The young people had developed the declaration at a meeting held at Colegio Mayor Padre Poveda, Madrid, a few days prior to the UN meeting, after having studied the subject. While Patricia Stockton made the presentation at the United Nations session, they remained excited at Santa Maria de los Negrales Center, where they concluded their meetings. It was very significant to be part of the moment in which their work reached world-wide level and it was a voice of civil society before the UN.
Account of the presentation (A video may be seen at the bottom of the page)
It is Wednesday July the 26th, 2017, 12:07 noon time… The Moderator calls: “Teresian Association” (TA)… The TA has been called to take the floor at the Multi-stakeholder hearing of the United Nation’s preparatory process for the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. Patricia Stockton, TA representative at the UN takes the floor:
"My name is Patricia Stockton and I am here representing the Teresian Association – a Catholic international association dedicated to education and culture which is present in 33 countries. I bring with me a statement which is the product of the work of a group of 40 young adults, ages 21 to 29 from many countries: Italy, Spain, Nigeria, France, Portugal, Syria, Venezuela, etc. who are now gathered in Madrid Spain studying the Global Compact on Migration.
This is their statement:
Migration could be evolution. Safe, orderly, and regular migration paves the way for economic, cultural and political development.
The economic impact of migrants is both controversial and misunderstood. In fact, migrants have the potential to increase wellbeing of both host and sending countries. In the former, migrants help address labor market imbalances, and lead to the “creative destruction” of old professions in favor of the new. They stimulate demand and enhance human capital, contributing to long term inclusive economic growth. Migration works towards ensuring public welfare, especially in countries with declining fertility rates where they aid dependency ratio and address unbalanced transfers of pensions. They boost international trade, by providing new connections and ways of working, thus facilitating business and economic integration. In sending countries, remittances alleviate poverty and improve living standards. When human capital flows back, it brings with it skills, know-how and state of the art innovations, which foster sustainable development.
Migration can culturally improve our societies. The influx of young people into ageing populations makes them more active, creative and dynamic. However, as they embark upon their journey, they leave severe imbalances behind. Migrants bring enriching perspectives generating valuable knowledge in the process. This should be shared so that their transformative potential can be realized both at home and abroad. They force nations into moral introspection, challenging domestic fears and prejudices, and galvanizing the importance of human rights. Migration reshapes identities and create an international culture. Yet this should not come at the expense of the local, which constitutes people’s individuality. Sincere integration is imperative towards building a global community that can tackle common problems.
Embracing migrants, and addressing the root causes behind their journey, builds a safer, stronger and fairer international community. The fight against climate change, terror or poverty benefits us all, sending and host countries alike. Joint action and genuine leadership on the side of governments will result in ever-stronger and more committed societies.
Let us work together so that everywhere can be a beautiful place to live in.
The statement delivered was simultaneously translated live into six different languages.
A voice from civil society
Patricia describes how she has lived this experience: “It is such an emotional moment. I feel the presence of the whole Association cheering …Pedro Poveda “ I believe therefore I spoke”…all the young adults who were so unbelievably excited and looking forward to this moment …Julia Maria Gonzalez , Berta Marco, Matet Gayondato, Aitziber Barrueta, my companions in the work of International Orgasinsms in the Teresian Association and Emma Melgarejo link of the TA Governing Council to International Organisms. All those members of the TA who have walked this path which has lead us to this moment. For the first time, the TA has been called to take the floor and deliver a statement at the United Nations.
At the end of the declaration, panel moderator Gregory Maniatis, former senior advisor to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, closed this session using Patricia’s introductory words: “We all need to be Dreamers and Doers! Thank you for your good work. Job well done!”
This moment was preceded a few days before by two very important moments, which paved the way for what followed. First of all – chronologically- it was a meeting at Principe de Vergara (Madrid) with some members of the Teresian Association who are working with immigrants in several cities in Spain and Italy, Intered, and Aman and Taiwan via Skype. Beautiful to see the commitment of these members of the TA and EDWI in support of those in the peripheries, as Pope Francis says.
Following, there was a meeting at Colegio Mayor Padre Poveda with 40 energetic and enthusiastic young adults who were convoked by the TA in partnership with EDIW. The purpose of this gathering of young adults, was to study the UN’s global compact on migration. Patricia left this meeting early so as to make it on time for the UN New York meeting and to be able to deliver their statement. Every so often she would get their calls inquiring if the Statement had been delivered.
Patricia joined Carmen Fernandez Aguinaco (TA) and Nora Setien (EDIW) in New York, to attend the fourth thematic meeting of the Global Compact on Migration: Contributions of Migrants, including remittances. In Carmen’s words: “Although the conversation centered mainly on the financial contributions of migrants, both to their countries of origin and to those of destination, many members insisted on the perhaps more intangible but no less real contributions of migrants in the form of skills and brain power. The need for countries to move towards creating the conditions that would ensure the right of people to remain in their homelands was also forcefully expressed by the Holy See representative”. Patricia highlights the German representative contribution who posed the question: “when will it be the day when people will migrate out of choice and not out of necessity” … a very enriching dialogue between civil society and government representatives.
For the first time on September 2016 Heads of State and Government came together to discuss at the global level within the UN General Assembly, issues related to migration and refugees. This sent an important political message that migration and refugee matters have become major issues in the international agenda. And thus a process has been established for ongoing discussions , mostly at the UN in New York and Geneva, to address different aspects of this complex reality. This process will culminate with the adoption of a plan to be adopted by UN Member States in September 2018. And the Teresian Association will continue to be present and to engage in this important moment in history. As Pedro Poveda says: “With our hearts and our minds in the present moment.”"Con la mente y el corazón en el momento presente".
You can see the video of this session at the UN WebTV
(Patricia Stockton's declaration, 2:22:5 min.
Closing by moderatorGregory Maniatis at 2:45:14)
EDIW is a Belgium based NGO whose mission is to empower young people to promote and foster actions and projects through education in order to build an inclusive and interdependent world.