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The present and future of the Global Compacts

The present and future of the Global Compacts

Date: -
Location: Hybrid

Join CERC Migration for an international workshop convened by Anna Triandafyllidou, Younes Ahouga and Richa Shivakoti (all CERC Migration) and Binod Khadria (Jawaharlal Nehru University and CERC Migration Scholar of Excellence, opens in new window.)

Practitioners extolled the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) and the Global Compact for Refugees (GCR) in December 2018 as a critical milestone in migration and asylum governance. Yet to be truly considered a milestone, the two Compacts must overcome shortcomings: (1) the many competing priorities due to the divergent interests of the endorsing states, and (2) the lack of an enforcement mechanism that could hold states accountable.

This workshop takes stock of how the GCM and the CGR were implemented to address these shortcomings and examines the future of the two Compacts in the post-pandemic world. While the COVID-19 global pandemic as well as the Afghanistan and Ukraine crises stressed the need for global cooperation on migration, it also resulted in a range of challenges that could limit the relevance of the Global Compacts. As the states favoured imposing unilateral restraints on mobility through the pandemic, some sectors relying on circular temporary labour migration saw large, possibly unprecedented, restrictions in mobility and massive layoffs of migrant workers. The hypermobility that was foreseen earlier came to a complete standstill during the pandemic, resulting in crisis returns that therefore contradicted the GCM’s aim to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration. On the other hand, the refugee emergencies proliferating around the world including for instance Venezuela or Central America, make the GCR all the more relevant and needed. The question of course arises are the two Global Compacts fit for purpose.

This workshop aims to address the following questions:

  • How has the implementation of the GCM and GCR progressed since their adoption? What are the lessons learned? Have states been held accountable for not meeting their voluntary commitments?
  • Have the regional reviews succeeded in building trust between the stakeholders and avoiding politicization of the implementation of the two Compacts?
  • Particularly as regards to the GCM did the capacity building mechanism set up by the UN Network on Migration improve the implementation? Has the UN Network on Migration been able to speak in one voice?
  • How will the global governance of migration and asylum change in the post-pandemic world? Are the two Compacts still fit for the purpose?
  • Given the prominent role the non-state actors played during crisis return and reintegration, should their role evolve to permit greater contribution to deliberations on the global governance of migration and asylum?