UN Endorses Migration Pact Opposed By U.S., Four Others

The UN General Assembly has endorsed a nonbinding accord to increase global cooperation on migration issues in the face of opposition from the United States and four other countries.

The Global Compact for Migration, the first international document dealing with the issue, was passed on December 19 with 152 votes in favor, 12 abstentions, and 24 countries not voting.

Hungary, the Czech Republic, Israel, and Poland joined the United States in opposing the pact.

The resolution was originally by acclamation at a conference in early December in Marrakech, Morocco.

The accord addresses issues such as how to protect migrants, integrate them, and send them home.

The compact’s principles include recognizing the sovereignty of nations and reaffirming that migrants have the same human rights as all other people that “must be respected, protected, and fulfilled at all times.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the resolution’s adoption, saying it provides a platform for international cooperation that can lead to “humane and sensible action to benefit countries of origin, transit, and destination as well as migrants themselves.”

The United States argued that the resolution is attempting to “globalize” how migration is carried out at the expense of nations’ sovereignty and is attempting to make new international law.

Some right-wing European politicians contend it could increase immigration from African and Arab countries.

Backers point out it is nonbinding and that countries remain in charge of their own borders and migration policy.