Statement of His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin,
Secretary of State of His Holiness Pope Francis and
Head of the Delegation of the Holy See,
at the Second Dialogue: “Partnerships and innovative initiatives for the way forward,” Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the
Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration
Marrakech, Morocco, 11 December 2018
In this dialogue, dedicated to partnerships and innovative initiatives for the way forward, the Holy See would like to focus on three main points: the composition of partnerships, strategic approach, and innovative action.
To achieve the declared objective to make migration work for all, it is crucial to clarify the roles to be played by the different actors or stakeholders, so as to promote shared and balanced responsibilities. The partnerships necessary to implement successfully the vision of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration should include national and local institutions, the private sector, trade unions, civil society, academia, migrants and diaspora groups. Among the non-governmental actors, the Holy See would like to highlight the special role of faith-based organizations, which have proven themselves especially effective in providing locally-tailored support to migrants in vulnerable situations. Moreover, faith-based organizations also address the spiritual needs of migrants, aiming at promoting their integral human development. The work of faith-based organizations should be properly acknowledged and effectively encouraged by the responsible authorities. Clearly, while religions and faith-based organizations offer their contributions in a manner suited to their particular nature and mission, they are the “first responders” in those areas of need, including migration.
To be effective and sustainable, any action undertaken to make migration work for all depends necessarily on the engagement of migrants themselves. In this context, the Holy See calls for greater participation of migrants in formulating and implementing those policies, programmes and innovative initiatives that concern them. Such participation should be promoted at all levels, both individually and collectively, and institutionalized whenever possible, so as to provide regular and official avenues of effective partnership with institutions.
The Holy See shares the Global Compact’s guiding principles on a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society approach. In this regard, it is worth remembering that the deeper root of these whole approaches is the priority of the human person, its inalienable dignity and integral development, which is the real aspiration of every human being.
As Pope Francis underlines, “While it is true that migrations often reveal failures and shortcomings on the part of States and the international community, they also point to the aspiration of humanity to enjoy a unity marked by respect for differences, by attitudes of acceptance and hospitality which enable an equitable sharing of the world’s goods, and by the protection and the advancement of the dignity and centrality of each human being.”
For this strategic orientation to be effective, it is essential to adopt an inclusive approach in addressing migrants’ needs. Accordingly, a fair percentage of the direct assistance and services provided to migrants should be devoted to the benefit of local families experiencing similar economic and social disadvantages, so that no one is left behind.
Among all the actions envisioned by the Global Compact, the Holy See would like to highlight a few which correspond fairly well to the four verbs that the Holy Father chose to summarise the pastoral action of the Church in the migration context: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate.
Under the heading ‘welcome’ one could mention the commitment to ensure fair and ethical recruitment of migrants, including young people, to undertake decent work. ‘To protect’ could be translated into defending migrants’ rights and dignity in all phases of their migration experience. ‘To promote’ would mean ensuring migrants’ access to employment, fostering their skills development, and empowering them to contribute to sustainable development in their communities both of destination and of origin. Finally, ‘integration’ may be achieved by fostering the social and financial inclusion of migrants, but also by promoting mutual enrichment between local communities and newcomers.
New technologies applied to migration governance might be very innovative, effective and helpful for greater cooperation among actors. Nonetheless, they should be adopted in full respect of people’s dignity and rights, always ensuring their full knowledge and consent.
The International Migration Review Forum and related regional and national processes need to be effective tools for coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the Global Compact. The success of such mechanisms depends totally on the level of engagement of all actors. The Holy See reaffirms its commitment to be involved in such processes.
To raise awareness of the Global Compact, it is crucial to engage media at every level. Considering the essential connection between the Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), the awareness-raising activities should adopt an integrated approach so that migrant issues may be understood as an integral part of the SDGs.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
1. Pope Francis, Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2014.