Wednesday, 20 January 2021

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Migration Compact fully respects sovereignty, says Secretary-General

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10 December 2018. The Global Compact for Migration has been adopted by over 150 states at a conference in Marrakech, Morocco.

“This Compact – in full respect of the sovereignty of states, establishes a framework of international cooperation that is absolutely essential when we face the enormous challenges of migration in today’s world,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told a press conference in Marrakech after the adoption of the compact.

The Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is the first-ever UN global agreement on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions. The Global Compact is non-legally binding and no new legal obligations arise under domestic or international law for participating states.

“We are not establishing a new right to migrate. No. There is not a right for anyone to go anywhere at any time according to his or her whim,” Mr. Guterres said.

The text of the compact was agreed following an 18-month process of consultations and negotiations, led by UN Member States. It defines 23 objectives covering all aspects of migration.  Examples of issues covered by the compact include more effective efforts to combat trafficking, clamp down on smuggling, efforts to save lives and facilitating safe and dignified returns and the need to promote ethical recruitment and decent labour standards.

“What we are establishing is the obligation to respect the human rights of migrants -- which of course is absolutely obvious when we at the same time celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It would be unconceivable to exclude migrants from the scope of the Universal Declaration,” Mr. Guterres said today in Marrakech.


For further information on the Global Compact for Migration see


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