April 18, 2017
Reaching a whole government approach to Migration: national and local perspectives

Statement of H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza
Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations
International Dialogue on Migration

Panel 3: Reaching a whole government approach to Migration: national and
local perspectives

New York, 18-19 April 2017

Mr. Chair,

The governance of migration cannot be relegated to one ministry or a single department in government. A comprehensive response to migration requires a “whole of government approach,” one that integrates the perspectives of different ministries and officials, that reflects the integral nature of the human person and that acknowledges the need for a common response to migration in all of its complexity. In fact a coordinated effort is needed even beyond government, including in the larger political community, civil society, international organisations, and religious institutions. [1]

As Pope Francis has emphasized, “Defending ... [migrants’] inalienable rights, ensuring their fundamental freedoms and respecting their dignity are duties from which no one can be exempted.” Respecting, protecting and promoting the human rights of migrants, no matter their migration status, is “a moral imperative,” that must be translated into national and international juridical instruments and the implementation of just far reaching political choices that prioritize constructive processes over the immediate results of consensus.”[2]

Into this discussion, Mr. Chairman, Pope Francis has introduced a new concept – that of the “duty of civility,” which seems quite relevant to the focus of this panel discussion.”[3] This approach not only implies government efforts but also the obligation of migrants, while they continue to treasure their own values from their culture of origin, to respect the laws and traditions of the countries in which they are received and embraced. [4]

There is an obvious link between migration and development. The human promotion of migrants and their families should therefore begin at their communities of origin. To this end, efforts must be encouraged to foster international cooperation in transnational developmental programs, free from partisan interests and xenophobia, and involving migrants as active protagonists. A more comprehensive response to the opportunities and challenges of migration is possible if the international community works together and starts from the primary needs of both migrants, and especially receiving countries.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.


1. Pope Francis, Address to participants in the International Forum for Migration and Peace, Vatican City,
21 February 2017.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Pope Francis, Angelus Address in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City, 15 January 2017.