Excellencies, Director General Vitorino, Distinguished Colleagues – Good afternoon.
A warm welcome to everyone to the first meeting of the Group of Friends of Migration this year.
I am Rabab Fatima, the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN here in New York. I have the honour to chair today’s meeting on behalf of the co-chairs of this group. I have with me my fellow co-chair Ambassador Marc Hermanne Gninadoou Araba, Permanent Representative of Benin, and representing co-chairs, Ambassador Michael Tierney, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ireland and Ambassador Juan Sandoval, Deputy Permanent Representative of Mexico.
We are very pleased to have with us today Mr. Antonio Vitorino, Director General of IOM and Coordinator of the UN Network on Migration. DG Vitorino will update us on the work of the Network with particular focus on the 2021 regional review of the Compact. We are also happy to have with us Ambassador Ghasaq Shaheen, Deputy Permanent Representative of the UAE and Representative of the Chair of the 13th GFMD. She will brief us about the outcome of that summit, which took place last month.
A few words on housekeeping. We will have a question-and-answer segment at the end. If you wish to take the floor during the Q/A session, you may kindly let us know by using the chat function. Please keep the microphone muted unless you are given floor. And you are most welcome to turn your cameras on while speaking.
Today’s meeting comes at a time when we have just concluded the 13th GFMD. The theme of the summit: “the future of human mobility: Innovative Partnerships for Sustainable Development” could not have been timelier.
At that event, my Foreign Minister had highlighted the dire consequences of millions of migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He called for enhanced international cooperation for maximizing the development potentials of migration, promoting the rights of migrants, fostering effective migration governance, and eliminating unfair practices in labor migration.
Bangladesh was closely involved in the adoption of the Global Compact; and we remain fully committed to its implementation. Along with Spain, Bangladesh co-facilitated the modalities for the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) in 2019. And we were among the first few countries to adopt policies and strategies to implement the Compact. And it was from that commitment, we joined the “Champions” initiative launched by the Network of Migration.
We wish to underscore that the process of GCM implementation should be primarily State led. Yet we highly value a multi-stakeholder approach, especially for strengthening pathways for enhanced safe, orderly, and regular migration in line with the GCM’s 360-degree vision and guiding principles. The Network holds the key to promote a well-knit coordination at national and regional levels, as well as among key global stakeholders.
We need enhanced partnerships in the areas of skills development, capacity building, facilitating fair and ethical recruitment, safeguarding decent work of migrants, addressing vulnerabilities of migrants, and promoting faster, safer and cheaper transfer of remittances, among others. We need to leverage the strength of the Network and the GCM regional review to contribute to the Global Knowledge Platform by providing first-hand experiences, challenges, best practices, and lessons learned from the ground.
Director General Vitorino and Ambassador Ghasaq would further reflect on these issues. I look forward to a very substantive and insightful discussions.
Without further ado, I now call upon Ambassador Juan Sandoval, Deputy Permanent Representative of Mexico to deliver his statement.