows “the benefits of migration outweigh the challenges”.  The majority of remittances earned by migrants working abroad are sent back to developing economies, and their impact is estimated to be three times greater than official development assistance (ODA).  Meanwhile, she said, some 85 per cent of migrants’ earnings remain in host countries, bolstering their economies.

Calling for a well-informed global debate on migration — based on a balanced, evidence-based understanding of the issue — she urged Governments, media outlets, Parliaments, civil society members and other stakeholders to help eradicate long‑standing stigma and discriminatory views of migrants.  Well-managed migration poses a threat to no State, she stressed, adding that communication and dialogue on the issue are the best way for nations to move forward together.  In that context, she recalled that the representatives of Bangladesh and Spain have been appointed as co-facilitators of the process to determine the modalities of the international review forum tasked with monitoring the implementation of the Global Compact.  Participants present today should remember that, behind migration statistics, there are real human beings with names and families, she stressed, adding that “migration is a part of the history of mankind” and that all countries have been transformed by it.  Now, it is up to Member States to work together to manage the phenomenon and render it less risky for all.

Panel I

In the morning, a panel was convened on the theme “Overview on Progress in Achieving Migration-related Goals”.  The moderator, Marion Barthelemy, Director, Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, introduced the panel and its theme.  She said that, of the 169 targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, there are 10 that relate to migration directly.  Nine of them will be examined by the High‑Level Political Forum in July.  It should not be forgotten that all of the global goals are related to migration, including the Goal on climate action.

The discussion also featured four panellists:  Santiago Javier Chavez Pareja, Chair of the Global Forum on Migration and Development 2019 and Vice-Minister for Human Mobility of Ecuador; Valentine Rugwabiza, Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations; António Vitorino, Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM); and Roula Hamati, Insan Association and Civil Society Chair for the Global Forum on Migration and Development.

Mr. CHAVEZ PAREJA said that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a turning point that charts the path for including migration in a multilateral agenda for the first time in history.  It also provides an impetus to work on a political commitment, which led to a process that culminated in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.  Migration is an inherent part of all of the Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda.

Speaking on Goal 8, which seeks to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth, full employment and decent work for all, he said that migrants make a positive contribution to their countries of origin and destination, paying taxes and sending remittances that undoubtedly benefit societies.  On Goal 10, which seeks to reduce inequalities, migration is a driver of economic growth and makes it possible for millions of people to seek new opportunities every year.  The Constitution of Ecuador guarantees equality between foreigners and the country’s citizens, he said.  All efforts to address mobility should be focused on defending rights and addressing the needs of communities.  Approaches are needed for countries of origin, transit and arrival, he said, so that their capacities are not strained.  Ecuador’s presidency of the Global Forum on Migration and Development will look at the change in the narrative of migration and to address human mobility as part of a development strategy at the urban and rural level.

Ms. RUGWABIZA said that the first success in Rwanda is the mindset regarding migration.  Rwanda has an open policy regarding migration.  Migrants enjoy all the same rights as nationals except for voting.  They have access to health services, public education, scholarships, social protection systems and the right of residence.  It is the responsibility of politicians to help people understand what the contribution of migrants is to their country’s development strategy.

Rwanda is a member of the East African Community, she said, noting that belonging to this group means committing to a protocol for the free movement of people.  In the case of the Community, the protocols have been successfully implemented, and East Africans are largely able to move freely between the countries of the Community and work there and obtain access to services that may not be available in their country of origin.  Regarding the implementation of the protocol, there are challenges and ways need to be found to properly monitor migration and assist Governments which may not have the capacity to implement the protocols to which they have committed, she said.

Mr. VITORINO said that, with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the international community committed itself to an agenda where migration plays a critical role.  Goal 10.7 is fully in line with the Global Compact endorsed by the international community, he said, noting that it is up to Member States to choose their priorities and implement them.  His organization is ready to support Member States, either through the United Nations system framework or bilaterally, he said.  There are two key obstacles regarding migration.  The first is the current state of governance and policy development, along with a lack of coherence with other policies is one of the most serious difficulties, with the consequence that migrants can be left behind.  The second is that there is an erosion of public confidence in the ability of Governments to handle migration.  This lack of public trust in the governance of migratory flows has led many political leaders to question the desirability of migration and the validity of international frameworks.  These two obstacles must be addressed up front.

