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UNHCR welcomes agreement on migration compact

NEW YORK/GENEVA – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes today’s endorsement by the UN General Assembly of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This comes two days on from Monday’s agreement by UN member states to a Global Compact on Refugees.

The decision formally endorsing the migration compact in the UNGA today follows its adoption at an inter-governmental conference in Marrakesh on 10 December. Together it is expected the two compacts will improve international cooperation to respond to all people on the move – migratory flows on the one hand, and refugee movements on the other.

"The effective implementation of both compacts will help reinforce the objectives of the other,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

“Better managed migration with more options for people to move in regular ways can help reduce pressure on overloaded asylum systems. At the same time, greater solidarity and a stronger response to refugee flows will encourage a tolerant and more receptive environment for all people on the move,” said Grandi.

“At a moment when both refugees and migrants are too often the casualties of divisive politics, these two complementary compacts can help drive a more principled, human and practical response.”

The two compacts grew out of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in September 2016, and were developed in separate parallel processes over the last two years. Both compacts are non-binding frameworks to enhance international cooperation.

The Global Compact on Refugees builds upon the existing international protection regime for refugees – that is people fleeing conflict, violence, or persecution. The main purpose is to bolster international cooperation in responding to large movements of refugees, and to garner more systematic and robust support for those forced to flee and the communities hosting them.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration is the first international agreement negotiated between governments, under UN auspices, to cover all dimensions of international migration. It is based on the existing human rights legal framework.

UNHCR will support the implementation of the migration compact through its participation in the UN Network on Migration, alongside other UN entities.

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