PH hosts int’l migration confab ahead of GCM adoption

MANILAFour months ahead of the adoption of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in December, the Philippine government on Tuesday organized an international conference to rally countries in pursuing the non-binding GCM until full implementation.

GCM is the first international and multilateral agreement on migration governance that the Philippines strongly pushed for.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said the GCM process does not end after the United Nations approve its final text in July 2018 nor with its adoption in Marrakech, Morocco this December 2018.

"The non-binding nature of the Compact puts more reason for our countries to keep the momentum and to pursue the GCM towards the next steps: vigorous implementation and robust follow-up, and review," Arriola said in her keynote speech.

The conference will produce a detailed report based on the perspectives of the participants whose names and affiliation will be withheld.

Ambassador Evan Garcia, Philippine Representative to the United Nations in Geneva said Manila will share these insights at the Global Forum on Migration and Development in Geneva in September and the Framework Conference of the UN Migration Network also in Geneva in October, for their information and reference.

Panel discussions for the two-day conference will cover perspectives of states on the human rights of all migrants; on addressing all drivers of migration, including adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters and human-made crises; on addressing trafficking in persons; and on migrants' decent work, labor and skills mobility.

Among those who will speak are Garcia, Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Teodoro Locsin Jr., and Bahraini Labour Market Regulatory Authority Chief Executive Officer Ausamah Abdullah Al Absi.

The final text of the GCM, which is due for adoption in December 2018 in Morocco with no less than Pope Francis attending the global event, is anchored on human rights, with the protection and promotion of welfare of migrants, regardless of migration status.

As one of the world's major labor-sending countries, Arriola said Manila has a "huge stake" in the success of the GCM.

She added that its eventual adoption will mark the golden age of migration governance.

Members of the diplomatic corps, civil society organizations, and foreign participants were present for the two-day "Manila Conference on the Future of Migration." (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency