On April 11, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations gave a statement during the 51st Session of the Commission on Population and Development on Agenda item 3(b) dedicated to “Sustainable Cities, Human Mobility and International Migration.”
In its intervention, the Holy See Mission described that migration is a normal response to crisis and reveals the universal human desire for happiness and a better life. When properly managed, migration positively contributes to sustainable development. A genuinely anthropocentric approach to international migration begins with ensuring every person’s right to remain in one’s homeland in peace, prosperity and security, so that migration is a choice, not a necessity. To fulfill this right to remain requires combating the poverty and inequalities that drive movement within and from countries through education, health-care, urban planning, housing, and social protections. It also involves addressing situations of conflicts, economic crises, natural disasters and environmental degradation. The Holy See said that there needs to be sufficient political will to receive refugees and especially vulnerable migrants through making available sufficient regular pathways, lest they fall victim to smuggling, trafficking, modern slavery and other forms of exploitation. States must work together because national situations impact those of other countries. The Holy See urged a recommitment to what Pope Francis has called a “culture of encounter.”
The Intervention can be found here.