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First International Migration Forum: Reviewing the Global Compact for Migration

Let us not wait for the next IMRF ... rather, work together with a whole society approach to protect the lives of our migrant brothers and sisters everywhere.

Some of our Mary Ward Family members work among the migrants and refugees around the world. Many are at the forefront to protect the rights of refugees of Ukraine and the migrants in US border.

We are aware of the struggles of migrants and refugees especially when the world is facing the pandemic, war, climate change, economic crisis, and so on that compel the people to be on the move. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) World Migration Report 2022the current global estimate is that there were around 281 million international migrants in the world in 2020, which equates to 3.6 per cent of the global population.

In 2018 the world leaders came together to find solutions to make migration safe, orderly and regular migration. The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is an international agreement adopted in December 2018. As the first-ever global framework for migration governance, it aims to increase international collaboration on all aspects related to migration, including human rights, humanitarian needs, and development.

In 2022, four years after adopting the Global Compact for Migration, governments, stakeholders, and the UN system came together to discuss the successes and challenges of implementing this cooperative framework. The first International Migration Forum (IMRF) took place in the General Assembly in New York from May 17 to the 20th to review the progress made at the local, national, regional, and global levels in implementing the GCM.

The 2022 IMRF consisted of four interactive, multi-stakeholders roundtables; a policy dialogue; and a plenary meeting. There was an intergovernmental agreed Progress Declaration (see Rev4). This document is the formal outcome of the IMRF. Though not legally binding for UN Member States, its analysis of progress and shortcomings of GCM implementation over the past four years and its recommended actions serve as the basis for migration policy and advocacy from the global to local levels up until the next IMRF.

The civil society from around the world were well organized in preparing towards the IMRF. The regional and national consultations took place at various levels. Ahead of the IMRF, on 15 May, civil society representatives from around the world gathered in New York and online to take part in the IMRF Civil Society Preparatory Day (CSPD).

The CSPD aimed to enable civil society IMRF participants to be fully and adequately prepared to engage in IMRF discussions in a cohesive and organized manner. It represented the culmination of a year-long process of civil society preparatory sessions, advocacy dialogues, and consultations begun in mid-2021. The morning session of the CPSD looked back over the four years of GCM implementation since it was adopted in 2018. Regional reports from civil society representatives drew on the discussions and conclusions of GCM regional review processes to identify gaps and challenges and react to the draft Progress Declaration.

Though the first IMRF is over, there is much more to be done to protect the rights of all migrants everywhere. Let us not wait for the next IMRF that will take place in 2026, rather, work together with a whole society approach to protect the lives of our migrant brothers and sisters everywhere. Join your local, national and regional groups to make the governments accountable to their commitments made for the people and planet.

You can read more about IMRF HERE.

Author: Cynthia Mathew CJ