Leaders attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) yesterday adopted the 'New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants', expressing political will to address relevant issues involving such groups and share responsibility for large movements on a global scale.
UNGA president Peter Thomson said he would take forward the commitment of the membership to begin a process leading to a global compact on migration as well as to support a global compact on refugees.
By adopting the declaration, member states are making bold commitments, including to start negotiations leading to an international conference and the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018.
They also eye developing guidelines on the treatment of migrants in vulnerable situations.
Another objective is to achieve a more equitable sharing of the burden and responsibility for hosting and supporting the world's refugees by adopting a global compact on refugees in two years' time.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi represented Malaysia at the UN high-level summit to address large movements of refugees and migrants, with the aim of bringing countries together behind a more humane and coordinated approach.
As called for in the declaration, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon also launched a new campaign called 'Together - Respect, Safety and Dignity for All' to respond to rising xenophobia.
Also on Monday, Ban and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) director-general William Lacy Swing inked a new agreement by which IOM became a related organisation of the UN, thus strengthening the comprehensive global approach to migration.