Two Years into the Life of the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration: A Status Check
Cláudia Pereira, Secretary of State for Integration and Migration, Portugal
Camilo Buitrago-Hernández, Advisor, Response to Migration Unit, Presidency of the Republic of Colombia
Lucas Gómez, Advisor to the President on the Colombia-Venezuela Border, Government of Colombia
Grainne O’Hara, Director, Division of International Protection, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Jonathan Prentice, Coordinator, United Nations (UN) Migration Network
Kathleen Newland, Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute (MPI)
In the two years since the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, efforts have been underway to translate commitments from paper to reality. Both at the national level and in regional and international dialogues, the compacts offer a common language and have paved the way for policy reform and innovation—including in areas previously under the radar of most policymakers. Among the innovative efforts: including migrants in digital service provision, drawing on refugees’ expertise in integration policymaking, and recognizing the role of migrants in providing basic services to other migrants and host populations.
Still, questions remain on how to make the compacts more tangible, both for governments and migrants and refugees themselves. Some governments are concerned about finding sufficient funding to implement their commitments; others are struggling to see the compacts’ added value when responding to emergency situations or mixed migration. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has tested the agreements in unanticipated ways as mobility and compact implementation have slowed. Yet this moment has also shown the potential value of both compacts to tackle the pandemic’s adverse effects on human mobility, host societies, and the global economy.
Join this conversation exploring the extent to which the compacts have met expectations and how they are interconnected. Speakers from UN organizations and countries across the migration spectrum will offer insights on the efforts undertaken so far and reflect on the compacts’ usefulness and their potential to shape future debates and actions on migration and displacement.