Speaking at a national consultative workshop on the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew on Tuesday, Senator Charles said “The Government has long been cognisant of the importance of migration,” noting that migrants make positive input through remittances, intellectual contribution, among others.
Senator Charles Jr. welcomed the GCM, which provides a comprehensive approach to ensuring that the benefits of migration are optimised while seeking to reduce the inherent risks and vulnerabilities.
He emphasised the importance of the use of evidence-based conclusions and empirical data on migration in the consultative discussions as part of the way forward on the issue.
Senior Director of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Easton Williams, noted that the GCM will help to improve the governance and understanding of migration as well as address challenges related to the dynamic movement of persons across the globe.
He said Jamaica, through the PIOJ, undertook the task of developing a policy for national migration and development, which “reflects not just the dedication and efforts of government stakeholders but highlights the rewards of partnerships at the local and international levels”.
In her remarks, Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Dr. Elsie Laurence-Chounoune, said based on empirical evidence, migrants contribute positively to the development of receiving nations through their taxes, skills and other resources.
She said that to realise the benefits that can be accrued from migration, UN member states must work together to strengthen cooperation, partnerships and responsibilities within and among member states.
“As we work together to implement the Global Compact, it will be necessary for governments to show that the migrants, in particular children, adolescents, youths and persons with disabilities, are taken into account in designing migration policies, so that no one is left behind,” she said.
“To do so, policymakers need to pay special attention to areas in which migrants are particularly vulnerable; for example, we must protect migrants from human trafficking,” she emphasised.
Following 18 months of consultation and negotiation, Jamaica, along with other UN member states, finalised the text for the Global Compact in July 2018.
The GCM is the first-ever UN global agreement on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions.
It is non-legally binding and is grounded in values of state sovereignty, responsibility sharing, non-discrimination and human rights.
Head of Office at the International Organization for Migration, Keisha Livermore, said Jamaica’s commitment to migration policies is not surprising “given that it forms the backbone of this country”.
“It is a key feature of the population as the phenomenon touches every parish, each community and each home,” she noted.
She pointed out that the country has been supportive of the GCM process since its inception and played an active part in the six intergovernmental negotiations in the UN general assembly held this year.
Ms. Livermore said the Global Compact is both historic and remarkable and recognises that managing international migration is the shared responsibility of all countries.
The Intergovernmental conference to adopt the GCM will be held December 10 and 11 in Marrakech, Morocco.
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