On 6 December, Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland, addressed the general debate of the 107th Session of the IOM Council to elaborate on China's views on migration.
Ambassador Ma said, with the deepening of economic globalization, the transnational movement of personnel has become more frequent and the scale of global migration keeps increasing. Migration has become an important issue in global governance. States are making positive efforts to reach the migration-related targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants recently adopted adds impetus to global migration cooperation. And a Global Compact on Migration is expected to be formulated by 2018. Yet at the same time, international migration cooperation still faces many challenges. The number sof displaced persons and forced migrants have increased dramatically as a result of armed conflicts and natural disasters. The receiving countries are under immense pressure in terms of migration and border management and are carrying heavy economic and social burdens. Some countries have tightened migration policies; xenophobia against migrants has reappeared; and transnational organized crimes, such as smuggling and human trafficking, are on the rise. Migrants are facing challenges to their life, security and dignity.
Ambassador Ma emphasized that the international community should move towards the Global Compact on Migration in a gradual way. On the one hand, the positive effects of migration on economic and social development should be recognized and the legitimate rights and interests of migrants should be upheld. On the other hand, the national migration system and policies must be respected; a “one-size-fits-all” approach must be avoided; and the concepts of migrants and refugees be differentiated. States should be encouraged to implement migration-related goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on the basis of their national conditions. The international community should tackle the problem of forced migration by treating both the symptoms and the root causes. Disputes should be settled through peaceful means and the development should be given top priority. Developed countries should earnestly fulfill their aid commitments to developing countries and bridge the gap between the North and the South. The international community should improve the governance of global migration by taking comprehensive measures. China supports IOM in playing a greater leading and coordinating role in global migration affairs. Countries of origin, transit and destination should assume their respective responsibilities, keeping open the legal channels for orderly migration and joining hands to combat smuggling and human trafficking.
Ambassador Ma said, in recent years, the Chinese government has been improving laws and regulations on entry and departure, increasing the capacity of customs clearance and the application of information technology, developing and updating policies on entry, departure and stay, and facilitating the integration of foreigners into local communities. China is ready to continue to work with all parties concerned to actively participate in international cooperation in migration, so as to contribute more to the well-being of migrants and orderly human mobility in the world.