United Nations members adopt global migration pact

UN to adopt migration pact at meeting hit by withdrawals

UN to adopt migration pact at meeting hit by withdrawals

The non-binding deal was agreed by all 193 UN countries, except the United States, in July.

The UN migration pact, officially the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, sets out a series of shared goals aimed at better managing the estimated 258 million migrants living outside their country of birth.

US President Donald Trump has pledged to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.

It was the first country to disavow the negotiations late a year ago, while Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia have all pulled out of the process in recent months and weeks, before Chile withdrew overnight.

This was confirmed by Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela, who said that he had touched down in Marrakech in Morocco to join other countries in supporting this compact. She called migration "natural " and "also good, when it's legal".

Six more, including Israel and Bulgaria, are debating whether to quit, a United Nations spokesman said after the pact was adopted. He insisted that signing the compact would place "my country ... on the right side of history".

"With better global cooperation, it would be possible to invest much more in countries of origin, creating the conditions for people to have an option to stay in their own country and build with hope their lives in their own country", stated UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Chile became the latest country to shun the deal when it withdrew on Sunday.

Meanwhile, in Belgium, a partner in the ruling coalition had threatened to bring down the government if officials dared to even attend the United Nations conference in Marrakesh.

Not included in that cooperative effort, however, was the United States, with the Trump administration hitting out at the pact on Friday and condemning it as an "effort by the United Nations to advance global governance at the expense of the sovereign right of states".

UN to adopt migration pact at meeting hit by withdrawals

The pact is non-binding and it makes it amply clear that there is no stipulation or obligation that a country has to take in a certain number of migrants.

"We have heard repeatedly that this compact is not legally binding and does not impact on state sovereignty", said IFRC president Francesco Rocca at a press conference on the sidelines of the main dialogue.

Honduran migrant Joel Mendez, 22, left, feeds his eight-month-old son Daniel as his partner Yesenia Martinez, 24, crawls through a hole under the United States border wall, in Tijuana, Mexico, December 7, 2018.

The Global Compact for Migration will support global co-operation on migration without affecting the sovereignty of all countries to control their own borders...

The idea of the agreement was to create a political platform for states to cooperate, she said.

Migration affects hundreds of millions of people across the globe - farmers coming off the land or forced by climate change to head to cities, families fleeing war or persecution at home, impoverished workers from the developing world looking for jobs in rich countries.

Unicef described the pact as a "historic achievement" for children and states alike.

In comments by a representative, Morocco's King Mohammed VI - absent from proceedings - said the pact offers a way forwards that navigates between the two extremes of closing borders and allowing uncontrolled migration.

Honouring the pact would "provide migrant children with better access to education and health services, and offer them stronger protection from exploitation and violence", said a UNICEF statement.

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