Catholic World News

Holy See diplomat affirms support for global migration compact, concerned about changes in wording

July 11, 2018

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, apostolic nuncio and permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, affirmed the Holy See’s support for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, whose wording is being negotiated.

Commenting on the latest draft during the sixth round of intergovernmental negotiations, the prelate insisted that references to three documents that were not part of negotiations be removed from the compact. These documents, he said, “contain controversial language and issues” and “do not share consensus.”

Archbishop Auza also criticized the current draft for failing to affirm protections for migrants that are currently provided for under international law. In particular, he criticized the deletion of a reference to “shelter, health, education and justice.”

“All persons, regardless of their migration status, enjoy the same human rights and have the same fundamental freedoms,” he said. “While we recognize the sovereign right of States to determine national migration policy and to distinguish between regular and irregular migration status, they must do so in accordance with international law.”

“Shelter, health, education and justice,” the prelate continued. “represent the minimum that all States must provide, as a matter of international obligation. While States may determine the level of additional service provided, they cannot deny any individual these specific services. By deleting this listing, we give States the option to undermine the human rights of migrants, who are first and foremost human beings.”

The prelate concluded by stating that migrants have a “prior right” to remain in dignified conditions their native lands:

My Delegation would like to reiterate that all persons have the right to remain in peace, prosperity and security in their country of origin. This is a prior right that precedes the corollary right of every individual to emigrate, especially when the right to remain is not upheld or guaranteed.

 


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