Cities reaffirm their commitment and support for implementing the Global Compact for Migration


© International Organization for Migration/Muse Mohammed

Representatives from cities around the globe gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 13 May to proclaim both the desire and ability to do more to support the Global Compact for Migration (GCM).  The gathering represents the most recent advance in cities' increasing role as critical actors in migration management.

The event, “Cities in the follow up and review of the GCM,” was hosted by the co-facilitators of the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) in collaboration with the newly established Mayors Migration Council. It came on the heels of a preparatory meeting for the IMRF, the Forum that will serve as the “primary intergovernmental global platform” to discuss and share progress on the implementation of the GCM. Chief among the event outcomes was a request for dedicated space for the local dimension within the GCM review process.

Adopted in December 2018, the GCM is rooted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which recognizes migration as a core development consideration and powerful driver of sustainable development. Cities are commonly recognized as being at the forefront of migration, negotiating the daily needs, opportunities, and aspirations of migrants. In recent years, the international community has increasingly embraced cities as important actors in migration management.  The critical role of the local level has been specifically articulated in the GCM, which calls for a whole of government approach and underscores the key role of local authorities in enhancing migration benefits.

A statement delivered at the event by UN Habitat on behalf of several UN agencies including IOM, UN DESA, OHCHR, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO acknowledged the growing inclusion of the local level in the migration and development agenda and called for the International community to “continue to empower and engage with local authorities in their efforts to implement and review the GCM.”