SANTIAGO, Chile— The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) says government representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean have committed themselves to implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and ensuring that migration be an option, rather than an obligation.
ECLAC said delegates made the commitment at the closing session of the regional review meeting on implementation of the compact, which was co-organised by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in its capacity as coordinator of the United Nations Network on Migration, and ECLAC.
The virtual meeting included agencies, funds and programmes that make up the Regional Network in Latin America and the Caribbean, along with ministers, deputy ministers and other senior authorities from 29 of ECLAC’s member-states and three associate members, as well as representatives of intergovernmental organisations, the United Nations system, and of civil society and other stakeholders.
The event’s closing session was led by Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary; Michele Klein Solomon, Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean of IOM; and Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director for South America of IOM.
In her remarks, Bárcena highlighted the significant progress on the Global Compact’s implementation presented by governments of the region, particularly considering the context of the health crisis prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, pointing to the countries’ strong commitment to the compact’s 23 objectives.
She said that ECLAC considers migration to be an opportunity for people, families, communities and countries, “as long as it arises from a voluntary and informed choice.
“For us, safe migration is when migrant persons are bearers of rights throughout the migratory cycle; orderly migration occurs only if it is exercised in an informed and free fashion, not forced or compelled by coercive factors, or as the only option; migration is regular when, in addition to the previous points, migrants are able to access some facilitating channels that serve to minimise adversity, especially for the most vulnerable groups,” Bárcena said.
She called for embracing the notions of the need for evidence in policymaking, of the imperative of protecting migrants at all stages of the migratory cycle, and of the creation of solid partnerships for migratory governance.
Bárcena also reiterated ECLAC’s “unwavering and solemn commitment” to the Global Compact for Migration and committed to applying the commission’s technical expertise to achieve its objectives, in accordance with the needs of each country.
“Our commitment is with people, their social inclusion and development with equality, so that migration can be an option and not an obligation,” she stressed.
Klein Solomon urged for working jointly in an effective way, mobilising migration for sustainable development, protecting and helping migrants, and ensuring that no one is left behind.
“Latin America and the Caribbean faces various migratory challenges, but none is insurmountable, especially if we remain true to the framework offered by the Global Compact,” she said, adding that “its call to further our collective efforts in pursuit of safe, orderly and regular migration.”
Pisani called for creating permanent mechanisms for dialogue that would foster the involvement of civil society organisations in the Global Compact’s follow-up, implementation and review.
He also underscored that the Global Compact for Migration is a space in which United Nations agencies coordinate and create synergies, “thereby contributing to the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
ECLAC said the results of the regional review meeting on the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration will serve as “an important contribution” for preparing the report that Latin America and the Caribbean will present to the International Migration Review Forum, which is due to take place in 2022.