Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration: progress is being made

UN General Assembly in session in New York, 26 June 2019

UN General Assembly in session in New York, 26 June 2019, © picture alliance / Photoshot

25.07.2019 - Article

The GCM is the first ever internationally negotiated document designed to improve cooperation in the field of migration. Now the UN General Assembly has agreed on the modalities for exchange on the implementation of the Compact.

What exactly has the General Assembly adopted?

The resolution on modalities, which was adopted with a large majority by the United Nations General Assembly on 19 July, determines the technical and organisational details of the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF). As of 2022, the IMRF will meet every four years in New York and will serve as the main intergovernmental platform for sharing experiences and exploring progress on the implementation of the Global Compact.

The Forum is part of the mechanism for implementing the GCM and it is referred to as such in the Compact itself. It pursues the Compact’s approach of improving coordination of efforts to master the challenges of global migration and of ensuring compliance with common standards on a voluntary basis. Work commenced on the draft resolution in February 2019, and it has since gone through several rounds of revisions. Intergovernmental negotiations were flanked by consultations with civil society representatives, local governments and members of national parliament.

What is the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM)?

In adopting the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in December 2018, the international community agreed for the first time on a comprehensive framework for better international cooperation on cross‑border migration.

The GCM contains 23 objectives and numerous possible actions to make migration safer and more orderly. These include minimising the causes of irregular migration, stepping up international efforts to combat human smuggling and trafficking in persons, and ensuring that migrants have access to basic services such as healthcare and education.

How are the GCM’s objectives to be implemented?

The GCM envisages initiatives at the global, regional, national and local levels. The Secretary‑General of the United Nations has set up a migration network to support the UN Member States in implementing the GCM and to coordinate the various initiatives. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) coordinates this network’s actions and provides secretariat services.

In addition to the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) mentioned above, the UN Member States have also agreed on a regional review dimension, since most cross‑border migration occurs at regional level. The first regional review will be carried out in 2020. Thereafter, regional reviews will take place every four years between IMRF Reviews.


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