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Forced displacement is at historic levels as a result of global conflict and crises. Meanwhile economic migration—a known driver of development—has been demonized as part of the backlash against globalization. As nations work toward the Global Compacts on Migration and on Refugees, governments and international agencies are struggling to respond to the scale of need and the polarization of attitudes.
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Today, Michael Clemens, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, released the following statement responding to the announcement of the finalization of the Global Compact for Migration.
“This is the biggest step the world has taken to cooperatively face the defining policy challenge of our time: how to better regulate international migration in this century. The Compact offers a clear mandate and roadmap for countries to work together to get more of what they want from migration and less of what they do not want.
“Unfortunately, there is currently a political movement ascendant in the U.S., UK, Italy, and elsewhere promising to address the many problems of migration by restricting or eliminating it altogether. This new Compact is the defining alternative to that movement. It is a treasure chest of the best ideas on how to address the many challenges of migration with hard work and a pragmatic cooperative approach.
“While the Compact is now final, the real work is just beginning. As countries prepare to adopt the Global Compact for Migration in December, discussions will revolve around how to operationalize and implement the commitments agreed to in this document. One innovation endorsed by the Compact is the idea to create Global Skill Partnerships. Other innovations should also be piloted and tested out, as countries and their partners work to identify sustainable solutions to today’s migration challenges and opportunities.
“The road ahead will be difficult and many of the challenges and points of contention that arose during the Compact’s negotiations will not disappear with its adoption. Rather, countries will need to tackle these challenges head-on as they work toward pragmatic, evidence-based, and coordinated migration policies and practices that fulfill the objectives and commitments of the Compact. I welcome today’s achievement, and I look forward to supporting countries as they move forward with implementation.”