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Statement of Ambassador Li Li, Leader of the Chinese Delegation and Chinese Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco,At the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact For Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration
Marrakech, 11 December 2018

   Mr. President,

   At the outset, I would like to offer my congratulations on the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration and express my sincere gratitude to the Government of Morocco for the sound organization of this meeting. I believe this conference will be a great contribution to strengthening global governance of migration.

   In today's era of globalization, orderly migration flows help stimulate vitality for innovation, promote economic development and global inclusive growth, and enhance mutual understanding and cultural integration among nations. Meanwhile, one should also realize that irregular migration flows without effective governance may breed organized transnational crime and increase pressure on and challenges to countries in border control and societal governance. The protection of migrants' own rights and interests is also often under threat. We need to strengthen global governance in the field of migration to bring about safe, orderly and regular migration.

   The Global Compact for Migration is the first global document for the coordinatedresolution ofthe migration issue in all its dimensions. Member states had extensive and in-depth dialogue during the intergovernmental negotiations. On balance, the Global Compact reflects the greatest common denominator oftheMember States as it accommodates the positions and propositions of both countries of origin and countries of destination. China supports the member states in pursuing the path of multilateralism and responding to global problems through international cooperation. The adoption of the Compact at this Conference marks an important step forward inthe global governance of migration.

   Mr. President,

   On global migration governance, China would like to stress the following four points:

   First, upholding the principle of respect fornationalsovereignty. The principle of sovereignty of states should form the basis of migration governance. The migration issue is closely linked with border control and societal governance. Just as countries vary greatly in the stages of their economic and social development, they face different situations in migration as well. Global migration governance should be based on full respect for national sovereignty. Each country has the right to develop its own laws and policies on migration, and deal with migration matters in areas such as employment, medical service, education and social welfare in light of its own national conditions. China welcomes the reaffirmation in the Global Compact for Migration the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the clear inclusion of the principle of respect fornational sovereignty as a guiding principle.

   Second, achieving safe, orderly and regular migration flows. China advocates regularization of migration flows and active efforts to meet the legitimate aspirations of regular immigrants for employment, education and health care,among others, to protect the legitimate rights and interests of vulnerable migrant groups, and eliminate the discrimination and exclusion of migrants. Countries should, in accordance with their domestic laws, relevant international law and humanitarian principles, properly address the issue of irregular migration andbolster cross-border law enforcement and security cooperation against smuggling and human trafficking. Since migrants and refugees fall under different legal categories, the non-refoulement principle should not be applied to migration issues.

   Third, strengthening governance by persisting in tackling the root causes. Underdevelopment and unbalanced development are the main drivers of migration.Ultimately, solutions to the problems resulting from underdevelopment can only be achieved through development. The international community should comprehensively implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the target of promoting orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and population movement. China supports strengthening international cooperation for development to help origin countries of migration to develop their economies, improve people's livelihoods and enhance capacity building in areas such as immigration administration, disaster relief and mitigation, and response to climate change. The Member States should promote the in-depth participation of migrants in inclusive socio-economic development and give full play to their positive role in promoting development.

   Fourth, keeping cooperation as the major means for implementing the Global Compact. As migrants cross national borders, orderly migration flows require close cooperation among states. Unilateralism is not the solution, not to speak ofthe politicization of migration as an option. China proposes that both origin and destination countries of migration should increase their political will, step upvirtuous interactions, continue to build up political mutual trust and jointly respond to the opportunities and challenges brought up by migration. The Global Compact for Migration is non-legally binding, but it provides an important framework for international cooperation on migration. Countries should implement the Global Compact within the existing framework of international law and on the basis of the principle of voluntariness. For the follow-up implementation and review of the Compact, it would be inadvisable to have compulsory targets or a set timeline. China supports the leading role of the United Nations in international migration affairs and looks forward to the newly-founded UN Migration Network's effective integration of resources and its strengthening of coordination and cooperation with the regional and sub-regional consultation processes on migration matters toprovide strong support for the Member States in their voluntary implementation of the Global Compact.

   Mr. President,

   China always advocates taking an open, inclusive, impartial and comprehensive approach to migration,and recognizing the positive role of migration in promoting social and cultural exchanges and in economic development. In recent years, the Chinese Government has continued to take positive measures in border entry/exit control andin consular protection of overseas Chinese. China will furtherimproveits migration and entry/exitcontrol, facilitate international exchanges and effectively safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of migrants so that they become participants in, contributors to and beneficiaries of sustainable development. China participated in the intergovernmental negotiations on the Global Compact for Migration in a comprehensive and in-depth manner, and made contributions to forging consensus among the parties. The guiding principles advocated in the Global Compact, such as respect for national sovereignty, being people-oriented, rule of law anddue process, and sustainable development are in line with China's basic strategy fornational development. In light of its national realities and in keeping with its obligations under international law, China will draw on the practices cited in the Global Compact for Migration and explore ways to establish a well-regulated system for migration service and administrationto maximize the positive role of migrants. China will continue to deepen its reform and opening-up, contribute to creating a safe, orderly and regular international migration environment, and work with all other countries to build a community of shared future for mankind.

   Thank you, Mr. President.


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