UN reaches accord on global compact on safe migration

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UNITED NATIONS, July 14 (APP):The UN General Assembly has agreed on an all-encompassing global compact to better manage the international flow of migrants and protect human rights.
Diplomats from every country except the United States negotiated as global tensions on the issue continue to cause political upheaval and harsh anti-immigrant sentiment.
Known as the Global Compact for Migration – it will be formally adopted by world leaders in Morocco in December.
The United States had initially participated in the negotiations, but it abruptly withdrew last December under orders from the Trump administration, which has taken an increasingly hostile view toward cross-border migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. It argued that such multinational agreements subverted the power of individual governments to control national borders.
Of course it’s regrettable when a country like the United States pulls away from a global process, Switzerland’s ambassador to the United Nations, Valentin Zellweger, said ahead of the announcement on Friday. œBut at the same time, the decision has been accepted and the United States is free and also welcome to rejoin discussions at any point.
Zellweger said that the American decision to abandon the negotiations had not been felt by the remaining countries. The resolve of the member states never changed, he said.
We still have 192 countries that agreed on the text of the compact, and we keep the door open for the U.S. to come back, Miroslav Lajcak, current president of the United Nations General Assembly, said during a Friday news conference after the agreement was announced.
The agreement is expected to be formally adopted in December during a meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, but members of the United Nations rose and applauded as the agreement was announced at its New York headquarters.
Louise Arbour, a longtime United Nations diplomat from Canada who is its special representative for international migration, was responsible for leading the process to create the agreement. She said the Marrakesh meeting could be a launching pad for initiatives and concrete applications of the agreement.
The goal of the agreement is to preserve the basic human rights of all migrants, Antonio Guterres, the United Nations secretary general, said during a news conference.
This action has immense potential to help the world harness the benefits of regular migration while safeguarding against the dangers of irregular movements that place people at risk, Guterres said.
More than 258 million people worldwide are international migrants, according to the United Nations, and that number will only grow in coming years. And migration has proved dangerous and even deadly for those on the move.
At least 60,000 people migrating internationally have died since 2000, while crossing the sea, traveling through inhospitable landscapes, in detention or elsewhere. Often, migrants and refugees are demonized and attacked, Guterres said.