Joint Statement on the Report of the Secretary General on the GCM delivered by Permanent Representative of Spain to the UN, February 16, 2022

16.02.2022 - Speech

I am pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of: Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

We thank the Secretary-General for his report and the President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General for their introductory remarks.

We appreciate this opportunity to discuss migration, which is a global phenomenon requiring shared responsibility, strong international cooperation and working in partnerships across the globe. We should take a comprehensive, whole of route and multi-stakeholder approach recognizing the fundamental importance of safe, orderly and regular migration for all. The approach should be strongly anchored in the unanimously approved Agenda 2030 and the visions and principles of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which is gender-responsive, child-sensitive and based on international human rights law, while respecting national sovereignty.

The report and our discussions are all the more important as we are drawing our lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic impacted and continues to affect migrants strongly in many ways, exacerbating already existing vulnerabilities, inequalities and discrimination. The pandemic also emphasized the important role migrant workers can play in COVID-related response efforts and in our economies and societies more generally. In this context we have seen good examples of measures that helped migrants preserve their legal status. While, in some cases, unequal access to vaccines distribution and access has put migrants in situations of heightened vulnerability, good practices have emerged in this area too, with migrants being fully included in national health responses and vaccination plans.

The rising and increasingly complex needs worldwide have highlighted very clearly the importance of a strong collective response, including the “One UN” approach. We therefore emphasize the need to continue strengthening cooperation, coordination and synergies within the UN family and beyond, in line with each and everyone’s respective core strengths and mandates and with a strong focus on implementing the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, as stressed in the recommendations of the report.

We continue to pursue a comprehensive and whole of route approach to migration. We also underline the importance of working together with our partners through comprehensive, tailor-made and mutually beneficial partnerships, based on common interests and commitments to save lives and to safeguard human rights, address the challenges of forced displacement, irregular migration, as well as all other aspects of migration and mobility. As also expressed in the Global Compact, this includes building capacity for migration management and policy, preventing and combating smuggling of migrants and human trafficking and supporting and protecting its victims, reinforcing border management and search and rescue cooperation, enhancing legal migration, while respecting national competences, access to basic services, integration and promoting social inclusion, ensuring effective return, readmission and sustainable reintegration, support to remittances and diaspora engagement, and tackling the root causes of irregular migration, as well as reaping the benefits of regular migration, including by meeting national labour market needs in countries of destination. We must also ensure that the human rights of women and girls, in all their diversity, are fully realized through gender-responsive migration policies, programmes and laws

Our cooperation should be supported by relevant policy tools and instruments and adequate and predictable funding. In this regard we highlight the importance of the Migration Multi-partnership Trust Fund as one of the tools to further contribute to the migration-related development goals.

Funding alone cannot address our common challenges successfully. All countries - of origin, transit and destination – need to live up to their political commitments to this end, including by curbing irregular migration and addressing its root causes, upholding the human rights of migrants, ensuring effective return, readmission and sustainable reintegration, and fostering social cohesion. All countries need to ensure the protection of all migrants against violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, and provide comprehensive and trauma-sensitive support to survivors. It is key that we build on concrete lessons learnt and good practices achieved during the last years, including by building capacities wherever needed.

In recent months, we have also seen attempts by States to exploit human beings for political purposes. The instrumentalisation of migrants is utterly unacceptable. We strongly condemn any such attempts and underline the need to address these practices effectively.

We recognise the urgent need to consider the complexity of climate change and address its adverse effects, which are exacerbating already dire situations. The Platform on Disaster Displacement is an important tool for highlighting the issue of disaster and climate-related displacement, and to strengthen our efforts for more coordinated action in this area.

Comprehensive and balanced migration policies built on norms and practices and joint commitments need to continue across the globe, taking into account the lessons learnt of the pandemic.

These need to be based on reliable data and statistics and improving the quality, accessibility and comparability of such data should remain an important horizontal objective.

We call for stronger international migration cooperation between states, as well as other relevant stakeholders, also in the context of the Global Compact as a means to further improve implementation, follow-up and review of migration policies and practices. Accordingly, we are looking forward to the International Migration Review Forum and to engaging constructively in the process leading up to it.

We will continue to support the UN Migration Network and IOM as its coordinator and secretariat working jointly with other agencies in their important work.

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