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Statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Promoting human rights-based actions on the commitments of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

​as delivered by Craig Mokhiber, Director, New York Office - GCM Dialogue #1

Excellencies,

Over two years ago in the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, the international community made a historic promise to craft a Global Compact on migration that would contribute to upholding the safety and dignity of migrants everywhere and to strengthening the global governance of migration.

Since then, after many rounds of consultations and negotiations, you have delivered on that promise. This Global Compact has demonstrated that multilateralism is alive and well and that even some of the most politically challenging issues can – and indeed must be – dealt with in the spirit of international cooperation. 

The Global Compact constitutes an important step forward in the protection of the human rights and dignity of migrants everywhere. It marks significant progress towards greater international cooperation and upholds States’ international obligations to respect migrants’ human rights.

The Compact explicitly rests on the firm foundation of the 9 core international human rights treaties and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 70th anniversary of which we mark today. It acknowledges that all migrants are entitled to the respect, protection and fulfilment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

It places particular emphasis on protecting migrants in situations of vulnerability, with measures to alleviate that vulnerability and to protect their rights. And it draws upon a number of practical and rights-based tools that have been produced by OHCHR and other key stakeholders.

The adoption of this Compact is a call to action. Leveraging the force of the entire UN system will be crucial. As the leading source of expertise on the human rights of migrants within the system, OHCHR will make it a priority to support Member States in their implementation, follow up and review of the Compact. International human rights mechanisms can also provide recommendations and guidance to States, while the Human Rights Council constitutes a space for dialogue and discussion amongst them. 

OHCHR is also committed to our role as part of the core Executive Committee of the new UN Network on Migration and we are ready to play our leading role in guiding the efforts of the Network to address the human rights protection of migrants.

In short—we will do our part to support you in successfully implementing the Compact and in ensuring that migration can be safe and dignified for all migrants—all of whom, in the words of the UDHR, are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Thank you.