At the beginning of August 2017, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border increased by 17% during the first seven months of the year, as compared to the same period last year. That figure represents 232 migrants who lost their lives in search of better living conditions, showing us a regional example of the unfortunate consequences of migration under unsafe, disorderly and irregular conditions. Just as in these cases, across the world there are many tragic episodes involving migrant fatalities on a daily basis.
In September 2016, during the General Assembly of the United Nations, Heads of States and Governments gathered to discuss migration-related and refugee issues, and adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. This declaration recognized that: “Forced displacement and irregular migration in large movements often present complex challenges.” And, what action are we, as the international community, taking to address this? Annex II of the New York Declaration sets out the commitment to negotiate towards the approval of a global compact, in the hope of achieving consensus on migration-related issues. This Global Compact for safe, orderly, and regular Migration (GCM) has launched a number of consultations around the world that will serve as inputs to the final result of this major effort.
One of the reasons the Global Compact represents a historic opportunity is the way in which it is being developed: an inclusive process with the effective participation of all relevant stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, academic institutions, parliaments, diaspora communities, and migrant organizations.
During the High-Level Parliamentary Dialogue for the Global Compact for Migration the Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations, Ambassador Juan José Gómez Camacho, gave us an example of the importance of that inclusiveness: “the Global Compact makes less sense if (it) is not translated into public policies, legal frameworks or concrete solutions at the national level. For this reason, parliamentarians play a key role on this matter”.
Ambassador Gómez Camacho, who was also appointed co-facilitator of Global Compact on Migration by the UN Secretary General, explained how greater integration of national parliaments in the preparatory process of the GCM ensures the adoption of provisions that will have a real impact on our societies. The same logic applies in all the other sectors, this is why we are urged to follow this process very closely and contribute to the realization of this major international agreement.
The consultation process was held on 30-31 August, 2017, during the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Preparatory Meeting of International Migration Experts on the Global Compact for Safe, orderly and regular migration at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean headquarters in Santiago, Chile. This was one of the events scheduled in the calendar aiming to produce inputs for the GCM. Participants provided concrete recommendations and examples of good practices in the region. This consultation concluded with a call on all parties to reach a “people-centred, forward-looking agreement that is realistically ambitious”.
I invite you to closely follow this process for Central America, North America and the Caribbean at: http://rosanjose.iom.int/site/en/global-compact
About the author:
Marcelo Pisani is the Regional Director of IOM for Central America, North America and the Caribbean. Mr. Pisani has 18 years of experience in project management, development of public policies, and in other areas related to fight poverty and the care of vulnerable populations in emergency situations. Previously he served as IOM's Chief of Mission in Colombia and Zimbabwe, and worked for the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He is an architect of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.