In January 2017, the UN began international negotiations for a Global Compact on Migration, as called for in a General Assembly Resolution of 19 September 2016, called the New York Declaration. This paper sets out the background to the resolution, and examines the political developments that preceded the New York Declaration and the role of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which became an UN-related organisation in July 2016. Two issues are closely examined: i) existing UN migration norms that need to be positioned at the heart of the Compact and ii) the central role allocated to the IOM in aiding the negotiation of the Global Compact. The paper also speculates on what role the EU will play in the UN negotiations as a ‘regional body’.
Elspeth Guild is Associate Senior Research Fellow at CEPS and Professor at Queen Mary University of London. Stefanie Grant is Visiting Fellow, London School of Economics.