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IOM: Denmark's statement on item 9, General debate

29.11.2017  17:31

IOM 108th Council November 2017
Agenda item 9: General debate   Check against delivery
Ambassador Carsten Staur of DENMARK  
29. November 2017

Chair, Director General, Distinguished delegates,
Aligning with the statement made on behalf of the EU and its member states, let me extend my sincere thanks to the Director General for his Report highlighting the changes IOM is experiencing but also the need for continuity and coherence.
Let me start by congratulating IOM on the recent 1-year anniversary of IOM joining the UN family allowing IOM to enjoy strengthened coordination and collaboration with other parts of the UN system while adding value through IOM’s expertise on migration.
We see IOM as the global lead agency on migration helping ensure orderly migration globally not least by providing States with technical and policy support in the area of migration management, including capacity building, as well as facilitating political dialogue on migration at the national, regional and global levels thus helping enhance international cooperation in the area of migration.
IOM thus has a key role in the area of human mobility both as regards migration but also as regards practical support to resettlement, voluntary return and reintegration as well as support for finding practical solutions to migration challenges, including mixed migration flows. We particularly see a role for IOM in helping curb irregular migration, strengthening return and helping with capacity building of national authorities for them to be better able to handle and foster more regular migration.

In doing so we attach (great) importance to the essential elements of IOM, not least IOM’s character as a responsive, efficient, cost-effective, non-normative and independent agency and as an agency with an effective field presence.
Our support for IOM is reflected by the recent proposal by the Danish Government to allocate un-earmarked funding to IOM. Subject to Parliamentary approval Denmark will thus make an un-earmarked contribution to IOM in 2018, amounting to 15 million Danish Kroner. On top of that we also plan to contribute 10 million Danish Kroner in 2018 in SOFTLY earmarked funding. All in all, this support to IOM in 2018 will thus amount to approx. 4 million USD. This is a significant development in our cooperation with IOM  also reflecting IOM’s new status as a related agency within the UN system and bears witness to our  support for the organization.  We believe un-earmarked contributions are important for maintaining the flexibility and effectiveness we require of IOM and encourage others to consider extending un-earmarked funding in line with Grand Bargain commitments to IOM.
Denmark recognizes that mobility is part of human nature and that safe, orderly and regular migration is a prerequisite for dealing with the current migration challenges. Moreover, Denmark recognizes that regular migration often is a catalyst for growth, welfare and stability nationally, regionally as well as globally, whereas irregular migration often has negative political and economic consequences for both countries of transit, destination and origin.
Denmark sees a clear link between strengthening global migration management and effective prevention of irregular migration.

Also, it is fundamental that we maintain a clear distinction between migrants and refugees in order not to put the well-established international regime for the protection of refugees at risk.

As regards the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration which should not be legally binding, Denmark prioritizes the promotion of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development as the main vehicle in addressing root causes of irregular migration.

The protection and promotion of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants regardless of status is key in our dealings with migration issues. In this connection we re-emphasise that we already have the necessary human rights norms and obligations at hand – what we need is effective implementation of existing rules and standards.

Furthermore, return of irregular migrants to their countries of origin, in full respect of international law, including human rights, remains the solution for those who do not have legal stay.

We would like to reiterate our strong conviction that managing irregular migration and fulfilling human rights obligations are not mutually exclusive. Rather they go together and our common efforts towards ensuring safe, orderly and regular migration must be firmly build on human rights principles and our mutual international obligations, including the obligation to readmit own nationals.

Finally, we must have a clear focus on creating sustainable solutions in countries of origin as well as ensuring effective migration governance.
We note the importance of IOM’s technical and policy expertise in the area of migration and find that the Organization should play a central role to improve coherence on migration within the United Nations system, incl. in the follow-up to the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
To conclude, let me affirm that Denmark remains a strong supporter of IOM as the global lead agency for migration.
I thank you,