December 11, 2018 – The Elders today welcomed the signing of the United Nations Global Compact for Migration in Marrakesh as a means of strengthening nation states’ ability to manage migratory flows by emphasizing coordination and solidarity.
They noted that migration pressures are set to be exacerbated by the impact of climate change and conflict, making it all the more imperative that a robust international framework is put in place that can prioritize order, respect for human rights and equal burden-sharing between host countries.
They congratulated UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and Louise Arbour, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Migration, for their careful stewardship of the Compact process and the inclusive and respectful way the negotiations have been handled.
Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders, said:
“This Global Compact offers a way to manage migration that recognizes the realities of our globalized world and respects the human rights of people on the move. As we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, political leaders now need to show equal clarity of vision and purpose to implement the Compact.”
The Elders noted that the Compact is a non-binding, voluntary process rather than an attack on national sovereignty. They urged party leaders and parliamentarians in countries where the Compact is still under debate to reflect this in their interventions.
Recognizing that migration is a contentious and sensitive topic in many countries, The Elders called on politicians, media and civil society to conduct their deliberations in a level-headed manner that is cognizant of global realities while sensitive to local opinion and specificities.
Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said:
“As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I was proud to launch the process to develop the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration in 2016. Today, I am encouraged by the result of the Marrakesh summit. I hope leaders will now act in the long-term interests of their people by implementing the Compact to protect the rights of migrants worldwide.”