The number and proportion of international migration is likely to increase with existing trends, he continued.  Conflict will continue to influence displacement.  Demographic changes will create a shift in labour supply and demands, and the opportunity for migration to provide a solution will be increasingly important and complex because the labour markets change quickly.  The skills required today by migrants will most likely not be those required in the years to come, he said.

Ms. HAMATI said that migration was largely absent in the Millennium Development Goals and is new in the conception of the Sustainable Development Goals.  The contribution of migration to development is still poorly understood.  In Lebanon, the country’s education sector development plan in 2010 was adjusted after refugee influx to include a provision for all refugee children to attend schools.  There are some targets in the new global goals than mention migration, but the 2030 Agenda cannot be realized without considering the migrants in the world, the number of which is the same as the population of Indonesia.  Migration is such a cross-cutting issue, and it is useful to see how countries prioritize migration issues.  It would be interesting to see how migration and the Sustainable Development Goals are incorporated in the national development planning of developing countries, she said.

Interactive Discussion

The representative of Guatemala said that migration is a priority for his country’s foreign policy.  His Government attaches great importance to the Global Compact, while the meeting today is an opportunity to recognize the contribution of migration to society.  Those gathered at the meeting can ensure that their responses to migration are based on shared responsibility and above all on not criminalizing migration, as well as protecting the human rights of all.  His nation believes in safe, orderly and regular migration and has developed work programmes for Guatemalan migrant workers, to improve their living conditions.

The Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said that, in today’s world, there is an unprecedented level of human mobility.  He acknowledged the important and complex interrelationship between international migration and development, as well as the need to deal with the challenges and opportunities that migration presents to countries of origin, transit and destination.  International migration is a multidimensional reality of major relevance that needs to be addressed in a coherent and balanced manner.

Migration is an enabler of development, he continued, noting that the roles and responsibilities of the countries of origin, transit and destination should be appropriately balanced.  It is important to increase cooperation on access to and portability of earned benefits, and enhance the recognition of foreign qualifications, education and skills.

The representative of Finland, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that the bloc has always been at the forefront when it comes to sustainability.  In its development policy, it has reflected the 2030 Agenda and its pledge to leave no one behind.  Concrete implementation of the 2030 Agenda continues and migration has become a central consideration in the external relationships of the European Union.  Well‑managed migration can make a positive contribution to sustainable development and inclusive growth.

At the same time, irregular migration can raise major challenges and can impact negatively, he said.  The 2030 Agenda should foster a more collaborative approach to increase the benefits of migration.  All countries should try to manage migration effectively, in accordance with the human rights of those migrants.  The Union is committed to ensuring coherence between migration and development policies, he said.

The representative of Belize, speaking on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States, said that climate change is a reality and a driver of migration.  Each hurricane and typhoon has the potential to destabilize and force people from their homes and communities.  When Hurricane Maria passed over the island of Dominica, it tore apart its infrastructure and destroyed nearly all its homes.

Investing in disaster risk reduction is important, she said.  In the Pacific, rising seas have forced many to relocate.  The forced migration of persons following these disasters has considerable impact on social and economic development with vulnerable groups being left at even greater risk, she said.

The representative of Vanuatu, speaking on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States and associating himself with Belize, said that a more collaborative way to address migration is needed.  Through regional partnerships and cross-regional mobility programmes with Australia and New Zealand, people are provided with the opportunity to work while addressing labour shortages abroad.

Across the Pacific, remittances play an increasing role, he said.  The significant link between equitable economic growth and remittances should not be underplayed, he said.

