Global action is needed to streamline pandemic travel measures.

Posted on May 24, 2022 by

The governments of various Countries must find consensus on straightforward, equitable, and streamlined COVID-19 pandemic travel measures, António Vitorino and Andrew Selee claimed. António Vitorino is the director-general of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), while Andrew Selee is the president of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI).

Both these organizations are working to improve international migration. They met during an event on the sidelines of the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York.

They further called for charting a course that can balance health security with predictable cross-border movement.

Inaction on this score will affect future migration dynamics and equitable COVID-19 pandemic recovery, they added. The representatives from various governments and non-governmental partners also attended the side event. It was organized by  International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Migration Policy Institute (MPI), together with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Despite their dramatically different contexts for migration and mobility, the participants agreed that there is a particular need to harmonize their approaches, build out the digital and physical infrastructure of border management, and increase public funding for border crossings.

Mr. Vitorino and Mr. Selee were among participants who have voiced support for establishing a Member State-led Group of various Friends to discuss cross-border mobility and pandemic preparedness.

The move would also complement and support the ongoing review of the International Health Regulations (IHR), which govern preparedness and response to health emergencies and negotiations towards a new pandemic treaty.

“Without this common endeavor, there is an increasing risk that future migration will become even more fragmented, accentuating the already evident signs of a two-speed recovery from COVID-19 that leaves less developed countries behind,” asserted Mr. Vitorino.

“This, in turn, will stall future economic and social development that could otherwise be accelerated through well-managed migration,” he claimed.

Mr. Selee noted that while there is currently;y an overall trend towards re-opening for travel, the process has continued to be highly uneven, unequal, and uncoordinated.

“We lack common standards for requirements like testing, common tools to prove vaccination status across borders, and a common understanding of what works to manage public health risks at the border,” he added.

This side event was held as part of the migration review forum, concluding at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

The four-day meeting was held to take stock of progress towards implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, adopted by various governments in December 2018.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) promotes humane and orderly migration and works closely with various state governments and partners on the issue.

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) aims to improve various state governments’ immigration and integration policies, including high-quality and authoritative research and analysis.

International migration has suffered a lot during the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. The families have got separated, and students were struck in foreign countries with no money, among other issues. Internal migration suffered too. The COVID-19 pandemic saw the deaths of several internal migrants as they tried to return to their homes during the lockdown imposed by the union government of India.

Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine has created another spur of international migration, and the two organizations are working to ease the migration of people stuck in Ukraine. The governments of various countries have already brought their citizens back to their own countries.

International organizations are now making these efforts to ensure that migrants should not get deprived of fundamental human rights ever again. These two organizations are trying to work in that direction.