This week the process of revising and reviewing ” Zero Draft Plus” has started at the UN Trusteeship Council. Intergovernmental negotiations will last till the end of the current week providing opportunities for states present at the session hearings to express their concerns and comments on the revised draft which will be further amended. From the first day the procedure of analyzing every sovereign states’ position and remarks has increased the stakes of challenging legal and moral frameworks. Co-facilitators of the Second Round, namely Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations and Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations, have raised the questions specifically pointing out the crucial necessity of defining certain legal terminologies related to migration, migrants, refugees, stateless people and IDP.
What’s more interesting is that while states such as Japan, Singapore, the EU, Australia, Lichtenstein, Sweden, Lebanon,Palestine, Russian along with many other fellow ones expressed clear insistence on keeping consensus on legal distinction between the terms such as refugee and migrant, majority of them pointed out their willingness to uphold the 1951 Refugee Convention , the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees and New York Declaration. Numerous requests have been made to keep refugees only in Global Compact on Refugees which will be presented by UNHCR via its annual report to the General Assembly in 2018. Also, the growing concerns of conflicting terms has been recognized to put refugees and migrants in danger as they attempt to cross the borders.
The main tone of the past two days has reflected on key areas where states advocated for the next revised draft to contain: international laws for protections of migrants , the principle of non-refoulement, obligations and regulations under the Global Compact on Migration.
Even though international recognition of every state’s sovereignty has been crucially regarded by co-facilitators, there has been universal urge to consider the individual and case-by-case factors under which people on the move find themselves trapped in dangerous situation or facing a fate of being trafficked by smugglers. Not to mention the fact that they reminded the states to bear the responsibility of saving lives in danger and rescue at sea,
Stay tuned for upcoming briefings on Global Compact on Migration!