New York, 8 May 2019
Thank you, Ambassador,
On behalf of a group of Member States, namely Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and my own country, Portugal, I would like to thank H.E. Mr. Masud Bin Momen and H.E. Mr. Agustin Santos Maraver as co-facilitators of this process involving all Member States and other stakeholders.
As we previously said, the International Migration Review Forum, or IMRF, should contribute to a spirit of mutual learning. The discussions on global migration during the last few years showed us how beneficial it is to listen to each other and to try to understand the various priorities and challenges.
One of the main values of the GCM is in its 360 degree approach to migration. We need to see this approach replicated in the IMRF.
Migration is a global phenomenon that demands global responses. The IMRF should reflect it and take in consideration the needs and concerns of countries of origin, transit and destination. Specific challenges should be addressed and best practices shared to allow a better cooperation and better management of migration.
We must remember, however, that implementation occurs at various levels and these should also be taken in consideration. Likewise, we must also respect that this occurs at different speeds recognizing local and regional circumstances, Regional consultations for the IMRF should take place on the timescale set out in the GCM and these reports should be brought together in time for the Review Forum.
Many successful migration mechanisms operate at the regional level, and there is much we can learn from their experiences to better inform migration policies and international cooperation.
Safe, orderly and regular migration greatly benefits from socio and economic integration at the local level but also from good preparation before leaving the country of origin. Here the resilience, competence and experience of the sub-national and local authorities are the key to success. So while the IMRF should remain an inter-governmental process, our discussions are enriched by those working closest with migrants and potential migrants, namely local authorities, but also parliamentarians, civil society, the private sector, academic institutions, diaspora communities and migrant organizations. There should be space for them to speak and share lessons learnt during the IMRF process.
Lastly, Ambassador, we look forward to receiving the first draft of the resolution so we can begin substantive negotiations.
I thank you.