United Nations: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that migration is a "powerful driver" of economic growth.
"Migration allows millions to seek new opportunities that benefit communities of origin and destination alike," Xinhua quoted the UN chief as saying.
However, Guterres, in his message commemorating the International Migrants Day observed annually on Dec 18, noted that "when poorly regulated, migration can intensify divisions within and between societies, expose people to exploitation and abuse, and undermine faith in government."
"This month, the world took a landmark step forward with the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration," he said, referring to the first-ever UN global agreement on a common approach to international migration.
"Backed with overwhelming support by the membership of the United Nations, the compact will help us to address the real challenges of migration while reaping its many benefits," said the UN chief.
Guterres stressed that "the compact points the way toward more legal opportunities for migration and stronger action to crack down on human trafficking."
"On International Migrants Day, let us take the path provided by the Global Compact: to make migration work for all," he said.
Also marking the day and drawing attention to the peril that so many migrants face, the UN migration agency, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), said that close to 3,400 migrants and refugees have died worldwide this year so far.
In an appeal for respect and dignity for people who choose or who are forced to leave their homes, IOM Director General Antonio Vitorino said it was also time "to respect and listen" to those who are frightened of the "changes that migration brings to their lives."
On Sept. 19, 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted a set of commitments during its first ever Summit on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants for their protection.
These commitments, known as the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, reaffirms the importance of the international protection regime and represents a commitment by member states to strengthen and enhance mechanisms to protect people on the move and paved the way for the landmark compact.