Secretary-General: Leadership will be crucial in bringing agreement to life, avoiding myths
20 December 2018

20 December 2018




Global Compact for Migration


Secretary-General:  Leadership will be crucial in bringing agreement to life, avoiding myths


Following statement by UN Secretary-General António Guterres at UN General Assembly on Global Compact for Migration on 19 December:

I welcome the adoption by the General Assembly of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.  The Compact is a non-legally binding agreement that reaffirms the foundational principles of our global community, including national sovereignty and universal human rights, while pointing the way towards humane and sensible action to benefit countries of origin, transit and destination, as well as migrants themselves.

At a time when international cooperation is more important than ever, this new Global Compact provides a platform for precisely that.  It calls for greater solidarity with migrants in situations of appalling vulnerability and abuse.  It underscores the need to anticipate future trends, from labour markets to the impacts of climate change.  And it highlights the imperative of devising more legal pathways for migration, which would also help to crack down on trafficking and exploitation.

I thank all who have helped to bring this landmark step to fruition:  the current President of the General Assembly and her predecessor; the co‑facilitators; my Special Representative; and our many partners, including civil society, migrants, diaspora communities, the private sector, trade unions, academic experts and municipal leaders.  I welcome the overwhelming global support for this Compact.  I hope that those countries that have chosen to remain outside the process will come to see the Compact’s value and join this venture.

Leadership will be crucial in bringing the Compact to life, and in avoiding the myths and disparaging discourse that have become all too frequent.  The newly established United Nations Migration Network stands ready to support Member States and all our partners as we strive together, in a spirit of respect and common purpose, to make migration work for all.

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