Statement by India made during the 5th round of formal consultations on the Global compact on Refugees - Delivered by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary on 13 June 2018

Statement by India made during the 5th round of formal consultations on the Global compact on Refugees - Delivered by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary on 13 June 2018

Thank you Mr. Chair.

2. The delegation of India would like to thank the office for preparing the third draft of the Global Compact on Refugees and organizing these consultations.

3. While we continue to examine the text of the draft due to its submission a week ago and in light of the ongoing consultations, we wish to make this combined statement covering all agenda items, at this stage, conveying our general comments. We intend to submit a more detailed written contribution in due course

4. We appreciate the progressive enrichment and balancing of the text of the Compact by the Secretariat, by incorporating the varied views expressed by Member States and other stakeholders in the previous rounds of consultations, through an iterative process. We request the Secretariat to continue this process and to also further simplify the text of the Compact to enable a better understanding of its substance by all stakeholders, especially the refugees.

5. In addition, the text could possibly be more explicit in stating that:

  • The central objective of the Compact is to respond to large movements of refugees and protracted refugee situations and to ease the related burden of the host countries in most need of international support in the spirit of solidarity;
  • The national ownership of the implementation process and related capacity building and the provisioning of the requisite means and support by the international community would be critical to humanitarian action under the compact;
  • Both the implementation and follow-up of the compact would be in keeping with its apolitical and legally non-binding nature.
  • And the catalytic and supportive role of UNHCR would be consistent with its mandate on refugees.
  • These elements could be better reflected in the introduction of the compact.

6. Further, the international obligations of States party to the international refugee instruments differ from those not party and the contributions expected of and made by Member States under the Compact would be consistent with their obligations under international law. We would recommend the inclusion of this in or after para 6 of the introduction.

7. As the compact concerns itself with refugees as defined and agreed in international law, we would not support direct or indirect references to forced or internal displacements in the text of the compact. These issues clearly fall within the responsibility of the Member States concerned. Needless to state that the role played by international humanitarian actors in such contexts should only be with the consent and at the request of a State.

8. We suggest that all references to non-universally agreed documents in the text or footnotes be considered for removal.

9. As regards the follow-up and review of the Compact, an essential pre-condition would be its effective implementation with genuine international support.

10. Any measurement of the impact of the compact vis-à-vis its four broad objectives should be through a voluntary, transparent, inclusive, apolitical and consensual process and the results and outcomes of this process must aim at fostering necessary international support and partnerships in the spirit of international cooperation and solidarity.

11. This being the penultimate round of formal consultations with the last round being only a few weeks away, we wish to know from the Secretariat how it envisages the eventual and consensual final adoption of the non-negotiated text of the Compact, in terms of procedure, should differences remain after the conclusion of the sixth and last round.

12. 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 our continued constructive engagement with all stakeholders for realization of our shared agenda.

Thank you.

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