In Marrakech, Morocco on Monday, 164 countries adopted the historic Global Compact for Migration, a blueprint for helping the 258 million migrants worldwide achieve a life of safety and dignity.
Speaking to world leaders, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres addressed falsehoods about the Compact saying that it is time to move from myth to reality and work for a safer, less fearful and more prosperous future both for our own societies and for the world’s migrants.
“More than 60,000 migrants have died on the move since the year 2000. This is a source of collective shame. And of course, behind every number is a person – a woman, a child, a man, who simply dream for what any of us dream – opportunity, dignity and a better life. But whether their movement is voluntary or forced; and whether or not they have been able to obtain formal authorization for movement, all human beings must have their human rights respected and their dignity upheld. To deny this – and to vilify any group of people – is the road to dehumanization and horror,” said the Secretary-General.
Ahead of the conference, more than 200 young people from around the world met in Marrakech to press for solutions to the unique challenges faced by young migrants. On Monday, several of those young people sat down with the Secretary-General to share their priorities. They emphasized that the youth of the world are dedicated to working together to ensure that migration is a choice.
To help countries “breathe life” into the Global Compact, the Secretary-General also launched the UN Migration Network.
Also on Monday, at a special event to mark Human Rights Day, leaders and luminaries celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has inspired millions of women and men to demand their rights, and contest the forces of oppression, exploitation, discrimination and injustice.
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