Emele Duituturaga, Executive Director (PIANGO)

The Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO) appealed to intergovernmental negotiators at the United Nations that the predicament of Pacific Small Island states in dealing with climate vulnerability and displacement be included in the proposed global compact on migration.

Speaking at a session in New York on July 13th, PIANGO executive director, Emele Duituturaga, expressed urgency on the vulnerable situation of Pacific small island states to the sudden onset of disasters and slow onset of climate change and resulting climate displacement be included in the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM).

Duituturaga urged Member States to maintain language throughout the Compact that ensures that migrants in vulnerable situations enjoy full human rights protections, consistent with UN-approved international human rights instruments.

“Specifically, we insist on the critical importance of avoiding any weakening of protections for victims of natural disasters and climate change, as the Global Compact on Refugees does not address either of these situations adequately”.

PIANGO is amongst civil society organisations including migrant networks from other regions involved in the final round of intergovernmental negotiations on the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) at the United Nations headquarters this week.

This, according to Duituturaga is the sixth round of consultations on the proposed Global Compact which is a non-legally binding, cooperative framework that builds on commitments agreed upon by Member States in the 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.

The 2016 declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly with the aims of further protecting the rights of refugees and migrants.

“The GCM is the first time a global comprehensive framework for migration has been discussed and developed through a member state driven process,” Duituturaga said.

“Since 2016, civil society has been engaged in the GCM process and has continually pushed for a number of improvements in areas of key importance.”

Meanwhile, a collective civil society statement delivered in New York today highlighted concerns relating to regular and irregular status for migrants; non-refoulement of migrants; migrants in vulnerable situations and right to privacy with regard to migrant’s personal information.

The CSO statement also aired concerns on issues of criminalization of migrants and those who assist them; working to end child immigration detention and called for a robust implementation, review, and follow-up mechanism for the compact.