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.
The global compact is framed consistent with target 10.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in which member States committed to cooperate internationally to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration and its scope is defined in Annex II of the New York Declaration. It is intended to:
- address all aspects of international migration, including the humanitarian, developmental, human rights-related and other aspects;
- make an important contribution to global governance and enhance coordination on international migration;
- present a framework for comprehensive international cooperation on migrants and human mobility;
- set out a range of actionable commitments, means of implementation and a framework for follow-up and review among Member States regarding international migration in all its dimensions;
- be guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and
- be informed by the Declaration of the 2013 High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.
Development of the GCM in Thailand
Thailand stands at the centre of the Greater Mekong Sub-region, a dynamic region characterized by significant cross-border movements of populations. As an upper-middle income economy with low unemployment, Thailand is an attractive destination for migrants from neighbouring countries, and cross-border movements of populations principally encompass migrants entering from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV). Thailand therefore faces the diverse migration challenges and opportunities highlighted by the New York Declaration.
The GCM is a Member State-led effort, for which three stakeholder workshops will be held in Thailand to prepare the inputs and contributions of the Royal Thai Government to inform the Regional Preparatory Meeting. As National Chair, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will organize three stakeholder workshops in Thailand, in Tak, Ranong, and Bangkok, each focusing upon key thematic areas, as follows:
- Tak: Enhancing cross-border cooperation and governance of migration in all its dimension to combat smuggling and trafficking of migrants.
- Ranong: Promoting human rights of migrants through safe migration, including health and education services.
- Bangkok: Recognizing contribution of all migrants to host communities to all dimension of sustainable development.
The stakeholder workshops will ensure an open, transparent and inclusive process of consultations and the effective participation of all relevant stakeholders. The consultations will therefore constitute an important platform through which to promote policy dialogue, cooperation and partnership on migration issues amongst various stakeholders.
The outcomes of the consultations will be consolidated into an outcome document to inform the Regional Preparatory Meeting for Asia and the Pacific to be held in Bangkok in November 2017 as well as global preparatory meetings.