Migration: A Chance to Reflect on Global Well-Being

Sixth Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Global Compact for Migration, Geneva, 12 July 2018

Migration: A Chance to Reflect on Global Well-Being

Bahá'í International Community statement for the
Sixth Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Global Compact for Migration
Geneva, 12 July 2018

In the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants and the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, Member States recognize that “millions of refugees around the world [...] have no access to timely and durable solutions” and that “the success of the search for solutions depends in large measure to resolute and sustained international cooperation”. They further commit “to address the root causes” of violence and other crisis situations which continue to drive people to flee their homeland. In this relation, we would like to offer two thoughts for consideration.

Present national-level structures can no longer hope to adequately respond to the issue of mass migration in an increasingly globalized world. The challenges attending current national efforts to address the issue clearly illustrates this point. The consultations on the Global Compact for Refugees, the Global Compact for Migration and other such processes show a growing recognition that resolving the crisis requires the development of structures able to address the situation globally, through the collaboration and participation of all regions and countries involved. In fact, mass migration has challenged us to look beyond the nation state, to perceive the world from a global perspective and has heightened our awareness of the interconnectedness of humanity. Indeed, “in a world of interdependent peoples and nations the advantage of the part is best to be reached by the advantage of the whole”.1

Secondly, the current dire humanitarian situation calls for a profound, dispassionate and collective reflection on the underlying conditions that have caused the mass movement of populations. The unprecedented displacement of millions of people globally cannot only be viewed in terms of “managing migration”. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the ongoing suffering of countless individuals who risk their lives for greater security is yet another symptom of a much deeper and far-reaching concern. It represents an urgent imperative to reexamine systems, structures, policies and more importantly the attitudes and assumptions that have shaped them.

During the recent UNHCR Annual Consultations with NGOs, the High Commissioner emphasized the need to address the conflicts at the heart of the current refugee and migration crisis. The mass movement of populations has made it clear that the peace, stability and prosperity of different regions of the world are interconnected and that solutions cannot be intelligently considered in isolation from this global reality. Indeed, understanding the root causes of mass migration and displacement and identifying durable solutions for the myriads of crises causing people to flee their homes deserve the highest attention of the international community. For if not through the identification and creation of lasting solutions, how else can we hope to prevent the situation from deteriorating even further?

1. Shoghi Effendi, Promised Day is Come, p. vi.

Last updated 2 September 2018