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Accord on migration comes at critical time

MARRAKESH (SE): One hundred and sixty-four countries agreed to adopt the nonbinding United Nations (UN) Global Compact for Migration on December 10, at the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, held from December 10 to 11 in Marrakesh, Morroco, UN News reported on December 11.
Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, told the conference on December 10 that, “The adoption of the Global Compact on Migration comes at a critical moment in history.”
Vatican News reported that he pointed out that the compact “attempts to assist the international community to prevent crises and tragedies. At the same time, it also seeks to improve the governance of migration, which is bound to increase as the international community grows more economically, socially and politically interconnected.”
UN News reported that Louise Arbour, th UN Special Representative for International Migration, said on December 11, that the compact, “is designed to enhance safety and order in migration management and reduce recourse to dangerous, chaotic migratory routes…it seeks to maximise all the benefits of human mobility and mitigate its challenges.”
She said a central promise of the pact is that it “reinforces, unambiguously, the fundamental principle that migrants everywhere should be treated with dignity and fairness.”
Vatican News reported Cardinal Parolin as saying that the compact, “although not legally binding, includes a comprehensive framework of best practices and policy instruments to increase international cooperation and sharing of responsibility in the governance of migration in all of its dimensions.”
The cardinal pointed out that Pope Francis, “has dedicated much of his pontificate to raising awareness about the plight of migrants, as well as the moral urgency to care for those who have been displaced and to Cardinal Parolin appealed to governments and the international community “to foster those conditions that might allow communities and individuals to live in safety and dignity in their own countries.”
In late November, CNS reported Jesuit Father Michael Czerny, undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugee Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, as saying that the Church is doing all that it can to help welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants in countries where the Global Compact on Migration is formally adopted.
“The compact has a new style, a new spirit based on what we have brought,” Father Czerny told journalists on November 28, stressing, “It is our desire to promote dialogue and not confrontation and isolation; to promote a culture of encounter and not let fear decide. This is the problem. If fear is in charge, that is a problem.”
CNS reported that the Vatican contributed to the negotiations leading to the agreement and the eight-page plan contains proposals “grounded on the Church’s best practices responding to the needs of migrants and refugees at the grassroots level” and provides “practical considerations which Catholic and other advocates can use, add to and develop in their dialogue with governments toward the global compact.”
The compact’s multilateral approach shows that countries working together to achieve a common goal “is an indispensable key to solving the problems in the world,” he said.
“We are happy for this success in a fragmented world,” Father Czerny said.

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