The first International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), which took place from May 17-20 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, was the first opportunity at the global level to celebrate successes and reflect on challenges in the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) since its adoption in 2018. Through the participation of Member States, stakeholder representatives and the United Nations System (UNS), the Forum resulted in the IMRF Declaration of Progress, which the General Assembly adopted by consensus on June 7, 2022. This Declaration renews the commitment of States and relevant partners to intensify efforts towards the collective goal of safe, orderly and regular migration.
On May 16, the day before the Forum, an informal stakeholder hearing was held, which contributed to subsequent discussions, in addition to input gathered from consultations held at the local, national and regional levels over the past few months.
"The core vision of the Global Compact is based on the recognition of the reality of migration, without value judgments, based on the facts. It is a vision that believes that migrants should not be feared but celebrated as vital members of rich and flourishing societies," said António Vitorino, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Coordinator of the UN Migration Network. This network ensures effective and coherent UN system-wide support for the implementation of the Global Compact, including by supporting preparations towards the Forum.
"In this first global review of the Compact, we have reflected on how far we have come and how much remains to be done. While we can be proud of many achievements, any sense of pride must be tempered by the reality that we need to be aware of what it really means for the lives of so many people not to have an adequate level of progress," added Vitorino. To this end, he emphasized that international cooperation, solidarity and shared responsibility are key to faster and more sustained progress towards safe, orderly and regular migration.
Since the adoption of the Global Compact in 2018, followed in 2021 by the regional review of progress in its implementation, and the launch of the Pledging Initiative, leading up to the IMRF in 2022, the following results have been achieved:
In the region of Central America, North America and the Caribbean:
17 pledges were made by countries in the region and civil society on matters such as the assistance and protection of minors, migrant women, economic and psychosocial reintegration of returnees, migration and climate change, among others. The pledges received are shown on the pledging initiative dashboard of the global network's website on Migration.
The United Nations Regional Network on Migration2, meanwhile, made a commitment to organize an annual meeting for a joint dialogue between the Open and Permanent Dialogue Mechanism of civil society and governments from the Americas. The annual meeting will allow for reflection on the implementation of the Compact and the recommendations resulting from the IMRF and the Regional Review, with the goal of accelerating progress and creating synergies. The Mechanism is an honorary body to foster dialogue, advice and consultation. Its objective is to propose recommendations on the implementation of the Compact to governments of the region and other relevant stakeholders.
More than 20 replicable practices from States and civil society on the implementation of the Compact were published in the Repository of Practices with the purpose of inspiring those working towards the GCM objectives at the global, national, regional and local levels.
8 UN Networks on Migration have been established in Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico and Panama. These networks support Member States in the implementation, monitoring and review of the Global Compact at the national level with a common UN system approach, which adds value and facilitates the measurement of results and impact.
The 6 Champion Countries in the region, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Panama, by accepting this designation, have voluntarily committed to take a more active role in the implementation of the Global Compact.
6 voluntary reports on the implementation of the Compact were submitted to the IMRF (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Jamaica and Panama). Member States were able to complete or update the voluntary reports submitted during the 2021 Regional Review. These reports result from the analysis of progress and challenges, as well as consultations conducted with relevant stakeholders, in line with the Compact's whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches.
"While the finalization of the Declaration of Progress is a milestone for multilateral engagement on migration, we have an obligation to bring that text to life, act on its provisions and realize its concrete benefits," said Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly and Chair of the International Migration Review Forum.
This first IMRF is a milestone on the road to realizing the vision of the Global Compact for Migration and making ongoing pledges a reality with the support of the UN system. The series of pledges made during the IMRF together with the Declaration of Progress mark another important step towards making a difference in the lives of the world's 281 million migrants, their families and communities. The next International Migration Review Forum will take place in 2026.