21 July 2020 - UN-Habitat's  Policy, Legislation and Governance Webinar Series

On 19 September 2016, Heads of State and Government came together at the UN General Assembly for the first time ever to discuss issues related to migration and refugees. In December 2018, following two years of intergovernmental consultations and negotiations, in December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly affirmed the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). The Global Compact for Migration is the first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations and led by IOM, covering all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. It presents a significant opportunity to improve the governance of migration, to address the challenges associated with today’s migration, and to strengthen the contribution of migrants and migration to sustainable development.

In an effort to acknowledge the wealth and contribution implied by human mobility and approach to migration and migrants from a human rights perspective, in December 2018 local governments committed in the Marrakech Mayoral Declaration to fulfill the Global Compacts for Migration (GCM) and on Refugees (GCR) in coordination with all levels of government and with all the actors engaged, building upon whole-of-government and whole-of-society principles in both compacts.

In February 2020, UN-Habitat introduced the agency’s flagship initiative on “Inclusive cities: Enhancing the positive impact of urban migration” at the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi. The flagship will advance UN-Habitat’s work on urban migration, in both development and crisis contexts, within UN-Habitat’s strategic workstream on “Urban preparedness and response” (Domain of Change-DoC 4), but also linked to DoC 2, “Enhanced shared prosperity of cities and regions”.

In the face of Covid-19, the Urban-Rural Linkages Guiding Principles (URL-GP), such as Locally Grounded Interventions, Integrated Governance, Balanced Partnerships, Human Rights-Based, Provide Social Protection and Do No Harm, along with other principles and actions from the URL-GP Framework of Action, such as the recommendation to apply “whole-of-government approaches”- have become even more relevant in orienting the actions of national, local, and other actors to respond to the new challenges that have emerged from the pandemic and ensure an inclusive post-Covid-19 recovery.

The objectives of this session are to:

  • Understand the human mobility impacts of Covid-19 on the spread of the pandemic across the urban-rural continuum and resulting new connectivity between cities, neighbouring communities and sub-regions.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of territorial responses that can be adopted in light of new migration patterns.
  • Learn how integrated urban-rural policies can have a positive impact for migrants and their families regarding livelihood generation, living conditions and access to services;


  • Santino Severoni, Director Health and Migration Programme, WHO
  • Jaime Pumarejo Heins, Mayor of Barranquilla, Colombia
  • S. Irudaya Rajan, Chair Professor, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) Research Unit on International Migration, Centre for Development Studies
  • Dalia Abulfotuh, Agricultural Officer, FAO
  • Elisa Montoya, Postconflict and Culture of Peace Secretary, Cucuta´s Mayor’s Office, Colombia
  • Charles Obila, Migration Officer, IGAD Secretariat-Djibouti


  • JOSEPHINE MWONGELI, Lecturer in the school of architecture at the University of Rwanda


  • STEPHANIE LOOSE, Programme Manager / Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat

Learn more about UN-Habitat's Policy, Legislation and Governance Webinar Series here

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