The observer for the Holy See said that, if someone were listening to the news for the very first time today, they might assume that migration is synonymous with border insecurity, humanitarian disaster and human trafficking.  The time‑tested truth that migration is largely regular, the sign of a healthy economy and the bedrock of many modern nation States rarely makes the news.  All migrants, regardless of their status, deserve to be treated with dignity and to have all their human rights respected and protected along their entire migratory journey, including when they cannot remain.  Pope Francis has said that welcoming others requires commitment, a network of assistance and goodwill and the responsible management of new and complex situations that at times compound numerous existing problems.

The representative of France, associating herself with 27 States of the European Union, said that migration is often perceived as a problem to be resolved, while it might be wiser to see it as an opportunity and to make it a driver of development.  Her Government is focusing on several areas with regard to migration, such as supporting the improvement of the governance of migration through an inclusive approach.  France hopes to integrate migration across its development policies and to mainstream it in policies, particularly at the local and regional levels.

The representative of Malta, associating himself with 27 States of the European Union, said that, on a national level, many developments are taking place.  In 2018, Malta received a large number of irregular migrants in proportion to its size.  It is working on improving its reception conditions so as to quicken procedures, he said.  Migrants are offered a package of free health services and education in Malta, and its equal treatment regarding employment lays down requirements to combat discrimination, he said.

The representative of Mexico said that a new narrative on migration is being built.  It is one in which national migration should be a true driver of sustainable development.  When it is considered that migrants are agents of change, migration is a cross-cutting element for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Mexico is proud to have made the text of the Global Compact a reality in its national policy, he said.

The representative of the International Labour Organization (ILO) said that the agency has maintained a system of international labour standards to ensure that women and men can receive decent and productive work.  Such standards are vital to ensuring that economic prosperity benefits all, and are applicable to all workers, regardless of nationality or immigration status.  ILO is encouraged to see that the concept of decent work is throughout the Global Compact.  Her agency stands committed to support Member States in the implementation of the Compact.

The representative of Germany, associating himself with 27 States of the European Union, said that regular legal migration brings prosperity to societies and contributes to the achievement of the 2030 agenda.  Only through multilateral cooperation can the negative impact of irregular migration be reduced.  Pathways for regular migration can be achieved by working together, he said, noting that no single country can solve the issue alone.

The representative of Morocco, associating herself with the Group of 77, said that 2018 was marked by major events that consolidated the country’s leadership in several areas regarding migration.  It has resolved the situation of more than 50,000 migrants living in Morocco.  It has legally present migrants who live alongside their Moroccan brothers and enjoy the same rights.  The Global Compact is a great source of pride for Morocco as it shows an ambitious commitment to migration from the international community.

The representative of the United Kingdom, associating himself with 27 States of the European Union, said that safe and orderly migration is in everyone’s interest.  The Compact provides a useful framework for improving international cooperation on migration while upholding the sovereign jurisdiction of States.  It is a milestone in the international discussion on migration.  Well-managed migration can make a positive contribution to sustainable development, he said.

Mr. CHAVEZ PAREJA, responding to a question regarding education, said that, in Ecuador, education has been examined with regard to the direct link that it has with the provision of assistance to migrant children.  This link has led to the establishment of an agreement between various State bodies in this area so that activities can be coordinated effectively to protect the rights of children and adolescents.  Concerning a question on what can be done to avoid the undermining of the Compact, he stressed the importance of continuing to work together and find solutions to the potential problems posed by migration.

Ms. RUGWABIZA said that, regarding the better involvement of the private sector, it could help in the attainment of specific data on migration flows, but also contribute to solutions.  Work should be done to provide migrants identities, including biometric identities, when migrants do not have them already.

Mr. VITORINO said that, regarding the financing of the Sustainable Development Goals and the financing of migration targets, he noted that, on dedicated instruments for migration, the United Nations migration network will have a capacity-building mechanism and within that there will be a dedicated seed fund for projects to help Member States implement the Global Compact.

Ms. HAMATI said that if countries have the capacity then the best of systems and policies and laws can be designed, but if nations do not have the capacity then they cannot implement them.

Ms. BARTHELEMY said that during the morning there was an agreement that the Sustainable Development Goals and migration are intrinsically linked.  The Goals and migration targets can only be realized together, she said.

