Minister James Browne attends first UN International Migration Review Forum in New York

Minister of State at the Department of Justice James Browne represented Ireland at the UN International Migration Review Forum at the United Nations Headquarters in New York this week. The forum was convened to progress the implementation of the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which Ireland helped to facilitate in 2018.

The Global Compact is the first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, covering all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

While the document respects states’ sovereign right to determine who enters and stays in their territory, it demonstrates and articulates a shared commitment to international cooperation on migration.

Reaffirming Ireland’s commitment to the Global Compact, Minister Browne said, “International migration will continue to present challenges and opportunities into the future.

“The Global Compact provides us with a clear framework to improve the governance of migration, to address the challenges associated with today’s migration, and to strengthen the contribution of migrants and migration to sustainable development.

“Ireland will continue to support its full implementation.”

Addressing the Forum, Minister Browne recognised the unique impact that migration, both inward and outward, has had on Ireland and our history. He recognised the significant contribution of our migrant communities to supporting our economic growth, and in particular the high proportion of migrants working in the health service, whose work was vital to the effective management of the COVID-19 public health crisis.

To complement the Forum debates and meetings over the course of the review conference, Ireland hosted a side event on Thursday focussed on positive engagement with the diasporas where a Department of Justice official delivered a presentation on the Undocumented Regularisation Scheme which is open to applications up to 31 July next.

Minister Browne also set out details of the landmark once-in-a-generation Regularisation Scheme in his address to the Forum, stating, “The scheme enables those who have been living in Ireland for a specified number of years – in many cases contributing to the economy – but who may have been hindered by their undocumented status, to apply to regularise their immigration permission.

“The scheme has clear benefits for the individuals and their families, for the State itself and for their countries of origin. It was designed after listening carefully to the needs of the people affected and allows successful applicants to engage fully in Irish society, including in the labour market, with increased opportunities for labour mobility and progression.”

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