US takes aim at UN mi­gra­tion pact ahead of con­fer­ence

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - WORLD -

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

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