Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN criticises countries quitting migration pact



UN criticises countries quitting migration pact

UN criticises countries quitting migration pact

A UN envoy on Tuesday took a swipe at countries dropping out of the UN migration pact, saying they were displaying “buyer’s remorse” months after endorsing the non-binding deal.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was agreed at the UN in July following 18 months of negotiations and will be formally adopted at a conference in Marrakesh on December 10 and 11.

The UN quit negotiations early on, in December, and was followed by Hungary seven months later.

Since then, Australia, Israel, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland and Bulgaria have either publicly disavowed the pact or notified the UN that they are withdrawing.

The pact promoting cooperation to deal with the world’s growing migrant flows has been targeted by right-wing politicians who have denounced it as an affront to their countries’ national sovereignty.

“Some politicians, as it turned out, would say something like [migration is a bad thing],” Louise Arbour, the UN special envoy for international migration, said. “This is completely ridiculous. Migration is a thing. It’s not a bad thing, not a good thing. It’s a thing.”

Arbour, a former Supreme Court of Canada judge and UN rights chief, said the countries exiting the compact were dealing with “buyer’s remorse” after taking part in the lengthy negotiations and agreeing to the final text.

She suggested that countries quitting the UN’s first ever migration agreement would have to answer for their turnaround.

“It’s going to be for the countries concerned to examine where it leaves them as international players,” she said, “after having agreed, extracted concessions from others and agreed on a text.”

The global pact lays out 23 objectives to open up legal migration and better manage the influx as the number of people on the move worldwide has increased to 250 million, or just over three per cent of the world’s population.

The deal had been held up as an example of a UN diplomatic success achieved without the US at a time when President Donald Trump is questioning the relevance of the world body.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to be among the high-profile leaders at the Marrakesh conference next month, but it remains unclear how many other countries will be represented.

After the Marrakesh conference, the General Assembly is set to adopt a resolution formally endorsing the migration deal.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro