The Vatican Secretary of State stressed this, when speaking yesterday, Dec. 11, during the General Debate and the First Dialogue “Promoting Action on the Global Compact for Safe Commitments, Orderly and Regular Migration,”at the Intergovernmental Conference on the theme: “Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” underway in Marrakech, Morocco, from Dec. 10-11, 2018.
The Pope was invited to this encounter, but has instead accepted the invitation to visit the country March 30-31, 2019, the second Pope in history to visit there after Pope St. John Paul II in 1985.
The adoption of the Global Compact on Migration, the Vatican Secretary of State said, comes at a critical moment in history. “Migration has always been a natural response to crises and to the innate desire for greater opportunities, for a fuller life with greater freedom, peace and security. More people are on the move than ever before.”
Pope Francis, Cardinal Parolin reminded, has dedicated much of his pontificate to raising awareness about the plight of migrants, as well as the moral urgency to care for those who have been displaced and to respond to the root causes of their displacement. The Italian prelate recalled the Pontiff’s focusing on the situations of the most vulnerable, including migrant children and youth.
“His vision for international migration,” the cardinal stated, “can be summarized by the four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote, and to integrate, four actions that we find pervading the best practices and commitments that comprise the Global Compact on Migration.”
“He has also,” Parolin continued, “underlined that a dignified response to migration must be reasonable, with Governments prudently determining their actual capacity for meaningful integration.”
While admitting the Holy See has some reservations regarding it, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, Cardinal Parolin praised, “is an significant advance in the international community’s shared responsibility to act in solidarity with people on the move, especially those who find themselves in very precarious situations.”
Stability requires a commitment to the Also essential to the integral human development of each individual.
For stability, a fundamental right to be protected, he said, is “to be able to practice one’s religion freely, without fear of persecution or discrimination,” as well as to have the right to participate politically and have freedom of expression.
Cardinal Parolin underscored that peace, development and true integration are fundamental to ensuring the implementation of the Global Compact.
“Like bookends,” he said, “these two commitments keep the other commitments upright and orderly, from minimizing the adverse drivers of migration through peace and development to a successful conclusion of the migratory process in the harmonious integration of the migrant in the new homeland.”
Here is the Vatican-provided text of Cardinal Parolin’s address:
Cardinal Parolin’s Speech at the General Debate
Mr. Secretary-General, Madame President of the General Assembly, Madame Secretary-General of the Conference,
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. President,
I am pleased to offer the warm greetings of His Holiness, Pope Francis and, on his behalf, I welcome the formal adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. At the same time, I also wish to express gratitude to His Majesty the King, Mohammed VI, King of Morocco for graciously inviting and hosting our delegation here today and to congratulate the Secretary-General of the Conference, Madame Louise Arbour, and the Delegations of the Permanent Missions of Mexico and Switzerland to the United Nations for their leadership in ushering this intergovernmental process to its successful conclusion.
The adoption of the Global Compact on Migration comes at a critical moment in history. Migration has always been a natural response to crises and to the innate desire for greater opportunities, for a fuller life with greater freedom, peace and security. More people are on the move than ever before. While the majority of migration remains regular, ever more people are being constrained by adverse factors to leave their homes. This often leads to involuntary, unsafe, and irregular journeys that place migrants and their families in vulnerable situations, presenting significant challenges for countries of origin, transit, and destination.
As we have seen in recent years, when these challenges are not managed well, crises can form, rhetoric can eclipse reason, and migrants can be seen more as threats than as brothers and sisters in need of solidarity and basic services. The Global Compact on Migration attempts to assist the international community to prevent crises and tragedies. At the same time, it also seeks to improve the governance of migration, which is bound to increase as the international community grows more economically, socially and politically interconnected.
To achieve these goals, the Global Compact for Migration, although not legally binding, includes a comprehensive framework of best practices and policy instruments to increase international cooperation and sharing of responsibility in the governance of migration in all of its dimensions. It does this while giving countries the space to respond to their national circumstances and priorities, in full respect of international law and of the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their status. Its implementation will help all Governments, as well as non-governmental entities, including faith-based organizations, collectively to manage migration in a more safe, orderly and regular manner, something no State can achieve alone.
Pope Francis has dedicated much of his pontificate to raising awareness about the plight of migrants, as well as the moral urgency to care for those who have been displaced and to respond to the root causes of their displacement. In particular, he has focused on the situation of those in the most vulnerable situations, including migrant children and youth. His vision for international migration can be summarized by the four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote, and to integrate, four actions that we find pervading the best practices and commitments that comprise the Global Compact on Migration.
He has also underlined that a dignified response to migration must be reasonable, with Governments prudently determining their actual capacity for meaningful integration. Integration is a two-way process in which migrants should respect the local laws, culture and customs of the country receiving them, while host countries should respect the traditions and cultures of migrants. Through mutual welcoming and prudence, rising xenophobia and racism can be effectively addressed.
Pope Francis has also emphasized that, while migration is a natural phenomenon, there is the prior right to live in dignity and safety in the country of origin. The Holy See appeals to Governments and the international community as a whole, to foster those conditions that might allow communities and individuals to live in safety and dignity in their own countries.
