Remarks by Mr. Ke Yousheng on the Review of progress and challenges with regard to implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Asia and the Pacific

Dear Chair, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and gentlemen,

In 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Global Compact on Migration. This is the first global document of the international community to coordinate and resolve migration issues in an all-round way, and provides a framework for global cooperation to promote safe, orderly, and regular migration.

Migration has become one of the most distinctive characteristics of our times. It is estimated that, as of 2019, the Asia-Pacific region had 107 million migrants, accounting for about 40% of the total global number, and the remittances from labor migrants to Asia-Pacific countries has exceeded 327 billion U.S. dollars.

By working, consuming and paying tax, migrants have made important contributions to the sustainable development of destination countries. At the same time, migrants, including women, children, the disabled, and ethnic groups, are still facing many difficulties and challenges, and their human rights are facing threats of violations. COVID-19 threatens migrants' lives, health, jobs and livelihood. The international community needs urgently to unite and build consensus, and coordinated response. China would like to make the following recommendations:

1. Resolutely oppose discrimination and hatred against immigrants. In the context of the pandemic, cases of hatred against immigrants, especially Asian immigrants, are more frequent. International community should take a clear-cut stand against using the pandemic to incite racial discrimination and hatred, and we should pay more attention to protecting the legal rights of immigrants, and a fair and good living environment should be created for them.

2. Give full play to the positive role of migrants in “build back better”. Source countries, transit countries, and destination countries should strengthen coordination and do a good job in the sanitation and pandemic prevention for migrants. Prevent the pandemic from cross-border spreading. We should assist immigrants to return to work, and fully unlock the potential of migrants for economic and social development.

3. Strengthen international cooperation to jointly deal with migration issues. Countries should firmly defend the international order based on international law, firmly uphold the United Nations as its core multilateral system to strengthen the leadership and coordination of the International Organization for Migration in global migration affairs. All countries should uphold the spirit of shared destiny and international solidarity to help developing countries to fight the pandemic and resume work and production, reduce the occurrence of forced migration and irregular migration.

4. Continuously improve the global governance of migration issues. Countries need to implement the GCM in accordance with the principles of respecting sovereignty and national conditions. China hopes that the International Organization for Migration can support the implementation of GCM by providing policy guidance and on-site support to strengthen the regional and sub-regional consultation mechanisms of migration at the national, regional and global levels, to form a global governance system that supports and complements each other.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Chinese government sets its goal as to “promote friendly exchanges between Chinese and the people of other countries and promote a more safe, prosperous and harmonious world”. We have done a lot of outstanding work in the implementation of the “GCM":

1. Persist in promoting openness, open services, guaranteeing openness, and continuously improving migrants’ service level. In April 2018, China established the National Immigration Administration to promote the level of professionalization and internationalization of migration management with Chinese characteristics. China facilitates foreigners to work, study and live, start business and invest in China, and introduced a number of immigration and entry-exit facilitation measures, improve the level of foreigner management, and set up the immigration interactive platform. In 2019, there were approximately 670 million Chinese entry-exit person times, with a year-on-year increase

of 3.8%.

2. Adhere to the principle of "people-oriented" and protect the legal rights and interests of migrants in accordance with the law. China continues to improve migration service management and border control measures, and correctly distinguish between legal migrants and irregular migrants, the lawful rights and interests of migrants shall also be protected. As of now, China has signed 49 bilateral consular treaties or agreements with other countries. In practice, China has always carried out law enforcement actions in accordance with international law, humanitarian principles and national sovereignty and security.

3. Adhere to the principle of life first and ensure the health of migrants in the context of pandemic prevention and control. China attaches great importance to the life, health and safety of foreigners in China, and consolidates the pandemic prevention work. Promptly launch a stay and residence facilitation policy to guarantee the foreigners’ reasonable demand to stay in China. Make every effort to provide undifferentiated medical observations for foreigners during the pandemic, treat them equally and guide them to prevent pandemics in a scientific and reasonable manner and in accordance with laws and regulations.

4. Persist in building a community with a shared future for mankind, and continue to expand international cooperation on migration. China actively participates in the "Global Migration and Development" forum, the Bali process, the Colombo Process, the United Nations Migration Network Annual Conference and other multilateral and regional cooperation mechanism to carry out dialogue projects in the field of migration with the International Organization for Migration, the European Union, etc. Under the framework of the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, provide assistance to tripartite migration cooperation projects , etc.

China wishes that the Asia-Pacific countries will take this conference as an opportunity to discuss their migration management experience, provide advice and suggestions for the better implementation of the “GCM" globally, and jointly promote the safe, orderly, and regular flow of global migrants.

Thank you.