A conference to endorse the controversial United Nations pact on global migration has opened in Morocco, defying a string of international withdrawals led by U.S. President Donald Trump.
The 32-page Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was finalised at the UN in July after 18 months of talks. It will be formally adopted at the start of the two-day conference in Marrakesh led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
President Donald Trump was the first to pull out of the pact last December, declaring it a direct challenge to national sovereignty. He said, “Migration should not be governed by an international body unaccountable to our own citizens.
“Ultimately, the only long-term solution to the migration crisis is to help people build more hopeful futures in their home countries. Make their countries great again.”
Mr. Trump’s move roiled both the mainstream media and globalist leaders.
Since then Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia have also walked away.
Australia Leaves UN Migration Pact — Won’t Risk ‘Hard-Won’ Border Control Success https://t.co/qOpvX2Zjeo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 21, 2018
The U.S. on Friday returned to the issue and labelled it “an effort by the United Nations to advance global governance at the expense of the sovereign right of states”.
The leaders of Spain, Greece, Denmark and Portugal are set to attend and back the vote, although French President Emmanuel Macron is sending his secretary of state for foreign affairs as he deals with the “yellow vest” protests at home.
Belgium’s liberal premier Charles Michel won the support of parliament to back the accord, but he was left leading a minority government on Sunday after the Flemish nationalist party said it will quit his coalition over the pact.
Belgium is among a group of seven nations described by the UN as still “engaged in further internal deliberations” over the accord, with Bulgaria, Estonia, Italy, Israel, Slovenia and Switzerland also falling into this category.
The UN special representative for migration, Louise Arbour, on Friday scolded those nations which have decided not to sign the compact. She said: “There are many different issues at stake: economic, to maximise the positive effects of migration on economies of host countries, on countries of origin, on the migrants themselves, on communities which receive them.
“Humanitarian issues are at stake: to save lives, to better cooperate and better manage irregular migration, with people in transit countries in very vulnerable situations,” she said, adding: “So, there are security, political, economic, humanitarian aspects.”
Hungary Attacks UN Migration Compact for Attempting to ‘Legalise Illegal Immigration’ https://t.co/fLLTQMQ5PN
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 24, 2018
Asked why there has been backlash over the 32-page document, Arbour told AFP: “Talk on migration, for a very long time, has always focused on negative aspects: in the media, in conversations, there is a lot of emphasis on irregular migration, talk of illegal migrants.”
AFP contributed to this report
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