Bangladesh Statement in the Plenary of the High-level Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration by Ambassador H.E. Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, 10-11 December 2018, Marrakech, Morocco

Mr. President,


Friends and colleagues,

On behalf of the Government of Bangladesh, I would like to congratulate you all on this joyous occasion of adopting the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, – an innovative and historic step to better govern migration. To the Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Gutiérrez and to the Special Representative for International Migration Madam Louis Arbour our sincere appreciation for their leadership and guidance. We congratulate the co-facilitators Ambassador Juan Jose Gomez Camacho and Jurg Lauber for their efforts in producing this document. May I express our deep gratitude to His Majesty Mohammad VI and to the Kingdom of Morocco for the generous hospitality extended to our delegation during our stay in the historic city of Marrakech. On this auspicious day, I wish to pay our deepest homage to Late Peter Sutherland former SRSG for his lifelong contribution and courageous advocacy for promoting and protecting migrants’ rights.

 Mr. President

Bangladesh looks at migration as an integral component of her development aspiration. We believe many across the world share this approach. Our engagement in the UN in general, and in GFMD in particular, was also inspired by this conviction.

You may recall, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina articulated the idea of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in her address to the UNGA in 2016. Since then, our steadfast political commitment to and involvement in the process of developing Global Compact continued. And today, we voice our full support for its adoption. I also wish to recall, that the initial proposal of Bangladesh to UN Secretariat concerning concept of the Global Compact for Safe, orderly and regular migration, centred around four core aspects:

1st, Eliminate ‘harm’ from migration cycle,

2nd, Add value to the migration process,

3rd, Uphold human rights of all migrants, and

4th, International Cooperation to better govern migration.

To us, adoption of GCM is not an end in itself. Rather, beginning of a new Phase. We also deem it marking a paradigm shift to establish migration as a development phenomenon. Perhaps I should add, this Compact could have been bolder and more inspirational. Hence, we are pleased to see there is a provision for the Review Mechanism every four years.

Mr. President,

 The Compact is anchored in 2030 Sustainable development agenda as well as in the New York Declaration. Therefore, while implementing it, states may be guided by the spirit of both the instruments. It is right that the compact recognizes the importance of implementation, follow-up and review.

 Mr. President,

We affirm that the Compact process is state-led and state-owned. Already, Bangladesh has gone ahead and finalized a draft national strategy on migration governance in consultation with all stakeholders and with assistance from IOM. In the process, we realized that we cannot but take into account migration in all its forms and manifestations. And we were very much cognizant of the valued contribution our expatriate Bangladeshis continue to make.

Mr. President,

 We have always believed in and practised partnership and consulted with all stakeholders to find solutions to problems and issues. For example, we have concluded an arrangement with the European Union for a humane and mutually beneficial process of return of Bangladeshis. This manifests that even the most critical aspect of migration cycle could be resolved through consultation and partnership. In fact, our written Compact proposal to the UN Secretariat in April 2016 referred to such a possibility.

Mr. President,

 As we implement the Compact, we should also be aware of issues such as climate change, identity politics, national populist measures, and rapid technological progress all of which will impact the world of work. Also, Bangladesh painfully recognizes that cross-border forced displacement caused by violence, extremism and ultra-nationalism compounds the task ahead of us.


It would help states immensely in their task of implementation, if adequate coherence and meaningful cooperation is ensured between the two compacts nationally, regionally and globally.

As we all recognize, migration as a global phenomenon, it remains, perhaps, a continuing imperative for us to engage all in seeking to broaden support for the Compact.

Bangladesh reaffirms the crucial and continuing role the civil society and business community has to play in the implementation of the Compact.

We appreciate the UN Secretary-General for launching the UN Migration Network on 9th December 2018, a valuable and innovative platform – essential for taking the Compact forward. We believe, the recognition of IOM as the coordinator and secretariat is pivotal in steering the Network. Our full support to the new Director General Antonio Vittorino. To support the pioneering work of the Network, Bangladesh will soon make a financial contribution to the Start-up Fund for capacity building.

I thank you.