Address by Carmelo Abela, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion of Malta, at the Intergovernmental Conference on the Global Compact on Migration Marrakesh, Morocco - Monday, 10 December 2018

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Dec 10, 2018
 
Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

There is no denying that migration is a global phenomenon and, therefore, the most appropriate response to it is a global one.

Two years ago, we were presented with the right circumstances to work towards the first United Nations agreement covering all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

It was an opportunity not to be missed, and today I am truly grateful to be here, surrounded by representatives of like-minded States, expressing our belief that the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration will really be a game changer in the field of migration.

I would like to thank our Moroccan hosts for inviting us to the beautiful city of Marrakesh, and for the excellent organisation of this event. It is an honour for me to be here to signal my country’s full support for the Compact.

One cannot underestimate the value of a global agreement on the subject. As a front-line State, Malta has experienced first-hand the benefits of a regional approach towards migration, as opposed to a unilateral one. We are confident that a global approach, to further assist us in managing migration in a safe and orderly way is an important step in the right direction.

As a matter of fact, the Compact is much more than just that. It will build a new global migration governance architecture that allows for reacting decisively, and for managing collectively and responsibly, migratory issues based on the principle of international solidarity.

Migration should be an option, not a necessity. Jobs need to be created and investment facilitated to provide more employment opportunities for people, especially youth, not to be forced to abandon their home countries in search of a better future.

Malta, therefore, welcomes the commitment included in the Compact to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the commitment to reach the furthest behind first.

Joining forces to work against smugglers and traffickers will also lead to more effective eradication of these criminal networks. Malta, therefore, welcomes the commitment to prevent, combat, and eradicate these networks and to address the specific vulnerabilities by applying a human rights-based, gender- and disability-responsive, as well as an age- and child-sensitive approach.

We firmly believe that the Global Compact for safe, orderly, and regular migration has the potential to provide the international community with a fresh approach to governing migration. While the Global Compact is an ambitious undertaking, the agreed outcome is grounded in reality. It stresses the importance of adopting a holistic approach to addressing the challenges and reaping the benefits of migration; an approach that combines the pursuit of tangible outcomes based on robust evidence with the need to maintain strong partnerships between States, civil society, the private sector, and other stakeholders.

In this regard, the Global Compact presents a valuable opportunity for the international community to move away from reactive approaches, and to look forward to a common future in which migration is safe, orderly, and regular, and to determine the steps to be taken to realise this vision. We cannot be more satisfied that the Compact utilises existing structures and avoids duplication of resources, whilst seeking to make migration more manageable and predictable.


Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We must ensure that these efforts are sustained and translated into action for all countries, whether of origin, transit, or destination.

We know that the most difficult part starts now, which is to demonstrate that the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration does make a difference.

We can, however, do so with confidence, now that we are well-equipped with this instrument that enables us to better coordinate the way we work together - the only way to make sure migration works for everyone.

Thank you.