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Jamaica adopts historic UN global pact to manage migration

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Government of Jamaica joined the majority of Member States of the United Nations to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration at the two-day Intergovernmental Conference in Marrakech, Morocco.

Monday's opening day of the conference coincided with the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Global Compact is the first intergovernmental negotiated agreement, under the auspices of the United Nations, on international migration. It represents a non-legally binding political commitment intended to serve as a guide for enhanced management of migration at the local, national, regional and global levels.

Jamaica's delegation was led by Courtenay Rattray, Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations, who delivered the national statement during the general debate of the conference, the ministry said in a statement yesterday.

Jamaica served as a member of the credentials committee of the conference and Ambassador Rattray also served as co-chair of one of two panel discussions held under the theme “Partnerships and Innovative Initiatives for the Way Forward".

The ministry said it is expected that the resolution adopting the Global Compact for Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration will be considered later this month by the United Nations General Assembly.

The conference was held against the backdrop of divergent views among countries on what is viewed as an increasingly politically sensitive issue. The Secretary General of the United Nations addressed what he characterised as the“…many falsehoods about the agreement and the overall issue of migration”.

This negative narrative that has surrounded the issue of migration has resulted in some countries, mainly from the European Union, withdrawing their endorsement of the Global Compact and deciding not to participate at the Conference, the ministry informed.

It however noted that the conference was deemed a resounding success for multilateralism and the commitment it engendered for this important issue, which received the unanimous support of the 162 countries in attendance.

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