Migration is a fact of life and a positive phenomenon that enriches societies and economies. Despite this fact, the world today faces many challenges, difficulties and crises that affect migration and its trends in rapid and unexpected ways. In the past decade, migration has definitely established itself on the international scene, gained attention from world leaders and international organizations in an unprecedented way. This interest was demonstrated by the adoption of the first international agreement to address migration comprehensively in 2018; which is "the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration", where the progress made in its implementation was discussed in the First International Migration Review Forum held in May 2022. The General Secretariat of the League of Arab States (LAS) - through the Arab Regional Consultative process on Migration and Refugee Affairs (ARCP) - had a major role in preparing the Arab Member States for effective participation in this forum, and in the process of reviewing the Global Compact at the Arab regional level.
In the last three years, migrants have been exposed to many challenges, and they were among the most affected groups by the repercussions of various crises; from Covid-19 pandemic to the Russian-Ukrainian war, and the increase in racism, discrimination, xenophobia and Islamophobia, in addition to the dangers that migrants may be exposed to (especially those who follow irregular routes and who are exploited by smugglers and human traffickers), and being stranded for long time at borders or at sea. The crises that the world has gone through in recent years have demonstrated the value of migrants and their ability to benefit their countries of destination and their countries of origin as well. In this context, LAS affirms what was stated in the Algiers Declaration issued by the 31st Ordinary Summit (November 2022) in welcoming the commendable moves and initiatives that have been and are being undertaken by many Arab countries in order to limit the spread of Islamophobia and promote the values of tolerance and respect for others.
In the context of the repeated incidents of stranded migrants on board rescue ships in the Mediterranean, LAS reaffirms that migration across the Mediterranean is mostly mixed migration that includes irregular migrants, refugees, unaccompanied children and women, which requires considering the different situations of these groups. It also stresses the importance of respecting international human rights conventions - especially refugees - and the need to provide the necessary support for rescue operations of irregular migrants across the Mediterranean and to provide suitable places for them, and to take into account the principles of human rights when taking measures to deport them to their countries of origin in a way that preserves their human rights and dignity.
H.E. Ambassador Dr. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary General Head of Social Affairs Sector, stated that the countries of the world today need joint action to find fundamental solutions to crises that increase the causes of migration, address and reduce vulnerabilities in migration, facilitate regular migration, save lives and coordinate efforts regarding missing migrants, enable migrants and societies to achieve integration and social cohesion, eliminate all forms of discrimination and racism, create conditions that help migrants fully contribute to sustainable development in all countries, and strengthen international cooperation and global partnerships to achieve safe, orderly and regular migration.