More than 160 countries on Monday agreed on a nonbinding U.N. migration accord that seeks to ensure the safe, orderly and humane movement of people around the world. The Holy See and High-level government delegates including German Chancellor Angela Merkel have given their backing to the U.N.'s Global Compact for Migration.
Speaking at the intergovernmental conference taking place in Marrakesh, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin gave two speeches, saying “the adoption of the Global Compact on Migration comes at a critical moment in history.” Addressing the General Debate of the meeting, the Cardinal pointed out that this Compact on Migration “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.” “To achieve these goals”, he added, “the Global Compact for Migration, 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.”
Pope Francis and migrants
Pope Francis, Cardinal Parolin noted, “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 respond to the root causes of their displacement. The Pope, he continued, “has also underlined that a dignified response to migration must be reasonable, with Governments prudently determining their actual capacity for meaningful integration.” In his role as head of the Holy See delegation participating in these talks, the Secretary of State appealed to Governments and the international community as a whole, “to foster those conditions that might allow communities and individuals to live in safety and dignity in their own countries.”
Commitment of the Holy See
Cardinal Parolin noted that, “The Holy See has already launched the process to find the most effective ways with which institutions of the Catholic Church and Catholic-inspired organizations throughout the world can make use of the Global Compact’s compendium of best practices and recommendations that exemplify welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants.”
In his second speech of the day, dedicated to promoting action on the commitments of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the Cardinal said, the Holy See wanted to focus particularly on two of those commitments.
Peace and Development
The first, he emphasized was peace and development, adding, “we must work together to create conditions that allow communities and individuals to live in safety and dignity in their own countries.”
The second commitment, he said, was to integration. “Those on the move”, the Cardinal underlined, “must be welcomed and treated with dignity, even if it is determined later that they must be safely returned to their country of origin.” Cardinal Parolin stressed that, “these two objectives require an urgent response on the part of the international community. As migrations, even mass migrations, are very likely to continue in the coming years”, he continued, “we consider it necessary to widen the regular and sure channels of emigration through generous and responsible policies, inspired by solidarity and co-responsibility.”