In September 2016 Heads of State and Government came together to discuss, at the global level within the UN General Assembly, issues related to migration and refugees. This sent an important political message that migration and refugee matters have become major issues in the international agenda. In adopting the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, the 193 UN Member States recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation at the global level and committed to:
- protect the safety, dignity and human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of their migratory status, and at all times;
- support countries rescuing, receiving and hosting large numbers of refugees and migrants;
- integrate migrants – addressing their needs and capacities as well as those of receiving communities – in humanitarian and development assistance frameworks and planning;
- combat xenophobia, racism and discrimination towards all migrants;
- develop, through a state-led process, non-binding principles and voluntary guidelines on the treatment of migrants in vulnerable situations; and
- strengthen global governance of migration, including by bringing IOM into the UN family and through the development of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.
Annex II of the New York Declaration set in motion a process of intergovernmental consultations and negotiations culminating in the planned adoption of the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) at an intergovernmental conference on international migration in 2018.
Thailand as a GCM Champion Country
In 2020, Thailand was one of 15 member states demonstrated its commitment to the agreement by becoming a GCM champion country. Led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), government agencies have been working together to define a strategy and effectively work towards the realization of GCM objectives.
The UN Network on Migration in Thailand facilitates effective, system-wide support to the RTG in the implementation of the (GCM). Through the Network, key migration issues are discussed and addressed using a common UN system approach that adds value to interventions, maximizes resources and results in targeted and tangible achievements. In 2021, the Network to ensure that migration is meaningfully mainstreamed into the Government's national policies and other institutional frameworks including the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), the network developed its first country workplan to ensure clarity and strategic focus in overall efforts to deliver concrete and measurable results over a two-year period (2021 – 2023).
As chair and secretariat of the UN Network for Migration in Thailand, IOM is responsible for convening network meetings, facilitating discussion and decisions on collaborative approaches to addressing migration issues and reporting overall achievements of the Network to the UN Resident Coordinator. Moreover, IOM maintains continuous dialogue with regional and global network partners to ensure that overall efforts are aligned and mutually reinforcing.