9 July 2018, GENEVA – On 9 July 2018, the Geneva-based co-signatories of the Geneva Declaration entitled “Mobility and human solidarity, a challenge and an opportunity for Europe and the MENA region” were received by the UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Mr. Volker Türk.

The meeting – held at the UNHCR HQ in Geneva - served as an opportunity to present the added value of the Geneva Declaration to the consultations and negotiations on issues addressed in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the Global Compact on Refugees as well as the zero draft on migration.

During the meeting, the Geneva Centre’s Executive Director Ambassador Idriss Jazairy – who headed the delegation – informed Mr. Türk about the endeavours of the co-signatories of the Geneva Declaration to endorse the view that mobility can become the driving-force of social progress, emancipation and sustainable development. Ambassador Jazairy said:

“The aim of the Geneva Declaration is to highlight that States and decision-makers in the Arab region and the West are morally and legally bound to enhance human mobility. It calls upon international decision-makers to uphold the view that global human mobility can become the driving force of social progress through the adoption of a Global Charter on mobility.

“It is our concerted opinion that decision-makers must consider global human mobility as a human right, and not just as an issue of protection. Selective compassion and selective mercy for people on the move must not be allowed to prevail. The Geneva Declaration is a strong call to action in this regard.”

Mr. Volker Türk, who serves as the focal point for the Global Compact on Refugees, commended the Geneva Declaration and noted that both Global Compacts, on migration and on refugees, had been influenced by the Declaration, and that numerous ideas contained in the latter where echoed in the Compacts as well.

Referring to the current situation of migrants and refugees worldwide, Mr. Türk remarked that: “I consider that the attitudes that are hostile to people on the move that we are seeing today in many countries constitute an aberration, because there is no major city in the world that is not multicultural, multi-religious, multi-ethnic. These views are absurd and are based on realities that do not exist. The future will lie in multiculturalism and diversity, because this is what humanity is about.”

The delegation - that represented the co-signatories of the Geneva Declaration - was composed of the following representatives:

  • (1) Ambassador Idriss Jazairy, Executive Director of the Geneva Centre;
  • (2) Ambassador Marie-Thérèse Pictet-Althann, Permanent Observer of the Sovereign Order of Malta to UN Geneva;
  • (3) Dr. Ibrahima Guisse, CEO of Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme;
  • (4) Ms. Ngoneh Panneh, Founder and President of Citizens United Switzerland.

The Geneva Declaration on human solidarity and migration was adopted on 18 December 2017 as an outcome to the 14 December 2017 panel debate entitled “Migration and human solidarity: A challenge and an opportunity for Europe and the MENA region”, which was held at the United Nations Office at Geneva.  

The declaration has been signed and endorsed by high-level representatives from the Geneva Centre, the Norwegian Refugee Council, the International Catholic Migration Commission, the Sovereign Order of Malta, the European Centre for Peace and Development, the European Public Law Organization, the Global Cooperation Council, the International Press Syndicate, the African Centre Against Torture, Webster University, Citizens United Switzerland, the Dominican Order, the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development, Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme, the Cameroon Network of Human Rights Organizations, Jeunesse-Enfance-Migration-Développement, the Arab Italian Centre for the Mediterranean, Solidascension and the Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organisation.

An electronic copy of the declaration can be downloaded at: https://bit.ly/2MRE5rR


About the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue

The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, an organization with special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, is a think tank dedicated to the promotion of human rights through cross-cultural, religious and civilizational dialogue between the Global North and Global South, and through training of the upcoming generations of stakeholders in the Arab region. Its aim is to act as a platform for dialogue between a variety of stakeholders involved in the promotion and protection of human rights.



Blerim Mustafa

Junior project and communications officer

Email: bmustafa@gchragd.org

Phone number: +41 (0) 22 748 27 95

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