Statement at the Informal meeting of the Plenary to hear a briefing on the report of the Secretary-General on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly

Marta Youth
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration
New York, New York
February 16, 2022

Statement at the Informal meeting of the Plenary to hear a briefing on the report of the Secretary-General on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration


Madame Moderator, Director General, thank you for bringing us together in advance of the first IMRF in May. As the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration acknowledges, no State can address migration alone.

As we announced in December, in our revised national statement, the United States supports the vision of the GCM.  We are committed to working collaboratively with other countries to enhance cooperation to manage migration in ways that are grounded in human rights, transparency, nondiscrimination, responsibility-sharing, and State sovereignty.

Allow me to use this opportunity to highlight the tremendous positive contributions of migrants. In the United States we benefit immensely from the millions of people who arrive on our shores to study, work, and build new lives. Migrants increase economic prosperity, spur innovation, and enrich culture all over the globe.

Yet, we have all witnessed the thousands of lives lost and the tremendous hardships faced by irregular migrants who embark on dangerous journeys, whether across perilous oceans and seas or unforgiving land borders. Transnational criminal organizations, smugglers, traffickers, and unscrupulous employers continue to prey on vulnerable migrants. The COVID-19 pandemic compounded the risks of irregular migration while increasingly the effects of the climate crisis are driving mass displacement.

When Secretary Blinken met with counterparts in Colombia last year, he noted “for all of these reasons, the problem as it stands now is unsustainable.  We have to address it quickly before it grows more overwhelming.  And we have to address it sustainably.”

The United States is already engaged in actions consistent with the principles and objectives of the GCM. The Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive approach to migration prioritizes humanitarian responses, collaborative and humane migration management, and efforts to address the root causes of migration over the long term. It is a whole of government effort to promote safe, orderly and humane migration.

There is no one single action that will resolve the migration challenges in front of us. Instead, together we must engage on a range of solutions, we must prepare for and respond to the effects of the climate crisis, and we must address the root causes of migration. That also includes finding durable solutions for internally displaced persons and strengthening protection and resilience for other marginalized communities to prevent displacement.

Our collective success rests on collaboration between States, civil society, the private sector, and international partners like IOM, ILO, and other UN agencies. We support the ambition of the GCM to address these challenges. We look forward to bringing a delegation to the IMRF in May to discuss more fully how together we can find humane and innovative solutions to current and future migration challenges and opportunities.