IOM Deputy Director General Commends South America’s Contribution to the Global Compact for Migration


Montevideo – Representatives of 10 South American governments met this week in Montevideo, Uruguay, at the 17th South American Conference on Migration (SACM), which was opened this week (14/11) by IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson and the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay Ambassador Ariel Bergamino.

The Conference, which ended Thursday (16/11), brought delegations from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. This year’s theme: “The inclusion and integration of migrants beyond territorial borders”.

The SACM is the main regional forum for consultation and non-binding governmental dialogue on migration in South America and one of the 18 Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs) in the world.

Referring to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration at the opening of the event, Ambassador Thompson emphasized that the SACM has made a very important contribution to the process and affirmed the importance of the Lima Declaration, recently approved during the 12th meeting inter-sessional of the SACM that took place in Peru.

“The Lima Declaration is consistent with the principles and history of the SACM and highlights with absolute clarity the need for the Global Compact to have a focus on the Human Rights of migrants,” Ambassador Thompson said.

Ambassador Thompson also commended the practices of the South American region such as the Resident Agreement of the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR), through which more than two million temporary and permanent residences have been granted to South American citizens since 2009; as well as the instruments of free transit issued by the Andean Community of Nations and, more recently, agreements on free mobility adopted by the Pacific Alliance.

Ambassador Bergamino said: “It is our obligation to work to guarantee the rights of our nationals, regardless of the time and place of residence. The inclusion and integration of migrants beyond territorial borders should be a commitment of all the countries of the continent.”

The SACM focused on thematic areas that included the Human Rights of migrants, migration and South American integration, the strengthening of migration governance and the international projection of the South American region.

IOM, as the Technical Secretariat of the Conference, presented its report to the government delegations, which included information on the Secretariat's contributions to the SACM in the administrative, programmatic and technical cooperation areas, during the past year.

Also participating in the SACM were the Deputy Minister of Salvadorans Abroad, Liduvina Magarín (current Presidency of the Regional Conference on Migration), representatives of the Red Cross and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, several observer and civil society organizations.

At the closure of the SACM, the member countries adopted the ‘Declaration of Montevideo’, a document that includes the conclusions and commitments undertaken related to migration in the region.

For further information, please contact Juliana Quintero at the IOM Regional Office in Buenos Aires, Tel. + (54) 11 32488134, Email:

  • Government Officials meeting at the XVII South American Conference on Migration in Montevideo, Uruguay. Photo: Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2017