As consultations on effectively managing migration got underway on Monday, Guyana has thrown its support behind a global pact designed to have nations facilitate and manage the safe migration of local and foreign nationals.
This was disclosed today when Guyana hosted an International Organisation for Migration (IOM) consultation session, which led to issues relating to the safety and management of migrants being discussed by the United Nations agency and government officials.
During his address to the gathering, Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge made the case for the benefits of migration which according to him includes remittance and skills transfer.
“ Migration isn’t just, of course, advantageous to the source mission, …as we know remittances have boosted the national incomes of many developing nations and diaspora communities have created and strengthened bonds between countries. And I don’t have to isolate Guyana in that regard where remittances in particular have constituted a significant proportion and at times as greatly as 17% of GDP in any one year,” the Minister said.
Moreover, Greenidge emphasized that the potential negative consequences from poorly managed migration are not lost on the government.
“There are an estimated 258 million international migrants and it is likely that recent instability and the impacts of forces like climate change could drive these numbers dramatically upwards in the future. Recognising this reality, nations have the responsibility to take charge of their condition and to ensure that action is taken, which action could make migration work for all people,” he explained.
Head of the Diaspora unit of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Michael Brotherson, explained the concept of the pact highlighting that it “is centered around addressing the challenges faced by migrants today, including but not limited to effective protection of the human rights and fundamental freedom of migrants including women and children, the specific needs of migrants in vulnerable situations and combatting racism, xenophobia and discrimination and intolerance towards all migrants.”
He noted that having played a part in IOM talks previously, Guyana is looking forward to continuing the discourse.
IOM is an inter-governmental organisation that works with UN member states to ensure safe and orderly migration.
Guyana has not only experienced migration of its skilled and un-skilled workforce in the past; it has most recently experienced an influx of migrants and re-migrants from Venezuela.
It is understood that inter-governmental negotiations will commence later this month.