Declaration General Committee Vote

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On March 26, 2015, the draft of the Declaration of Basseterre as written by the Preparatory Committee was presented to the General Committee for debate. The Declaration now entitled “Declaration on the Multilateral Cooperation of the Western Hemisphere States on Migration and Development” aims to address migration as a key issue facing the region giving particular attention to human rights, as well as youth who account for forty per cent of the global population.

The review process proceeded smoothly with only two motions to amend the draft resolutions ahead of its presentation in the plenary session of the General Assembly. This included an ardent attempt by the delegate from Canada to amend Resolve 3 in such a way that it would put more emphasis on the return of nationals to their home territories after educational or professional training abroad. Mexico’s objection to the proposal was based on the idea that such a change would infringe on the internal management of member states. Although Colombia disagreed with Mexico’s assessment, no support was offered to Canada’s rephrasing. The amendment was denied when only Canada voted in favour of the change.

While Mexico raised a question concerning the implementation of Resolve 10 which seek “to promote the growth of the national economy, establishing and enhancing opportunities within society via infrastructural development,” it was agreed that such a degree of specificity was not required of the Declaration.

Before the Declaration was passed, a final motion to amend Resolve 14 was put forward by the delegate from St. Kitts-Nevis. The amendment passed without contest and the resolve now indicates that the Department of Financial and Administrative Management will handle “voluntary contributions of member states, international donors and civil society.” Following these changes the Declaration passed by consensus at the General Committee and will move on to be presented at the General Assembly.

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