Projected for adoption in 2018, the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (“the compact”) will address how United Nations member states should respond to international migration at the national, regional, and international levels, as well as issues related to migration and development. This paper examines the main elements of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which called for the establishment of the compact. It argues that participants in the compact’s negotiation process should aim to balance the concerns of states with the needs and rights of migrants. The paper also analyzes documents by the Special Representative for the Secretary-General and the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants that should inform the compact. Lastly, the paper makes recommendations on the content of the compact. It recommends that the compact should define state protection responsibilities related to mixed migrant and refugee flows; embrace the role of civil society, the private sector, and academic institutions; outline an institutional framework for implementation; and establish a mechanism to fund migration policies for states and a mechanism to review migration policies.