The right not to migrate can only be enjoyed if the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin are effectively controlled and minimized. Conflicts, wars, climate change, extreme poverty and its train of miseries will inevitably compel many people into unsafe, disorderly and irregular migration, making it not a choice but an act of desperation. By finding sustainable solutions to conflicts and underdevelopment, we would greatly diminish forced, unsafe, disorderly and irregular migration.
The Holy See has already launched the process to find the most effective ways with which institutions of the Catholic Church and Catholic-inspired organizations throughout the world can make use of the Global Compact’s compendium of best practices and recommendations that exemplify welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants. In this sense, it is worth recognizing the role and the contributions that religions and faith-based organizations offer in this context, giving support to efforts of the international community, as expressed in the Global Compact on Migration, while receiving the due respect for their autonomy as religious institutions.
While some States have decided not to participate in the process or in this Intergovernmental Conference, the Holy See is convinced that the enormous challenges that migration poses are best faced through multilateral processes rather than isolationist policies.
The Holy See, while voting in conformity with its nature and particular mission for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, will present its reservations in due time, specifically on those documents in the Compact that contain terminology, principles and guidelines that are not agreed language, including certain ideological interpretations of human rights that do not recognize the inherent value and dignity of human life at every stage of its beginning, development and end.
Through its prudent, “360-degree” approach, considering all of the factors involved in migration governance, the Global Compact, without ignoring the many challenges and opportunities that every State and migrants face in their shared journey, gives States the opportunity to improve their respective migration policies and, together, the international management of migration.
For these reasons, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is an significant advance in the international community’s shared responsibility to act in solidarity with people on the move, especially those who find themselves in very precarious situations.
I thank you.
[Original text: English] Cardinal Parolin’s Intervention of the First Dialogue of the Conference of Card. Pietro Parolin
In this dialogue, dedicated to promoting action on the commitments of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the Holy See would like to focus above all on two of those commitments, which it considers among the most fundamental and indispensable if the international community is going to respond adequately to the challenges and opportunities we face in front of increased migration flows.
The first is the commitment to peace and development. If we are to fulfill our pledge to making migration voluntary and safe, orderly and regular, we must address the root causes of the migratory flows. As is clearly stated in paragraph 13 of the Global Compact, of which the Holy See is proud to be a leading contributor, “We must work together to create conditions that allow communities and individuals to live in safety and dignity in their own countries.” Therefore, adequate responses to the adverse drivers of migration, most especially, violent conflicts and extreme poverty, must be addressed.
These solutions should not be considered the responsibility solely of the country of origin. The international community must also assist if we are to be sure that those constrained to flee might remain in their countries of origin in peace and security. Situations of violence, inhumane living conditions, and economic hardship, as well as natural disasters and environmental degradation, affect not only those countries where they arise but also those countries of transit and destination.
This is not only a matter of fulfilling commitments to provide international development assistance and humanitarian aid, but also involves the commitment to the integral human development of every individual, providing each person with the basic conditions and opportunities to live a decent life. Few would leave if they had access to jobs, education, health-care and other basic goods and services that are fundamental to every person’s fulfillment and basic well-being. Also essential to stability are the fundamental rights to be able to practise one’s religion freely, without fear of persecution or discrimination, as well as the right to political participation and freedom of expression. These concerns form an integral part of the “the right to remain”.
The second commitment is to integration. Those on the move must be welcomed and treated with dignity, even if it is determined later that they must be safely returned to their country of origin.
As laid out in the Global Compact on Migration, all migrants regardless of status, should be guaranteed due process and receive an individual assessment that will determine their status. In the case of children and victims of trafficking, such measures are crucial if we are to respond adequately to their needs and be sure that they not find themselves in the very same situation that they sought to leave behind. We must give preference to policies that favour family reunification and prevent their separation throughout the migration process, while working towards ending the practice of detention, particularly of minors.
For those who are given regular status and the possibility of remaining in the country of destination, either temporarily or permanently, it is important to emphasize that integration is neither merely assimilation nor incorporation, but a two-way process rooted in the mutual recognition of the fundamental equality and dignity of all. Such an approach will also help to stem the tide of racism and xenophobia. Those who arrive are, as Pope Francis underlines, “duty bound not to close themselves from the culture and traditions of the receiving country, respecting above all its laws.” At the same time, integration “is not the superimposition of one culture over another, nor mutual isolation, with the insidious and dangerous risk of creating ghettos.” It is rather a mutual enrichment based on mutual and interpersonal respect.
These two objectives require an urgent response on the part of the international community.
As migrations, even mass migrations, are very likely to continue in the coming years, we consider it necessary to widen the regular and sure channels of emigration through generous and responsible policies, inspired by solidarity and co-responsibility.
Peace, development and true integration are fundamental to ensuring the implementation of the Global Compact. Like bookends, these two commitments keep the other commitments upright and orderly, from minimizing the adverse drivers of migration through peace and development to a successful conclusion of the migratory process in the harmonious integration of the migrant in the new homeland.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
[Original text: English] [Vatican-provided text]