IUSSP statement on “Strengthening migration data, research and training, in the context of the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.”


30 November 2017


At the high-level plenary meeting on addressing large movements of refuges and migrants, held on 19 September 2016, the United Nations General Assembly agreed to develop two global compacts, one “for safe, orderly and regular migration” and the other “on refugees”. The migration compact will be developed through a process of intergovernmental negotiations and adopted at an intergovernmental conference on international migration to be held in 2018. In resolution 71/280, the General Assembly invited all relevant stakeholders, including scientific and knowledge-based institutions, to contribute to the preparatory process of elaborating the migration compact.


Mindful of the important contribution that IUSSP has made to the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development as well as earlier UN population conferences, the IUSSP created an ad hoc panel composed of eminent migration scholars from around the globe to prepare a statement as input to the global migration compact. 


The Panel, with support from the Population and Statistics Divisions of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), prepared a preliminary version of the statement, which was discussed on 30 October at a joint IUSSP/UN-DESA session during the 2017 International Population Conference (Session 39). 


On 3 November, Philippe Fargues, Chair of the panel, circulated an updated version of the draft to IUSSP members and invited them to contribute to the preparation of the statement. In response to various suggestions and inputs that were received, the ad hoc IUSSP panel revised the draft statement.


This revised statement, which focuses on strengthening migration data, training and research, was approved by the IUSSP Council and submitted on 30 November to Ms. Louise Arbour, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, in her capacity of Secretary-General of the Conference, and to the Permanent Representatives of Mexico and Switzerland to the United Nations, who are serving as co-facilitators of the negotiations on the global compact.


The IUSSP is grateful to the members of the ad hoc panel for preparing the statement and to other IUSSP members who provided comments and suggestions on the draft statement and thanks the United Nations Population Division for their support throughout this process.


We hope that many of you will circulate the statement within your respective networks and feel free to use the document as a resource for further discussions on this topic. Despite the recent withdrawal of the United States from this process, the commitment to develop a global compact remains strong and thus the contribution by demographers to this discussion will continue to be important.


See also IUSSP Policy & Research Paper #24: "Advancing Knowledge on International Migration: Data and Research Needs", by Philippe Fargues (European University Institute), 2018.