Commissioner Cucic participated in the first International Review Forum on Migration at the UN Headquarters in New York20.05.2022.
Commissioner for Refugees and Migration Vladimir Cucic spoke at the first International Review Forum on Migration, which was held from May 17 to 20, 2022, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Addressing the representatives of the countries participating in the plenary part, Commissioner Cucić confirmed the commitment of the Republic of Serbia to the protection of human rights when it comes to the attitude towards migration.
"Allow me to thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the Republic of Serbia and to express our appreciation to the United Nations Secretary-General, the United Nations Network for migration, as well as to all the partners committed to achieving the highest possible standards in our responsibility to protect migrants and the mutual goal of creating a world that recognizes their needs.
The Republic of Serbia has historically been a country whose many citizens migrated to more developed countries seeking work opportunities. Simultaneously, Serbia is hosting a large number of persons that have been forced to flee armed conflict in the Balkans at the end of the last century. Recently, we have become a transit country for migrants from other continents, seeking a better life for themselves and their families in Europe. This migration dynamic has taught us to respect each and every person, protect those in need, and do our best to find solutions to the problems they are facing. Therefore, the Republic of Serbia has endorsed the Global Compact for Migration and will diligently work on its implementation.
Today, at the first International Migration Review Forum, we wish to reaffirm our commitment to the principles of the Global Compact. Serbia has already demonstrated that our legislative framework and its implementation are people-oriented, with significant emphasis on the needs of the vulnerable population, especially women, children, and the elderly. The Whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches are deeply embedded in our migration management system. In that sense, respect for the migrants’ human rights was the leading principle in dealing with the unprecedented migration crisis that Serbia, together with the rest of Europe, faced a couple of years ago.
I would like to point out that Serbia has achieved significant progress in the implementation of the objectives of the Global Compact due to our international cooperation, active participation in a number of global and regional initiatives, and joint work with various UN Agencies. Additional progress has been achieved as a part of our accession process to the EU.
Nevertheless, we wish to make an appeal to jointly address the risks emerging from the latest conflicts and crises, since attending to the needs of the new waves of migrants may affect our efforts to find a solution for the previously displaced persons. It must not be allowed that neglect the needs of any displaced person.
A failure to identify the causes and prevent the outbreak of new crises will not only produce new migratory pressures but will have significant economic consequences that could jeopardize already achieved results. This failure would lead to deeper inequalities, and consequently, strengthen the barriers to migration and mobility.
I would like to express the intention of the Republic of Serbia to achieve all the objectives set in the Global Compact for Migration.
We would like to invite all member States and partners to support the countries facing constant migratory pressures and various political and economic challenges in their endeavor to develop and implement policies and practices that will enable respect for human rights, elimination of discrimination, provide development opportunities for migrants and through migration and to Leave No One Behind", said Cucic.
The event in New York was also attended by Deputy Commissioner Svetlana Velimirovic, who participated in a series of roundtables where she used the opportunity to present good practices
in collecting data on migration and access to services for irregular migrants in transit through Serbia. The first International Review Forum on Migration enabled the exchange of good practices in the implementation of the Global Compact on Migration,
consideration of positive and critical aspects of migration, and was a place where members could present their plans for implementing the Global Compact on Migration.