Also speaking were representatives of Cabo Verde, Luxembourg, India, Uruguay, Denmark, Philippines, Cuba, Turkey and Turkmenistan.

The representative of the non-governmental organization Africa European Disapora Development Platform also participated.

Panel II

This afternoon, the Assembly held a panel on the theme “Addressing capacity‑building gaps, mobilizing resources and developing processes and policies and building partnerships”.  Moderated by Agustín Santos Maraver, Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations, it featured five panellists:  Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary, Bangladesh; Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); Henriette Geiger, Director for People and Peace Directorate General for Development and Cooperation of the European Commission; Roberto Suárez-Santos, Secretary General of the International Organization of Employers; and Alexis Bautista of Migrant Forum in Asia, Global Coalition on Migration.

Mr. HAQUE, outlining efforts by Bangladesh to implement the 2030 Agenda and the Global Compact, said the country focused on several critical elements of migration while aligning its national plans with those global strategies:  the potential benefits of migration to development; the harmful effects of human smuggling; the connection between climate change and displacement; and remittance management.  While previous policies took an ad hoc approach to migration, the country’s new Migration Governance Framework tackles all kinds of mobility, from the influx of refugees entering Bangladesh from Myanmar to persons fleeing the impacts of climate change.  He also spotlighted the need for countries to examine the links and contrasts between the Global Compact adopted in Morocco and the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, warned of expanding rifts between nations and drew attention to the important issues of return and sovereignty.

Ms. BÁRCENA said migration is driven by asymmetries in development levels, but is exacerbated by factors including climate change, violence and inequality.  Noting that migrants contributed an estimated $6.7 trillion to the global economy in 2015, she highlighted the phenomenon’s potential as a major economic driver around the world.  Intraregional migration is on the rise in Latin America and the Caribbean, driven by a lack of employment in some countries, high rates of violence, the impacts of climate change on crops such as corn and coffee, and the desire of migrants to reunify with family members abroad.  Underlining the need to work with employers and the private sector while promoting the use of data and evidence-based migration management, she said Governments and other stakeholders should meet at the regional and subregional levels to cooperate on migration issues.  Meanwhile, Governments can study important elements of migration — including demography, labour, trade, innovation and technology — and focus their attention on rural areas, where 80 per cent of migration flows originate.

Ms. GEIGER, outlining the European Union’s focus on migration management, cited a “paradigm shift” in the region’s approach, linking sustainable development and migration.  The Global Compact confirms that approach, she said, adding that “it is our joint responsibility to implement it”.  The bloc takes a comprehensive approach to migration and development and stands committed to promoting investment, trade and innovation in its partner countries, while addressing the root causes of irregular migration.  For example, in Niger, the Union supports national programmes aimed at addressing the country’s various emerging challenges, while elsewhere the bloc assists Ethiopia in dealing with cross-border displacement and Afghanistan in addressing the massive return of refugees flooding back into the country.  “We have considerably stepped up our financial support,” especially in Africa, she said.  For instance, it established the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and allocated €4.2 billion to tackle the root causes of migration there.

Mr. SUÁREZ-SANTOS said there have long been calls for stepped-up action to engage employers in global and local migration policies.  His organization works with partners to efficiently engage businesses in the development of safe, orderly and regular migration management, he said, stressing that “these are not just empty words”.  Citing concrete efforts to avoid unfair and abusive labour policies and to recognize migrants’ fundamental rights, he said that, as an influential network of local employers, the International Organization of Employers is working to “make the business case for migration”.  About 45 per cent of employees globally are having trouble filling positions, and in many developing countries there are workers who lack jobs.  Recognizing the need to bridge skills gaps, he said engaging key partners from the across the business sector can help provide answers.  Meanwhile, training, re-skilling and informal learning programmes are “making a huge difference for migrant workers”, he said.

