The first International Migration Review Forum is taking place now, at the United Nations in New York.
What is International Migration Review Forum?
The International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) was created by the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). It is a Member State forum, with the participation of stakeholders to discuss and guide the work of the United Nations on migration since its adoption in 2018.
“The Forum is an important moment for the international community to reflect upon the achievements to date in the implementation of the GCM, and the commitment made nearly four years ago in Marrakech to ensure the rights of migrants are respected,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino.
The GCM is the first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, covering all dimensions of international migration. The Compact respects states’ sovereign right to determine who enters and stays in their territory, while highlighting the need to protect the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their migration status.
What is the Goal?
To review the progress made at the local, national, regional, and global levels in implementing the global compact on migration and building cooperation and partnerships at the national, regional, and global levels.
Since the last in-person annual Global Forum in 2019, the world has changed in ways no one could have imagined. The COVID pandemic forced everyone to fundamentally alter the way they live and work. For global migration practitioners in particular, the countless travel restrictions, border closures, and restricted government processing brought new challenges to the practice.
Chaired by the President of the UN General Assembly, the Forum is a chance to consolidate collaborative action and recognize the invaluable contributions migrants make to our societies. It provides an opportunity to identify remaining challenges, and emerging migration issues requiring the attention of the international community. Several topics are discussed including ethics, the increased reliance on technology, and how migration practitioners can seek to become better global citizens. Nevertheless, one of the main topics was about climate change @
“Many States have made progress in their efforts to better support and protect migrants. We look forward to their pledges for concrete action and a Progress Declaration that provides States the opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to achieve the GCM’s 23 objectives during this Decade of Action.”
What does the UN say about migration?
The agenda’s core principle is to “leave no one behind,” not even migrants. The UN Sustainable Development Goals SDGs’ central reference to migration is made in target 10.7: to facilitate orderly, safe, regular, and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.
Why is migration important?
Migration is important for the transfer of manpower and skills and provides the needed knowledge and innovation for global growth. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the integral role migrants play in our communities, including through lifesaving work in healthcare and in supporting critical supply chains.
Migration and climate change
These days it’s becoming impossible to talk about migration without including climate change Several countries of the world represented at the forum spoke about being already affected by climate change forcing people to migrate specially women. As illegal immigrants they are very vulnerable and often at risk of being trafficked. It is a major issue today; climate change and migration are very much connected. All continents are impacted. Some representants including Nepal, Lesotho, Ghana, India, Australia talked about the many challenges they face but also many islands of Oceania: Solomon Islands, Vanuatu where they are forced to become migrants because natural catastrophes, these past months we saw flooding in South Africa, and in Brazil, cyclones in Mozambique, cyclone in Madagascar. In this context the climate change is exacerbating the vulnerabilities of people who need to move from their land.
These past days whether for the Indigenous Forum at the UN or now at the International Forum on migration we heard similar terms related to the notion of community: “we have to rediscover our human connection, …looking at the other as a brother, sister, mother, father, relative; this could turn our world upside down and might even save not only the earth but our humanity.”
Changes cannot come only from the UN. Building solidarity with people of the world, supporting migrants, is part of what each one of us can do. Migrants are essential to all aspects of sustainable development. “Through their work, their remittances, and the links they build between countries, they reduce poverty, provide vital services, and support families and communities in countries of origin, transit, and destination.”
Michelle Loisel, DC
NGO Representative at the UN