‘Caught between a rock and a hard place’ is the expression (and Stones song) that comes to mind having visited Marrakesh recently.
Until a few months before the adoption of the (now notorious) UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, quiet diplomacy and technical discussions guided its development process. At the time of the first meeting of WHO’s International Platform on Health Worker Mobility in September 2018, the Global Compact for Migration was still largely uncontroversial. Then, however, things changed quickly (and for the worse), as the debate and framing were hijacked by right-wing populist parties in several countries. Suddenly the Compact, intended as a framework for guiding dialogue and cooperation between countries about ‘safe, orderly and regular migration’ was framed as the main gateway for migrants entering Europe and The United States of America. That was the international backdrop as we arrived in Morocco, a few days before the adoption of the Compact.
Authors: Linda Mans & Remco van de Pas