Nigeria, others review progress on global migration compact
NNN: Nigeria and other UN Member States are meeting in New York to review the progress made in the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).
The Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Ms Imaan Suleiman-Ibrahim, is expected to deliver the statement on Friday.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, at the opening of a meeting to review progress towards implementing GCM on Thursday in New York, paid tributes to many migrants who worked on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guterres said many migrants risked their lives to save others and they were at times denied access to basic services and excluded from recovery plans.
While commending efforts to improve the lives of migrants, such as helping them to integrate into host countries, Guterres noted that these measures are too often the exception and not the norm.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has painfully demonstrated how far we still are from realising rights-based, child-sensitive and gender-responsive governance of international migration for all,” he said.
Globally, there are an estimated 281 million international migrants worldwide, who have left their home countries for travel, work, or other opportunities, or due to conflict, poverty, natural disasters or other crises.
Migration is a fact of life, the secretary-general said, but too often it has been poorly managed, uncoordinated, misunderstood and vilified.
“Today, over 80 per cent of the world’s migrants move between countries in a safe and orderly fashion. But unregulated migration – the cruel realm of traffickers – continues to extract a terrible cost,” Guterres said.
He underlined the humanitarian, moral and legal imperatives for safe and orderly migration as thousands still die each year in the pursuit of opportunity, greater dignity and a better way of life.
“We must do more to break the stranglehold of smugglers and better protect migrants in vulnerable situations, in particular women and girls,” he said.
Countries must also expand and diversify what the UN chief called “rights-based pathways for migration” and ensure that returns and readmissions are safe and in full accordance with international law.
Guterres said migrants were part of society and must also be part of the renewed social contract, outlined in his Our Common Agenda report, to build trust, increase participation, and strengthen social cohesion.
“The Global Compact speaks to the heart of the mission of the United Nations. It is a global response to a global phenomenon for which we need to be much better prepared.”
The secretary-general also highlighted support to Member States through the UN Network on Migration, which has established a mechanism to contribute technical, financial and human resources towards the Compact’s implementation.
The Secretary-General urged participants to secure a strong political outcome through actionable pledges and strong monitoring and follow-up mechanisms.
“Let us keep up the momentum as we work together for a safer and more prosperous future for us all, including migrants,” he said.
In his remarks, the President of the UN General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, emphasised the need to act now, drawing attention to “the terrible human cost”.
He said at least 8,436 migrant deaths were recorded globally between Jan. 1, 2019, and Nov. 24, 2021.
A further 5,534 migrants went missing and are presumed dead, adding that these are just the reported numbers.
“Our ability to protect and to integrate migrants is not only a barometer of the health of our institutions – but of the empathy we feel for our fellow human beings; of our will to do right by our own conscience; of our commitment to upholding the basic human rights of all.”
Shahid told the meeting that as countries work to recover from the pandemic, and to achieve sustainable development by 2030, they will need the contribution from all in society, including migrants.
The four-day International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), which began on Tuesday, will end on Friday.
Roundtables and a policy debate were held on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the final two days devoted to plenary meetings. A progress declaration is set to be adopted.
On Wednesday, Suleiman-Ibrahim, while delivering Nigeria’s statement at IMRF Roundtable two told the Member States that Nigeria was committed to implementing CGM through existing policies, processes and institutions.
Suleiman-Ibrahim said Nigeria had done a lot in implementing the objective four of CGM, noting that the country has embarked on birth registration of children of migrants born in IDPs camps and host countries.
The commissioner said the effort had helped to reduce vulnerabilities and increase protection of migrant children to ensure they were included in national development plans and programmes.
She said regrading Nigeria’s implementation of Objective 21; namely, to ensure sustainable reintegration of returned migrants, the government of Nigeria had taken several steps to achieve the Objective. (
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