Statement by H.E. Mr. Md. Shahriar Alam, MP, Hon’ble State Minister for Foreign Affairs as a panelist at the international Migration Review Forum: Round Table four, Wednesday, 18 May 2022, 10:00 to 13:00, Conference Room 4, United Nations Headquarters

Hon’ble Foreign Minister of Morocco,

Chief of the State Migration Service of Azerbaijan


Distinguished panelists,

Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen,

I am honored to be part of this distinguished panel.

And I am happy to focus on objective 23 of the GCM, which aims to enhance international cooperation and global partnership.

This is an overarching and cross-cutting objective. The achievements of other GCM objectives are contingent upon it.

The contributions of migrants to the socio-economic progress of their host countries as well as their countries of origin is well documented. Yet migrants are in a precarious situation in many parts of the world, denied of their rights, even denied access to basic services.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of their pre-existing vulnerabilities. Thousands of migrants have lost their lives along the migratory journey; and they have been disproportionately impacted due to job losses, salary cuts, discriminatory dismissals, withholding of benefits, forced unpaid leave and protracted separation from their families to name but a few. There is also a growing trend of discrimination, xenophobia, misinformation, stigmatization, and the fear of forced return.

Against this backdrop, the first IMRF has offered us a timely opportunity to demonstrate international solidarity and partnership to overcome these challenges.

My Permanent Representative along with the PR of Luxembourg co-facilitated the Progress Declaration of the Forum, which will be adopted at its closing session. I am happy to see that the draft declaration not only captures the progress, challenges, and gaps but also recommends some specific actions to strengthen international cooperation for implementation of the GCM.

Let me share a few specific thoughts in this regard:

First, we need robust coordination at global, regional, and national levels to ensure effective implementation of the GCM.

We are encouraged to see many promising practices that emerged in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to integrate those in broader policy frameworks to ensure human rights of migrants as well as access to labour market, vaccinations, social protection, and basic services.

In Bangladesh, we have included a 10-point ‘Paradigm Shift Agenda’ in our eighth five-year plan with a view to ensuring safe and regular labour migration and enhanced remittances.

We wish to see greater international solidarity and partnership to   support such holistic approaches looking beyond Covid 19 situations, especially to strengthen and diversify regular pathways for migrants.

We are happy that the Progress Declaration has strongly integrated this notion into it.  We welcome the proposal to include a limited set of indicators in the next biennial report of the Secretary General to support the GCM implementation.

Second, it is imperative to foster global solidarity to address gaps in migrants’ human rights and protection.

The need of the hour is to improve cooperation among Governments, humanitarian actors, Consulates, and UN agencies to save lives and reduce risks and vulnerabilities for migrants during their migratory journey, including those caught up in situations of crisis.

The women and children are particularly vulnerable. We need stronger gender-responsive and child-sensitive policies and legislations to protect their rights, safety, and dignity while on the move.

In the long haul, there must be enhanced international cooperation to ensure full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in the formulation and implementation of migration policies as well as to end the practice of child detention in the context of international migration.

Third, the guiding principles and objectives of the GCM as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provide the roadmap to address challenges of migration governance and harness the untapped benefits of migration.

The UN Network on Migration has a pivotal role in this regard. We encourage the Network to further step up its efforts to collaborate with the ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, HLPF, RECs, UNCTs, and the Member States to support the synergistic implementation of the GCM and 2030 Agenda on the ground.

Of course, the Network requires enhanced resources to fulfill its mandate. To that end, Bangladesh has decided to make a financial contribution to its multi-purpose trust fund.

Fourth, member States hold primary responsibilities to demonstrate strong political commitment, enhance collaboration and   partnership to find solutions to pressing problems and issues.

As a GCM Champion country as well as the co-chair of the Friends of migration, Bangladesh has demonstrated our commitment to fulfill the vision of the GCM. We are actively engaged in important regional processes, such as the Bali Process on Peoples’ Smuggling, TIPs and Related Transnational Crime as well as Colombo regional consultative process on overseas employment.  We have signed a SOP with the European Union for a mutually beneficial process of return of Bangladeshi migrants.

These are just a few examples of our national commitments to implement the GCM’s 360-degree vision. We believe that progress is possible through international cooperation, consultations, and partnership even in the most difficult aspects of migration.

Fifth, it is critical to increase national capacities of major migrant sending countries.

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 other things.

The development partners, the entire UN system, the private sector, CSOs should provide special support measures to national Governments.  There are also many untapped opportunities to benefit from South-South cooperation.

Finally, it is imperative to foster global solidarity to combat rising racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against migrants.

We need to create more platforms to enable migrants and communities to work together to promote the values of inclusivity and tolerance.

We can leverage the strength of international media, social-media platforms and other communications channels to empower migrants, migrant Diaspora, and the communities they live to shape positive public perceptions about migrants.

I would rest it here.

I thank you very much.