New York, 22 May 2022 (TDI): Countries must find consensus on streamlined pandemic travel measures and guidelines, emphasized the Director-General of International Organization for Migration (OIM), Antonio Vitorino, and President of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), Andrew Selee. They said this at the side event on ‘Preparedness for the Next Pandemic: Towards a Resilient Global Architecture on Borders and Health’ at the UN Headquarters.

The joint statement read that inaction would only affect future migration and equitable pandemic recovery.

Earlier, Representative IOM and MPI also supported the establishment of a Member State-led Group of Friends for discussing cross-border mobility during pandemic Covid-19 and voiced preparedness measures.

Event highlights

The event on the sidelines of the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), jointly organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), was a part of the migration review forum. Multiple Governments and non-governmental stakeholders attended the event. The participants agreed on harmonizing approaches and enhancing border management’s digital and physical infrastructure financing.

The panel also agreed to increase public funding for multiple governments’ border crossings. The four-meeting aimed to measure progress towards implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regulated Migration. Member states adopted this compact in 2018.

Impacts of global pandemic measures

Implementing standard and streamlined pandemic travel measures across counties would support the ongoing review of the International Health Regulations (IHR), focusing on response and Preparedness to health emergencies. It would facilitate negotiations toward a 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,” remarked Vitorino.  He emphasized the management of migration measures to secure economic and social development in the future.

Lack of Standards and procedures

President MPI highlighted unequal, uncoordinated, and uneven measures of reopening travel measures in the countries.

“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 said.