Global Compact on Migration | 01 Nov 2018

Recently Austria announced that it would not sign the Global Compact on Migration, criticising its pro-migration approach, which represented a danger to Austria's national security.


  • In September 2016, with Europe overwhelmed by waves of migrants from Africa and West Asia, all 193 UN member states adopted New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants for a comprehensive approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation at the global level leading to the adoption of a global compact in 2018.
  • In December 2017, US pulled out of the negotiations on the compact, stating that its provisions were “inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies”.

Global Compact for Migration (GCM)

  • The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is the world’s first, intergovernmental negotiated agreement covering all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.
  • It was finalised under United Nations auspices on July 13 2018, and is due to be formally approved at a meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, on December 11-12 2018.
  • The compact has 23 objectives that seek to boost cooperation to manage migration and numerous actions ranging from technical issues like the portability of earnings by migrant workers to reducing the detention of migrants.
  • The global compact is non-legally binding.

Need for GCM

  • The UN estimates that there are over 258 million migrants living outside their country of birth today — a figure that is likely to rise with growing population, increasing connectivity and trade, rising inequality, and climate change.
  • Migration provides immense opportunity and benefits for the migrants, host communities and communities of origin. However, when poorly regulated it can create significant challenges which include overwhelming social infrastructures with the unexpected arrival of large numbers of people and the deaths of migrants undertaking dangerous journeys.
  • The global compact is a significant opportunity to improve the governance on migration, to address the challenges associated with today’s migration, and to strengthen the contribution of migrants and migration to sustainable development.