Global initiatives addressing migration are NOT inter-State consultation mechanisms on migration. 

They are listed here under the section on migration policy dialogue and migration governance since they are element of migration governance and since the ISCMs are engaged in supporting the implementation of many of these initiatives. 

Migration governance is the combined frameworks of legal norms, laws and regulations, policies and traditions as well as organizational structures (subnational, national, regional and international) and the relevant processes that shape and regulate States’ approaches with regard to migration in all its forms, addressing rights and responsibilities and promoting international cooperation. (IOM, Glossary on Migration 2019, 3rd Edition)

While the international migration law refers to the international normative framework on international migration, i.e. binding legal instruments or the “hard law”, global initiatives addressing migration are the quasi-legal international instruments without legally binding force (“soft law”) that either address migration in all its dimensions or certain aspects of migration and their interrelations with other domains.

Global initiatives addressing migration are distinct from the global processes on migration.  Global processes on migration are inter-State consultation mechanisms on migration at the global-level; they are ongoing forums for informal and non-binding dialogue that address a broad range of issues in regular meetings.

In contrast the global initiatives usually pursue a very concrete aim and are usually underpinned by an outcome document with specific principles and objectives, that has been agreed to, and endorsed by States, often through a process of negotiation. Global initiatives of migration can be developed through policy dialogue process on migration which is usually time bound leading as an outcome to the global initiative. 

The range of global initiatives reflects the ongoing and increasing importance of migration in the international policy agenda. While many initiatives were launched in response to other thematic concerns, such as development, the environment and humanitarian action, they reflect migration as an integral component of these concerns. Over time, and as migration became more and more prominent in the global policy agenda, it has become itself the primary theme of some of these initiatives. 

A non-comprehensive listing of global initiatives addressing migration

I.    Global initiatives addressing all dimensions of migration

New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (UN GA Resolution A/71/1 of 3 October 2016).  For more information please refer to; Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (UN GA Resolution A/RES/73/195 of 19 December 2018 ).  The global compact is the first intergovernmentally negotiated agreement cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.  For more information about the global compact for migration please refer to; and 

II.    Global initiatives addressing refugees

The Global compact on refugees (UN GA A/73/12 (Part II) of 13 September 2018 “Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Part II. Global compact on refugees”).  For more information please refer to the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (“Bringing the New York Declaration to Life: Applying the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework,” 2018).  For more information please refer to 

III.    Global initiatives addressing migration and development

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN GA Resolution A/RES/70/1 of 21 October 2015 “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”).  For more information please refer to  Addis Ababa Action Agenda (UN GA A/CONF.227/L.1 “Outcome document of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development: Addis Ababa Action Agenda”, 13 - 16 July 2015). For more information please visit and 

IV.    Global initiatives addressing migration in crisis setting 

The Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) Initiative (“Guidelines to Protect Migrants in Countries Experiencing Conflict or Natural Disaster”, 2016). For more information please visit the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (UN GA Resolution A/RES/69/283 of 23 June 2015 “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030”). For more information please visit: 

V.    Global initiatives addressing humanitarian action in support of migration: 

The Grand Bargain- A Shared Commitment to Better Serve People in Need (2016). For more information please refer to 

VI.    Global initiatives addressing migration and urbanization 

VII.    Global initiatives addressing environment, climate change and migration

Nansen Initiative’s Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change (2015). For more information refer to  The Paris Agreement (FCCC/P/2015/L.9/Rev.1 of 12 December 2015 “Adoption Of The Paris Agreement”). For more information refer to and  the New Urban Agenda (UN GA Resolution A/RES/71/256 of 23 December 2016 “New Urban Agenda”). For more information please refer to

VIII.    Global initiatives addressing labour migration

The ILO Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration (2006). For more information please refer to and

Related Links

Online Repository of ISCM Materials

ISCMs and the Global Compact for Migration

ISCMs and the 2030 Agenda

  • Sixth Global RCP Meeting Background Note (2016)
  • Migration and the Sustainable Development Goals: the Role of Inter-State Consultation Mechanisms on Migration and of Regional Economic Organizations. Summary Report of the Sixth Global RCP Meeting (GRCP 6) (2016) [EN ]

ISCMs and the MICIC Initiative