In adopting the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the international community agreed for the first time on a comprehensive framework for better international cooperation on cross-border migration.
There is a great need for cooperation and common standards. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that there are currently some 258 million migrants in the world. For decades, migrants have accounted for around three percent of the global population.
International migration is thus a fundamental fact of our globalised world. At the same time, migration can and must be regulated and managed in a better way. How can the Global Compact help to achieve this and how will it now be implemented?
1. How is the Global Compact structured and what does it contain?
The Global Compact contains a preamble and ten guiding principles; it emphasises national sovereignty and the non-binding character of the document under international law, and expresses commitment to the universality of human rights.
The focus is on a catalogue of 23 measures aimed at achieving the goal of safe, orderly and regular migration. These measures include:
• reducing the causes of irregular migration, for example by improving living conditions in the countries of origin;
• international efforts to combat human smuggling and trafficking;
• enhancing safe, orderly and regular ways to migrate;
• better cooperation on border management;
• strengthening the protection of children’s and women’s rights;
• ensuring that migrants have access to basic services such as healthcare and education.
2. How are the goals of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration to be achieved?
The Global Compact envisages initiatives at the global, regional, national and local levels. The Secretary-General of the United Nations has set up a migration network to support the UN Member States in implementing the Global Compact and to coordinate the various initiatives. The IOM will serve as coordinator and secretariat of the migration network. The idea is to bring together relevant UN organisations and other stakeholders. A trust fund will be set up in the UN to fund the various organisations’ initiatives.
3. How is the Global Compact to be implemented at the national level?
The Global Compact will be implemented taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. It is not an international agreement and nor is it legally binding. Its implementation is thus a matter for the UN Member States’ national sovereignty. In Germany, implementation of the Global Compact is being pursued at the national level, with the German Government responsible for further measures. The relevant federal ministries will address the various topics covered by the Global Compact’s 23 goals. A large part of the measures contained in the Global Compact are already being implemented in Germany.
4. How is implementation of the Global Compact to be monitored in the future?
An International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) will be set up to check progress on implementing the Global Compact. As of 2022, the IMRF will meet every four years and serve as the main intergovernmental platform for exploring progress on implementation and sharing experiences. As transnational migration usually occurs in regions, the UN Member States have also agreed to set up regional review forums. The first regional review will be carried out in 2020. Thereafter, regional reviews will also take place every four years. The Global Forum on Migration and Development will also report to the IMRF.
5. What activities are currently being carried out by the UN in New York?
The exact format of the IMRF, which will be convened for the first time in 2022, is currently being discussed in New York. The President of the General Assembly has appointed two co-facilitators, who have launched informal consultations with the Member States. The aim is to adopt a resolution in the General Assembly that defines the IMRF’s working methods and organisational aspects in greater detail (e.g. location, duration, participants) by the summer of 2019.
Germany plays a constructive role in this process. Civil-society actors and other stakeholders with consultative status at the UN (e.g. research institutes, associations and companies) will be involved in the process via consultations.
6. How can I find out about the implementation of the Global Compact?
As during the negotiations on the Global Compact, the German Government will inform the public via social media such as Facebook and Twitter. It will also report to the IMRF on progress in implementing the Global Compact.
Federal Foreign Office
• A Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration
• Sixteen answers on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration
• Twitter: @GermanyDiplo #MigrationCompact
• United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC)
• United Nations Association of Germany
- A Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration
- Twitter: @AuswaertigesAmt #Migrationspakt