The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, highlighted today in Marrakech that the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, approved in that city on Monday, is a historic opportunity to recognize the triad of rights, development and migration, as part of the future of nations.
ECLAC’s most senior authority, in her capacity as representative of the five United Nations regional commissions, spoke at the plenary debate of the Intergovernmental Conference on the Global Compact for Migration, which concluded today in Morocco.
During her presentation, Alicia Bárcena underscored that, although large migratory movements can incur substantial adjustment costs, they also have an overwhelmingly positive social, economic and cultural impact in countries of origin – through remittances – and destination, through low-cost labor and migrants’ contributions to social security.
“In 2015, the contribution of migrants to global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was approximately $6.7 billion dollars, meaning 9.4% of global GDP,” she stressed.
ECLAC’s Executive Secretary added that successful implementation of the Global Compact necessitates understanding the regional dynamics of human mobility.
“Although international migration is a global phenomenon, it takes place mainly in the regions. And in each region migration trends are affected by different factors, diverse legal systems, and they produce different results. For that reason, understanding and addressing the regional dimensions of migration is crucial for guaranteeing safe, orderly and regular migration,” she indicated.
ECLAC’s Executive Secretary noted that the UN regional economic commissions can contribute to implementation of the Global Compact and its regional processes for follow-up and monitoring by promoting improved data to support evidence-based governance of migration, benefitting both countries and migrants alike.
They can also support the establishment of platforms through which countries and other stakeholders may discuss follow-up measures and propose concrete actions, she said.
In that sense, Bárcena highlighted that the regional commissions act as technical secretariats of the regional forums for follow-up to implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, which will hold its third meeting in April 2019 in Santiago, Chile.
“This work could be extended to the goals expressed in the Global Compact for Migration,” she affirmed.
ECLAC’s Executive Secretary added that the regional organizations can also provide evidence-based policy analysis to establish critical links between demography, migration and economic aspects, while also providing an online regional knowledge platform as a source of open data and supporting regional centers with regard to research and training on migration.
Finally, she indicated, the regional commissions can promote linkages between implementation of the Global Compact for Migration and South-South cooperation.
In the framework of her participation in the Conference in Marrakech, Alicia Bárcena joined Kostas Stamoulis, the Assistant Director-General of the Economic and Social Development Department at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, in presenting the Atlas of migration in Northern Central America, a document that examines the main causes and salient characteristics of the migratory phenomenon in the countries of that subregion.