On July 13, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the concluding session of the intergovernmental negotiations on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
In his statement, Archbishop Auza said that the nearly two year process of negotiations has brought to light the reality of international migration and, pending formal adoption in Marrakesh in December, the Compact will serve as the first-ever comprehensive framework and international reference point for best practices and international cooperation among governments, NGOs and faith-based organizations with regard to global management of migration. The Compact, he said, will make it difficult for anyone to be unaware of the challenges migrants face or to avoid shared responsibility toward them. He reminded everyone of Pope Francis’ call to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants and said he believes that the Global Compact has not only respected but has been built on these principles. He expressed the hope of the Holy See that the Compact will not only help manage migration better but be a significant step forward in solidarity and mercy toward the dignity of every migrant and in service to all humanity.
The Archbishop’s Statement
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Mme Deputy Secretary-General,
Mme Special Representative for International Migration and Secretary-General of the Intergovernmental Conference to adopt a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,
Excellencies and Colleagues,
My Delegation would like to begin by thanking the Co-facilitators and their team for the dedication and the difficult task of guiding the whole process forward from the beginning to this moment. It has been a pleasure to work with you and we look forward to the final mile of our journey together as we head toward the formal adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Marrakesh this December.
We would like to thank you, Madame Arbour, and your team for your technical support and guidance. Your office has been at the heart of the positive narrative that has driven the preparatory phases of and the intergovernmental negotiations on the Global Compact.
This long, comprehensive process has profoundly educated us on the reality of international migration. The lively exchange of ideas around the issue, the honest debates on some key terms and principles related to it, the countless conversations and dialogues between Delegations and Co-facilitators and among Delegations themselves, and the catalog of best practices that are now a part of the Global Compact have hopefully transformed our understanding of international migration for the better.
This first-ever comprehensive framework on migration will serve as the international reference point for best practices and international cooperation in the global management of migration, not only for Governments but also for non-governmental entities among which are the faith-based organizations, who are truly the hands and feet on the ground to assist migrants in difficulty. This Global Compact will make it more difficult for anyone — States, civil society or anyone of us — to be unaware of the challenges that people on the move face and to fail to meet our shared responsibilities towards them, in particular toward those most in need of our solidarity.
Pope Francis encapsulates these shared responsibilities and solidarity in four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate. My Delegation firmly believes there has been an honest effort on the part of all to build the edifice of the Global Compact on the firm foundations of these principles that guarantee respect for the human dignity of all migrants. Pope Francis reminded us exactly a week ago that “before the challenges of contemporary movements of migration, the only reasonable response is one of solidarity and mercy. A response less concerned with calculations, than with the need for an equitable distribution of responsibilities, an honest and sincere assessment of the alternatives and a prudent management. A just policy is one at the service of the person, of every person involved; a policy that provides for solutions that can ensure security, respect for the rights and dignity of all; a policy concerned for the good of one’s own country, while taking into account that of others in an ever more interconnected world.”
While my Delegation wishes to assure that the Catholic Church will continue to commit itself fully to the benefit of migrants, always respecting their rights and human dignity, the Holy See nurtures the hope that the Global Compact will not only be a matter of good migration management, but truly be, as is its ultimate purpose, a significant step forward in the service of the person, not only of every migrant, but for all of humanity.
I thank you.
1. Pope Francis, Homily during the Holy Mass for Migrants, Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican, 6 July 2018.
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