Canada joined more than 160 United Nations member states in adopting a newly negotiated agreement on international migration Monday.
The non-binding United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration sets out 23 objectives for improving international cooperation on all forms of migration, from refugees to skilled workers.
While underscoring the need to address the “adverse drivers and structural factors” that lead migrants to leave their country of origin, the objectives call for enhancing the “availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration,” investing in skills development, and facilitating the “mutual recognition of skills, qualifications, and competences,” among other goals.
The document states that its purpose is to optimize the “positive impacts” of migration, which it calls “a source of prosperity, innovation and sustainable development in our globalized world.”
The Government of Canada said the pact is the “first multilateral framework for the global response to migration” and comes at a time when roughly 258 million people are on the move worldwide — a 49 percent increase over 2000.
Of this number, 68.5 million forcibly displaced persons fleeing war, violence, and discrimination.
In an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, said the compact provides useful guidelines for the international community on migration issues.
Hussen told CBC the agreement helps countries “foster inclusive and cohesive societies by empowering migrants” to play more proactive and positive roles in their host communities.
He also stressed that the agreement is non-binding, which means it serves more as a set of best practices for the international community.