LAST_UPDATESun, 22 Jul 2018 9pm

UN Chief Calls On Member Countries To Be Prepared To Cope With Large Movements Of Migrants

UNITED NATIONS -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned UN member States to be prepared to manage large movements of migrants.

In a report made public here Thursday, he said members States needed to strengthen the rule of law underpinning how they manage and protect migrants for the benefit of their economies, their societies and migrants themselves.

The adoption of this “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration stands as one of our most important collective priorities for 2018", added Guterres.

According to the UN, formal negotiations are planned to start in February on this matter. At the end of 2017, the United States announced its withdrawal from the elaboration of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, because of provisions deemed contrary to President Donald Trump’s migration policy.

For the UN secretary-general, three important factors to be taken into account by member States in the definition of a strategy are a humanitarian approach focused on defending human rights; financial resources to define the status of migrants once the first humanitarian aid has been provided; and finding credible options for migrants who cannot claim refugee status while being unable to return to their country of origin.

"The Global Compact is an opportunity, not only for the Member States, but also for the UN System, to adopt a more ambitious approach for the management of migration," Guterres said in the report.

Intense consultations on the UN approach on migration would be held throughout 2018, he added.

Unlike the refugee issue, "there is no centralized capacity at the UN to manage migration" and the UN approach remains fragmented on this matter, Guterres pointed out.

He called on member States to develop a positive perception of migration in order to fight xenophobia and discrimination.