Opening Statement by India made during the fourth round of formal consultations on the Global compact on Refugees - Delivered by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary (Geneva, Switzerland, 8-10 May 2018)

Opening Statement by India made during the fourth round of formal consultations on the Global compact on Refugees - Delivered by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary

(Geneva, Switzerland, 8-10 May 2018)

Thank you Mr. Chair.

2. The delegation of India would like to thank the office for preparing the second draft of the Global compact on Refugees and organizing these consultations. The presence of the High Commisioner in this round of formal consultations is appreciated and the brief summarizing the main changes in the text, submitted by the office, is welcome.

3. While we continue to examine the text of the second draft due to it submission only a week ago and in light of the ongoing consultations, we have the following general comments and suggestions and, specifically, on Agenda item 1 (Part 1 – Introduction) to offer at this stage. 

  1. The process of negotiations on the text of the Compact must be Member-State led and driven. The secretariat must offer all necessary and requested support in this process to make it inclusive, participative and transparent. Only this would help in ensuring the ownership of a legally non-binding outcome and its effective operationalization for bringing about a genuine sharing of burden and responsibility in the spirit of international solidarity.
  2. We must remember that the primary purpose of the Global compact is to respond to large movements of refugees and to ease the related burden of the host countries in most need of international support.
  3. The Compact must be operationalized through voluntary and dedicated contributions by Member States according to not merely their respective realities, capacities and levels of development as mentioned in Para 4 but also in a manner that is consistent with State’s rights and obligations under international law and their own legislations and taking into account their different national priorities, including those related to development and security;
  4. The text of the Compact could be further progressively simplified to help a better understanding of its substance by all stakeholders, particularly the refugees. The reduction in number of footnotes is appreciated. We do not support reference in the compact to any document or set of principles or rules that are not endorsed by the majority including ourselves.
  5. The ‘Grand bargain’ commitments related to funding and strengthening of the institutional capacity of local responders among other, as endorsed by UNHCR, must be retained.

These could be reflected in the ‘Guiding principles’, as appropriate. 

4. More than 4/5th of the world refugees continue to be hosted by developing countries which have constraints in terms of capacity and resource as well as pressing priorities and challenges, relating to both security and development. Some of them are not party to the international refugee law. Yet they host a large number of refugees and face protracted refugee situations. The recognition of the contribution of non-party States in Para 6 is welcome.

5. Lastly, I take this opportunity to renew the commitment of India, a generous host to and not a source of refugees, for the protection of refugees and cooperation with the international community. We look forward to a positive and mutually beneficial outcome through constructive engagement.

Thank you.

08 May 2018

 
Refugees
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