The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants took place in New York in September 2016 marked a significant time in history. Notably, the issuance of the New York Declaration was a key document that opened the path to the development of two global compacts to be adopted in 2018one on refugees, and one for safe, orderly and regular migration. 

The New York Declaration recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation at the global level to save lives, protection rights and share responsibility on a global scale. In December 2018, this concluded with the adoption of the two compacts. Notably, the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), framed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), consistent with target 10.7, whereby States commit to cooperate internationally to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration.

As such, the IOM Regional Office works to support Member States to achieve a Whole of Government and a Whole of Society approach with the aim to assist through policy and technical support Member States achieve the 23 Objectives outlined in the GCM[1]. The[MK1]  GCM equally calls for capacity building mechanism in the United Nations, the establishment of a connection hub, a start-up fund for initial financing to realize project-oriented solutions, and a global knowledge platform as an online open data source to support Member States in achieving their GCM objectives. This will ultimately seek to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.

Migration is a multi-faceted, non-linear and complex phenomenon, thus requiring an integral approach as it affects and is affected by all sectoral areas and all levels of governance. The IOM Regional Office works together with partners, such as the League of Arab States (LAS) and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA), and together co-lead, since 2013, a Working Group on International Migration in the Arab Region. This  working group conducts capacity building activities as well as convenes regional conferences in order to discuss lessons learned and good practices of Member States as they work towards the objectives of the GCM and the goals of the SDGs. This furthermore can provide Member States with opportunities to share best practices and seek out regional synergies for implementation.

The IOM Regional Office, in the sprit of cooperation, thus works with partners, UN agencies, civil society, academia, and other regional body entities in a whole of society approach to support Member States in achieving the Objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, together with the goals of the 2030 Agenda. This is in line with the Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF) that outlines IOM’s objectives and principles accordingly.

The GCM expresses the collective commitment to improve cooperation on international migration and recognizes that migration has been part of human history throughout time. It is a source of prosperity, innovation and sustainable development.

  • It rests on Common Understanding, acknowledges that the compact is the product of unprecedented review of evidence and data gathered during an open, transparent and inclusive process.
  • It furthermore ensures that the human rights of women, men, girls and boys are respected at all stages of migration.
  • It recognizes that migration is a multidimensional reality that cannot be addressed by one government policy sector alone, and requires a, whole-of-society approach, involving all relevant stakeholders in migration
  • It is a non-legally binding cooperative framework that recognizes that no State can address migration on its own due to the inherently transnational nature of the phenomenon.
Partners and Donors

IOM Regional Office works with a variety of partners. These include: the League of Arab States, UN ESCWA, the Arab Parliament, among other regional entities. It furthermore works with UN sister agencies and NGOs. As part of the Working Group on International Migration in the Arab Region, it works with 18 different UN agencies.