New York – On the International Migrants Day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres says migrats are “powerful drivers of economic growth, dynamism and understanding.”

In a message to mark the day, observed every year on Dec. 18, Guterres, explained that migration allowed millions to seek new opportunities that benefitted communities of origin and destination alike.

The theme for this year’s celebration is Migration with Dignity.

Guterres, however, pointed out “when poorly regulated, migration can intensify divisions within and between societies, expose people to exploitation and abuse, and undermine faith in government.”

“This month, the world took a landmark step forward with the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” he said, referring to the first-ever UN global agreement on a common approach to international migration.

“Backed with overwhelming support by the membership of the United Nations, the Compact will help us to address the real challenges of migration while reaping its many benefits,” he said, calling the Compact “people-centered and rooted in human rights.”

Guterres stressed that the Compact “points the way toward more legal opportunities for migration and stronger action to crack down on human trafficking.”

“On International Migrants Day, let us take the path provided by the Global Compact: to make migration work for all,” he said.

On Sept. 19, 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted a set of commitments during its first ever ‘Summit on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants’ for their protection.

These commitments, known as the ‘New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants’, reaffirmed the importance of the international protection regime and represented a commitment by Member States to strengthen and enhance mechanisms to protect people on the move and paved the way for the landmark Compact.

UN said in 2018, close to 3,400 migrants and refugees already have lost their lives worldwide. (NAN)

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