Marking 70 years of this human rights document, the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, gave an address with the issue of migration at its core saying, “the Global Compact affirms that migration should never be an act of desperation. In many countries of origin, however, individuals feel forced to flee whether due to conflict, violence, environmental degradation, human rights violations, or the inability to secure a dignified life for one’s family.”
He continued, “we should do our best to ensure that people might remain in their countries of origin, by building more inclusive, sustainable and just societies, minimizing the adverse drivers and structural factors that deny people their fundamental human rights and compel them to leave.”
At the service of the common good
As Pope Francis has recently reminded us, said the Cardinal “[t]he just appeal to the rights of each human being must take into account the fact that every individual is part of a greater body. Our societies too, like every human body, enjoy good health if each member makes his or her own contribution in the awareness that it is at the service of the common good.”
Let this continue, Cardinal Parolin underlined, “to be our contribution as we recommit ourselves today to the realization of the ideals set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Partnerships, strategic approach, and innovative action
In another dialogue during the conference, dedicated to partnerships and innovative initiatives for the way forward, the Cardinal focused on three main points: the composition of partnerships, strategic approach, and innovative action. He stressed that, “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."
The Cardinal also highlighted the special role of faith-based organizations, which have proven, he said, “especially effective in providing locally-tailored support to migrants in vulnerable situations.”
To be effective and sustainable, he pointed out, “any action undertaken to make migration work for all depends necessarily on the engagement of migrants themselves.”
With regard to the Cardinal’s second point on strategic approaches, he stressed that it was “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”, he said.
Addressing the issue of innovative action, the Secretary of State, noted that “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.”
To raise awareness of the Global Compact, the Cardinal concluded, “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.”