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Compact on migration contributes to growth
November 5, 2017, 1:54 pm

The Global Compact for Migration, the first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement on international migration that is to be signed in 2018, is important as organized migration could contribute significantly to economic growth and human development in Africa.

In light of increased anti-migrant sentiment and calls for restrictive policies in Europe and elsewhere, Africa must work to ensure that its narratives and priorities are adequately reflected in the global compact, said the Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Abdalla Hamdok.

Speaking at the official opening in Addis Ababa of the ‘African Regional Consultative Meeting on the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’, Mr. Hamdok said it was crucial that Africa generated its own evidence, robust data and statistics to effectively implement, accurately measure, monitor, evaluate and report on activities and progress under the global compact.

The Global Compact for Migration that is being prepared under the auspices of the United Nations aims to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. It seeks to improve the governance on migration, address challenges associated with today's migration, and strengthen the contribution of migrants and migration to sustainable development.

"For the continent, it is crucial that the global compact on migration will set out a range of principles, commitments and understanding among Member States regarding international migration in all its dimensions, including the humanitarian, developmental, human-rights-related and other aspects of migration," said Mr. Hamdok.

Beyond the adoption of the global compact, he said, sound and dynamic national policies and planning will be indispensable to the realization of the African outlook on migration.
"For this to be achieved, economic and social development policies and long-term vision will have to incorporate perspectives and concerns around migration," the ECA deputy Chief said.

He said it was sad that African migration was widely depicted as a phenomenon driven by poverty, violence and other forms of human misery. "Yet, the African migration drive is not necessarily exceptional or essentially different from migration in and from other world regions," said Mr. Hamdok.

For her part, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on International Migration, Louise Arbour, said the world has every interest in managing migration better, given the expanding global population and the huge increase in people on the move.

"It is important that we use the opportunity of the global compact to address migration in all its complexities," she said, adding this could be done through taking into consideration the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ensure there is safe, orderly and regular migration.

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