UN Chief calls for sustainable response to migration

Ugo Okoro

UN Chief, Ban Ki Moon has  called on the international community to ensure safe and orderly migration, as well as a sustainable response to the massive drift of people.

He was speaking on Sunday on the occasion of International Migrants Day.

Moon said that a “sustainable response to migration needs to address the drivers of forced and precarious movements of people.  These include poverty, food insecurity, armed conflict, natural disasters, climate change and environmental degradation, poor governance, persistent inequalities and violations of economic, social, civil, political or cultural rights.

Good governance of migration also demands expanding legal channels for safe migration, including for family reunification, for labour mobility at all skill levels, and educational opportunities for children and adults, as well as decriminalizing irregular migration and regularizing the status of undocumented migrants.”

He explained that every migrant was a human being with rights and that “to accomplish this, we need stronger international cooperation among countries of origin, transit and destination that is guided by international law and standards.  We must reject intolerance, discrimination and policies driven by xenophobic rhetoric and the scapegoating of migrants.  Those who abuse and seek to harm migrants must be held to account,” he added.

The UN Secretary-General noted the rise of populist movements seeking to expel migrants and refugees, and to blame them for various ills of society.

However, with the international response, culminating with the New York Declaration adopted in September at the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants, “it is now crucial that governments honour and build on their commitments to govern large movements of refugees and migrants in a way that is compassionate, people-centred, gender-responsive and rooted in fundamental human rights,” he concluded.