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Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration - Explanation of Vote by ESTONIA (after the vote) by Ambassador Sven Jürgenson

20. December 2018 - 9:58

Madame President,

Allow me, first, to commend the work of the co-facilitators Ambassador Gómez Camacho and Ambassador Lauber as well as the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Ms Louise Arbour for their leadership in this process.

Migration is a global phenomenon that requires cooperation of all countries and therefore, we appreciate the active engagement of all actors in this inclusive and transparent process.

The Global Compact on Migration will provide an opportunity to improve international cooperation on migration, by preventing irregular migration and combating trafficking and smuggling of persons. However, our international cooperation is built on national sovereignty.

I would like to take this opportunity to emphasize Estonia’s position on following:

The Global Compact on Migration is not a legally-binding framework and it does not create any legal obligations for States, nor does it seek to establish international customary law.

All states enjoy their sovereign right to shape and decide their national migration policy and legislation in conformity with international law. Effective border management is key to ensuring the security of states. By supporting the Global Compact for Migration, states do not assume any obligation to broaden the legal channels of migration.

The Global Compact on Migration recognizes that universal fundamental rights and freedoms apply to all persons, including migrants. However, it does not establish a human right to migrate.

Ensuring the possibility of return is a significant part of the Compact. It clearly recognizes the existing obligation of all States to duly receive and readmit all their own nationals.

Global Compact for Migration also emphasizes the need to deal with the root causes behind irregular migration, and to make efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Estonia hopes that the objectives set out in the Global Compact for Migration contribute to combating and reducing irregular migration, among other things, by mitigating the negative consequences for the victims.

Estonia also shares the views contained in the statement by Denmark.

Estonia is ready to continue the cooperation with the United Nations and other relevant actors to search how to better manage the global phenomenon of migration. I thank you.

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