Geneva – The first informal multi-stakeholder consultation was held yesterday (9/11) in preparation for the regional review of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) which will take place on 12-13 November.
The consultation focused on the progress made in the implementation of the GCM within the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) region and was structured around two roundtables: i) Progress and challenges in the implementation of the GCM in the UNECE region; and ii) Best practices for stakeholder engagement in the GCM implementation.
“This event builds on the Compact’s explicit recognition that non-governmental partners are vital contributors to a collective commitment to achieving well-managed migration founded on cooperation and full respect for human rights” said Michele LeVoy, Director of the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) and rapporteur for the event. “This consultation is an opportunity for civil society and other stakeholders to share realities on the ground, but also their concerns for the wellbeing of migrants in the region and how these can be effectively addressed,” she concluded.
The UNECE region covers over 50 countries, located in Europe, North America, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Western Asia. Its geographic, cultural and economic breadth makes migration contexts and dynamics across the region extremely diverse. To give voice to this, over one hundred groups and individuals from across the region, including trade unions, civil society organizations, local authorities, youth organizations and National Human Rights Institutes, private sector, the Red Cross and others participated in the virtual consultation.
The different speakers expressed their concerns on various topics including the impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic on migrants and their communities, migrant workers’ rights; children on the move with a particular focus on family reunification; access to services; alternatives to immigration detention; and border management and forced returns.
Several recommendations were made during the consultation which will feed into the formal deliberations later in the week.
“Active and sustained stakeholder engagement is vital to the health and longevity of the Global Compact,” said Jonathan Prentice, the head of secretariat for the United Nations Network on Migration. “These meetings are not a static process; they must be part of a dynamic engagement with all partners and at all levels to further the implementation of the Compact,” he added.