“The outcome document that will be considered by member states in the High Level Summit falls short of creating a new framework for the protection of refugees and migrants around the world.” That is the thought expressed, already at the beginning of August, by the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN) together with the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS). Their goal is that the “High Level Summit on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants”, planned by the United Nations in New York on September 19, and related meetings called by the United States on the same sideline, on September 20, can give concrete answers to the delicate subject.
Fr. Alessandro Gazzola, Superior General of the Scalabrinian Congregation, expresses the same concern for some specific points in the document: “Given the refugee and migrant crisis around the globe, we were hopeful that the outcome document would more explicitly detail a plan for responsibility sharing in response to migration flows. We stand ready to work with member states to give life to the document, whereby a more concrete plan of action is created and implemented.”
Member States have delayed the adoption of a Global Compact for refugees for two years, while the world is currently facing refugee crises all over the globe. “The international community cannot wait longer for concrete action marked by equitable responsibility-sharing. While we commend member states for aiming to meet UNHCR’s annual targets for the resettlement of vulnerable groups, we urge them to work on a concrete plan as soon as possible to meet this goal. We want to work to make the Global Compact on Safe, Regular, and Orderly Migration a reality. This is the Scalabrinian priority”, added Fr. Leonir Chiarello, Executive Director of SIMN, who is member of the Civil Society Steering Committee of the United Nations for the High Level Summitt.
The hope is that the September 19 Summit, the first among the heads of states, ministers, international organizations, civil society organizations, including private sector and academics during the United Nations General Assembly, and the September 20 Summit, in which President Obama will held together with other allies to specifically ask for significant new commitments on behalf of refugees, both really bring the expected results.
SIMN is also member of the Civil Society Action Committee, self-organization among 10 global networks working with migrants and other 10 operating with refugees, which guide collective actions and messages that civil society wants to see in the official outcome of the summit process, encourage and facilitate strategic civil society advocacy contacts with states regarding the content of the summit outcome, and finally monitor summit-related developments and communicate with governments and key stakeholders throughout the process.
SIMN and CMS have, also plans to work with member states and interested parties to improve protection efforts around the world and to generate new models for cooperation and responsibility sharing. The Centre for Migration Studies, in particular, in early July (6-7) held a conference entitled "Rethinking the Global Refugee Protection System", which looked at new frameworks for global refugee protection. Papers from the conference will soon be available at www.cmsny.org/multimedia/rethinkrefugee/.
Rome - New York, 15 September 2016