CELAC Adopts Special Declaration On Migration

CMC – Heads of State and Government of Latin America and the Caribbean have reiterated their interest in strengthening cooperation and coordination to address the structural challenges of migration in the region.

This is one of the nine declarations adopted at the eighth Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), held in St Vincent and the Grenadines last Friday and released today.

The leaders said that they are aware that the Latin America and Caribbean region is experiencing increasing migratory flows involving all countries in the region at different stages of the migratory journey and to a large number of people who, for various reasons, live outside of the country of their birth.

“It is an obligation and responsibility to continue to highlight the positive impact of migration in our countries,” they said, noting that at their last summit in Argentina last year, the grouping reaffirmed the need to continue addressing the multidimensional causes of migration to advance in a regional agenda for better managing the international migration in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“We reiterate our interest in strengthening cooperation and coordination to address the structural challenges of migration in the region and its relationship with sustainable development, as well as achieving safe, orderly and regular migration jointly managed between the countries of origin…and their respective voluntary return based on full respect and promotion of the human rights of migrants,” the leaders said.

They said that the region must move forward with a “coordinated and concerted agenda among the countries of origin, transit and destination, which includes risks related to migratory flows such as trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling”.

“Which is why we highlight the need to apply measures for prevention, combat, persecution, judicialization and protection of victims of trafficking in persons, especially women and children, ensuring access to justice and the guarantee of their rights, creating spaces and conditions for their security,” according to the declaration.

CELAC has also expressed a commitment to combatting racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and related intolerance against migrants and promoting their full integration into host countries.

“In the context of regional consultative processes, we call for the promotion of open, inclusive, and transparent dialogue on migration matters in accordance with national legislation and to coordinate and articulate the work carried out in all of them to maximize resources and not to duplicate efforts,” the leaders said.

The other declarations deal with the situation in the Gaza, disaster risk management, the fight against terrorism and an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba.

The leaders said regarding Cuba, they were calling on the Pro Tempore Presidency of CELAC to contact the government of the United States and the Secretary General of the United Nations, “in order to convey the unanimous position of the Community against this policy and to contribute to the implementation of the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, as well as to denounce this illegal and inhuman policy in all possible regional and multilateral scenarios”.