Ms. BAUTISTA drew attention to the role of civil society organizations in the design and implementation of local and national policies that are inclusive of migrants.  Citing examples of such partnerships, she drew attention to a recent symposium on assistance services for undocumented migrants in the European Union, as well as an agreement between Germany and the Philippines on migrant workers in the health sector.  Sharing perspectives and building confidence between different partners and sectors is crucial, she said, calling on stakeholders to listen to a variety of voices.  Following the adoption of the Global Compact, Governments and civil society should identify important links between that agreement and their own national development plans.  Meanwhile, regional economic commissions can engage an array of stakeholders as part of Regional Migration Review Forums, she said.

Interactive Discussion

During an ensuing discussion, many speakers agreed that migration provides an opportunity for States to come together on issues of policy, sustainable development, crime prevention and economic growth.  Some recounted national experiences in managing migration flows or as origin and transit countries, both today and throughout history.

In that regard, Ireland’s representative recalled that many fled his country during a great famine, which ended a century ago.  Since that time, the Irish diaspora has played a key role in the economies of many countries.  As nations collectively embark on implementing the Global Compact, he said that, while non‑binding, the agreement provides a “menu of options” for countries of origin, transit and destination.  Emphasizing that multilateralism is the only way forward, he also declared that “people on the move must, themselves, be active participants in the global discussion on migration and on forced displacement”.

The representative of El Salvador said developing countries require support to build equitable, prosperous societies and implement the 2030 Agenda.  Spotlighting the link between those efforts and the challenges of migration, he said the Global Compact is a crucial step forward in ensuring a more holistic, rights-based approach to that phenomenon.  “No State can successfully manage migration alone,” he said, echoing other speakers in calling for urgent collaboration in that arena.

The representative of Greece underscored the importance of recognizing migrants’ vulnerability in the context of the 2030 Agenda’s promise to “leave no one behind”.  Recalling that more than 1.2 million people arrived in Greece between 2015 and 2016, he described the Government’s efforts to address the crisis, including by adopting new immigration codes ensuring the rights of migrants; enacting laws to combat human trafficking and protect victims; and expanding services, such as language classes, to new arrivals.

The representative of Iran was among speakers who underlined the need to address the drivers and root causes of migration.  Calling for efforts to transform migration into a poverty eradication tool, he said Iran — which has long experienced a large migratory flow — has previously highlighted the voluntary and non-binding nature of the Compact.  A global approach that incorporates the principle of shared responsibility is crucial, he stressed, warning against creating new reporting requirements that could place a burden on developing countries.

The representative of Venezuela called for stepped-up efforts to protect the human rights and dignity of migrants, while warning against any attempts to turn the Global Compact into a “tool for intervention” through which some States could wield power over others.

The representative of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) said it adopted seven ambitious Global Policing Goals that, among other things, support environmental sustainability, curb illicit markets and promote border integrity — providing tools for States to ensure safe, orderly migration and to pursue human smugglers and others who seek to take advantage of vulnerable people.  Moreover, he said, INTERPOL is a politically neutral mechanism that can help countries ensure that no one is left behind.

In brief closing remarks, Ms. BAUTISTA reiterated her call for a holistic approach to, and inclusive dialogue on, migration policy.

Mr. SUÁREZ-SANTOS echoed calls for effective partnerships and the stronger engagement of the business community.

Ms. GEIGER welcomed the many statements delivered, which she said represents a “coalition of the willing” to implement the Global Compact.

Ms. BARCENA urged delegates to help change the narrative around migration and to engage in deeper discussions on the links between the Global Compact and the 2030 Agenda.

Mr. HAQUE voiced his discomfort with the discussion, underlining his wish that the way countries describe mobility at the United Nations was “the reality on the ground”.  Instead, mobility across borders remains a “toxic subject” in many bilateral negotiations, with little give and take between asymmetrical negotiating partners.  A clear global rationale exists for labour mobility, but the question remains how to make it beneficial for everyone, he said.

Also speaking were the representatives of Indonesia, Jamaica, the Russian Federation, Finland (on behalf of the European Union), Norway, Hungary, Nigeria, Algeria, Guatemala, Canada and Libya.

The Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants also participated, as did representatives of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Children and Youth International, Partnership for the Americas, Global Coalition on Migration, Academic Council for the United Nations system and the business community.

For information media. Not an official record.