Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he was pulling out of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration pact to in a bid to “defend his country’s national sovereignty”.

The pact, originally approved in 2016 by all 193 UN members, is due to be signed in Morocco in December and subject to another vote next year.

The non-binding UN pact was launched to make migration safer and addresses issues such as how to protect migrants, how to integrate them into new countries and how to return them to their homelands.

Austria, current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, accepted one per cent of its population in asylum seekers during the 2015 migrant crisis which saw more than a million people enter Europe from the Middle East and Africa.

But Mr Kurz, who stood on a divisive anti-immigration platform before taking office last December, said: “Austria will not join the UN migration pact.

“We view some points of the migration pact very critically, such as the mixing up of seeking protection with labour migration.”

Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of Austria’s nationalist, anti-migration Freedom Party, said: “Migration is not and cannot become a human right.

“It cannot be that someone receives a right to migration because of the climate or poverty.”

The decision has enraged European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker who described the move as “unacceptable”.

He said: “I very much regret this.

“It is unacceptable for the EU not to be able to speak with one voice on this matter.

“We will be talking to our Austrian friends in the next few weeks.”

Mr Juncker vowed to use the affair as another reason to push for more majority-based decision-making on EU foreign policy.

Austria, which hosts around 20 UN institutions in its capital, is not alone in rejecting the migration pact.

US President Donald Trump backed out before it was formally adopted, saying it was “inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies”.

Hungary and Australia – which used to be the model for Mr Kurz’s migration policy – followed soon after.

Poland, which has clashed with Brussels by refusing to accept national quotas for asylum seekers, said it was also considering pulling out of the pact.

Europe’s right-wing parties, including the Germany’s AfD have applauded Mr Kurz’s move to strike back against what it has described as a conspiracy to bring millions of migrants into Europe.

UN officials in Geneva had no immediate comment on Vienna’s decision.

Austria will not send an envoy to the signing ceremony in Morocco and will abstain at a UN General Assembly vote on the pact next year.

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