By Linda Bordoni
The Holy See has welcomed the “Zero Draft” for the Global Compact for Migration but underlined that political will is also needed to protect the fundamental rights of all displaced people.
The Global Compact for Migration will be the first, intergovernmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.
In a statement, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, the Holy See's Permanent Observer to the UN and other Organizations in Geneva, expressed the Vatican’s gratitude to the UNHCR and, in particular, to the Assistant High Commissioner for his leadership and his thorough presentation of the Zero Draft.
Global Compact calls for cooperation within the international community
Referring to the September 2016 New York Declaration which paved the way to the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees and of the one for Safe, Orderly and Regular migration, Jurkovič said the task envisioned “surpasses the good will of any single country and calls for flexibility, coherence and cooperation within the international community”.
He described the current one as an historical moment and as an opportunity to find durable solutions that respond to the principles of “solidarity and fraternal compassion by offering a more concerted and equitable global response”.
Pope's appeal to spare no ambition to set concrete policiies and measures
Pope Francis, he said, reminds us that “defending the inalienable rights of refugees, ensuring their fundamental freedoms and respecting their dignity are duties from which no one can be exempted” and he urged all players to spare no ambition to set concrete policies and measures.
Jurkovič pointed out that “The Zero Draft acknowledges the generous and admirable responses of those local families and communities that, in spite of their own hardships, have kept their borders and hearts open to welcome refugees” and said that “these societies ought to receive tangible and prompt support from the international community”.
Need for political will
Above all, he called for the commitment of leaders to ensure that the responsibility to protect is comprehensive enough to embrace the prevention of forced displacement tragedies.
He said that, in this regard, development is essential, but it “must go hand in hand with humanitarian assistance” always bearing in mind that refugees are children, women and men” who are forced to migrate and who share a “legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more”
Jurkovič said the protection of the fundamental rights of all people is the key to changing the situation of refugees and displaced persons, and he called for the inclusion of a reference to “the spiritual dimension of refugees and the right to religious freedom.”
Spiritual dimension to be taken into considertion
He concluded proposing an additional clause that highlights the need for a holistic service “ rather than a mere list of disjointed best practices from which to draw here and there, according to national priorities” and that in all cases the human person remains under the protection of the principles of humanity and the dictates of the public conscience.