Africa: Intergovernmental Conference On Global Compact for Migration Kicks Off in Marrakech

Photo: Lucas Chandellier/IOM
Migrants receiving assistance from the IOM in Senegal (file photo).

Marrakech — The Intergovernmental Conference on the Global Compact for Migration opened Monday in Marrakech, in the presence of the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and several heads of State and Government.

The opening session was marked by the election of Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, as President of this Conference, during which the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration will be formally adopted.

Speaking on this occasion, Bourita highlighted the huge efforts made by the Kingdom to reach a global consensus on the issue of migration.

This historic conference is the result of a long process that began in 2016 with the adoption by the United Nations of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, he said.

For his part, the UN Chief underlined the importance of this Compact as a roadmap to prevent suffering and chaos, and to provide cooperation strategies that will benefit all.

It is a framework for international cooperation, rooted in an inter-governmental process of negotiation in good faith, that specifically reaffirms the principle of State sovereignty, including "the sovereign right of States to determine their national migration policy and their prerogative to govern migration within their jurisdiction, in conformity with international law," he pointed out.

Unregulated migration bears a terrible human cost: a cost in lives lost on perilous journeys across deserts, oceans and rivers; and a cost in lives ruined at the hands of smugglers, unscrupulous employers and other predators, Guterres added, noting that more than 60,000 migrants have died on the move since the year 2000, which is a source of "collective shame."

More than 150 countries are taking part in the two-day event, which is aimed at formally adopting the Global Compact for Migration, as agreed by the Member States of the United Nations on the 13th of July, 2018.

The global compact for migration is the first, intergovernmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

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