WYA at the Global Compact for Migration

WYA Morocco member Imad Belghannami and ME Regional Director Mary Joe Alavalas

The Global Compact is an inter-governmental negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, to discuss international migration. The process started in April 2017, followed by an intergovernmental conference on international migration in December 2018, held by the General Assembly, in which the Global Compact was adopted.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was attended by a WYA staff member and two members of the Morocco Chapter. Ms. Mary Joe Alavalas, the WYAME Regional Director, Imad Belghannami, and Sabili Miloud met in Bab Ighli, Marrakech, where the conference was being held as part of the Civil Society groups, representing the World Youth Alliance and FEMM Foundation.

“The Global Compact on Migration is the first-ever negotiated global framework on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions.  Though non-legally binding, the Compact is the product of an intensive process of negotiations providing a strong platform for cooperation on migration now and into the future, drawing on best practice and international law, to make migration safe and positive for all.”

          WYA Morocco Member Mr. Sabili Miloud

The attendees exchanged notes with representatives from delegations and other organizations. A WYA Asia Pacific Alumnus, Mr. Ace Paolo, was also present as part of the UN Staff.

The main events of the conference were run in the plenary, and other discussions happened in the dialogue room. Concerns regarding Human Dignity were observed as the introductory texts for the compact included the increasing number in the global south population as opposed to the north. Representatives from different missions and organizations who were dignity-focused also expressed the same concerns.

Logistically, the phases of this process are presented below in an infographic by the International Organization for Migration.

The Compact was adopted by member countries present at the conference – 164 of the 193 member states, thus with several countries in absentia. Moreover, several member states issued statements arguing the effectiveness of this Compact, in particular when approaching the language used. The latter was further dissected by Civil Society representatives who were invited to speak, focusing on how the vilification of people who help migrants is unacceptable. Member states adopting it reaffirmed their commitment to future cooperation on migration issues.

The pact declares that “only refugees are entitled to the specific international protection as defined by international refugee law”, in light of this statement, we are to ask whether this correctly addresses migrants if they do not fall under the specified characteristics.