The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is a major milestone in strengthening global migration governance, through 23 objectives that range from the prevention of irregular migration, protection of the vulnerable migrants to harnessing the benefits of safe and regular migration. The adoption of the GCM marks the beginning of a new era in the governance of migration not only at the global level but also in Africa.
The African Union Commission with support from UN agencies and other partners have developed a draft implementation plan to guide and support Member States in the implementation of the GCM in Africa. It is in this regard that on the 18th and 19th of June 2019, the African Union (AU) member states and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) held a meeting in Lusaka, Zambia to validate the draft Implementation Plan of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Africa.
Representing the African Union Commission, Mr. Sabelo Mbokazi emphasized that “enhancing migration governance on the continent requires that all stakeholders should work towards policies that are carefully shaped to boost the positive potential of migration for development while reducing negative repercussions. This will invigorate Africa’s efforts to harness and harvest demographic dividend of Migration and Mobility”.
This Draft Plan of Action takes into account African migration priorities, including: research and data; effective border management and the prevention of irregular migration, especially of trafficking and smuggling of persons; facilitation of labour mobility; remittances and diaspora engagement, among others. The Implementation plan takes into consideration Agenda 2063 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Furthermore, speaking on behalf of the IOM Special Liaison Office to the African Union, IOM Zambia Chief of Mission Ms Marianne Lane stated: “Rooted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the GCM acknowledges the global reality of migration and that the facilitation of safe, orderly and regular migration can minimize the factors that cause or exacerbate vulnerability of migrants, while contributing to positive development outcomes, including towards the achievement of SDGs, and with the underlying principle of leaving no one behind.”
The main task ahead of each Member State is to implement the GCM. While the GCM is not a binding document, it allows each country the freedom to implement any of the objectives at their pace and as they deem relevant. However, the Compact will not become a reality unless each Member State takes action. This means that national strategies on migration are to be developed and implemented; sub regional level policies related to migration are to be clarified and implemented; and coordinated discussions and efforts between countries at the sub regional level are to take place. In his speech, the guest of Honour Dr Chileshe Mulenga, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of the Republic of Zambia, stated that “Experience generally shows that migration has been a positive element in human development. Migration benefits the sending and receiving countries but because we tend to look at migration from a narrow perspective we tend to approach migration with fear. However, if Africa fails to manage the movement of its people we might drive the continent to its detriment and we might lose the most productive, the most promising and the best of our young people to other continents.”
The draft implementation plan provides Member States and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) with guidelines to assist them in the implementation of GCM objectives in accordance with their priorities and resources as committed during the negotiations.
Source: International Organization for Migration Zambia is on Facebook