US takes aim at UN migration pact ahead of conference
UNITED NATIONS, United States: Days ahead of an international conference in Morocco to endorse a UN migration pact, the US made the case for opposing the deal that it shunned a year ago and which has since prompted a wave of withdrawals.
In a lengthy statement, the US said the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration represents “an effort by the UN to advance global governance at the expense of the sovereign right of states to manage their immigration systems.”
The non-binding pact agreed in July last year has become a target for right-wing and populist politicians who have denounced it as an affront to national sovereignty.
The US, which quit negotiations in December 2017, expressed concern that supporters of the agreement would use it to build “customary international law” or “soft law” in the area of migration.
The three-page US statement outlined a number of objections such as a provision in the compact stating that detention of migrants should be “a last resort,” arguing that this was inconsistent with US law.
Washington is also concerned that it “downplays the cost of immigration to destination countries” such as the “loss of employment opportunities” for low-skilled workers and “stresses on public services.”
The US statement came with the UN preparing to host a two-day conference opening on Monday in Marrakesh to endorse the pact, despite a string of defections.
Hungary withdrew last year and since then Australia, Israel, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Belgium Latvia, Italy and the Dominican Republic have quit the pact or expressed strong reservations. — AFP
Photo shows Louise Arbour, special representative of the UN secretary general for international migration, speaks during the Global Forum on Migration and Devlopement (GFMD) in Marrakesh. — AFP photo