(from New York) The zero draft of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), the United Nations document for the regulation of migration at international level, was presented on 5 February 2018 at an informal and confidential meeting chaired by H.E. Jürg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland, and by H.E. Juan Jose Gómez Camacho, Permanent Representative of Mexico, who were the co-facilitators of the Intergovernmental Conference held in Puerto Vallarta to gather inputs and suggestions from Member States. The document, divided into four sections, has a preamble outlining the common challenges and responsibilities of the 193 countries adhering to the Pact. Following the preamble are 10 guiding principles that are the foundation of the project and a third section that explains the cooperative structure of the plan and 22 objectives in the form of actionable commitments by States, as provided for in the New York Declaration of September 2017. The document ends with the instruments for the implementation of the Pact and the follow-up and review mechanisms. Now governments shall conduct negotiations until July 2018, ahead of the final approval of the Treaty in September.
The zero draft was welcomed by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN. The Apostolic Nuncio, Mgr. Bernardito Auza, stated that the process “will be successful” if it is based on the virtues of “prudence” and “generosity” and not “on the competing obligations and responsibilities” of States which, on the one hand, “have a right to protect their borders” and, on the other, “the responsibility to respect and protect human rights”. And he went on to recall that “integration is a two-way process involving reciprocal rights and duties between those who welcome, who are called to promote the integral human development of those who are received; and the latter who, in turn, must comply with the laws of the host Country”. According to the Nuncio, Pope Francis hopes that this process will lead to results that are capable of responding to the challenges of a “world community that is ever more interdependent and in need of solidarity and mutual assistance”.