What is the Global Migration Pact sought by the UN?

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The Pact, which had been prepared for months and aims to help victims of migration, was not very well received by some countries

What is the Global Migration Pact sought by the UN?

Recently, the UN General Assembly approved an agreement called the Global Compact for Orderly, Regular and Migration, which aims to "foster international cooperation on migration among all relevant bodies, recognizing that no State can address migration alone, and respect the sovereignty of States and their obligations under international law", as expressed in the official report of the UN.

Leer en español: ¿Qué busca el Pacto Mundial de Migración presentado por la ONU?

However, what does this mean? Well, this pact aims to improve the conditions of migrants, in terms of human rights, to "enrich our societies with their human, economic and social capacity, and thus make it easier for them to contribute to sustainable development at a local, regional and global level".

In other words, it seeks to improve governance against migration and face the challenges associated with current migration, as well as respect the migrant's human rights and encourage their reintegration into the country from which they came. To understand much better the pact, let's divide it into two parts. On one hand, there is the situation of the migrant, which proposes to recognize them as another and give them the necessary help so that they become a temporary part of the country through which they travel.

It is important to emphasize that this pact does not seek for the migrant to stay, but to return to his or her country of origin. That is what the second part is about, which seeks that the country that generates the various migratory crises commits to minimize the risks that forced people to leave in the first instance.

To achieve this, the United Nations is committed to "invest in programs that accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals with the purpose of eliminating the adverse and structural factors that force people to leave their country of origin, for example, through the eradication of poverty. " They also intend to "establish or strengthen mechanisms to monitor and anticipate the evolution of risks and threats that may trigger or influence migratory movements."

The agreement was accepted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 19, where it was submitted to a last vote for ratification. Although this pact is not binding, each government is independent and each one can implement actions according to what was signed. What it is important here is that each country embraces the pact but respects the sovereignty it has over its country.

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Latin America says no

Although 160 countries agreed, several countries joined the United States, which had not approved the pact since July. European countries, such as Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, and the Czech Republic refused to make this pact. On the Latin American side, Chile, the Dominican Republic, and Brazil questioned the initiative.

The first country, withdrew from the agreement even though it helped its construction. Rodrigo Ubilla, Undersecretary of the Interior stated that "Our position is clear: we say that migration is not a human right, the right is for the countries to define the entry conditions for foreign citizens," according to the newspaper Público.

Likewise, both the Chilean president, Sebastián Piñera, and his cabinet, criticize several points of the pact, among them that of helping the migrants economically, arguing that "this should not be an obligation for the countries of destination, but for those of origin.

On the other hand, the Dominican Republic rejected the initiative on December 4, arguing that "at the time of adopting a decision of this nature and scope, President Danilo Medina takes into account, above all other considerations, the national interest in light of the particular conditions of our country. Its first and most important priority is the safety and well-being of Dominicans, as well as the defense of the Constitution and the laws", as stated in the official statements.

The Dominican Republic is one of the populations most affected by migration from Haiti, and, according to Carlos Miguel García in conversations with Public, due to the high number of people arriving in the country, Dominicans did not agree to belong to the Pact. Of that portion were the business sector, the opposition, among others.

Finally, Brazil was the big surprise, since it was already part of the 160 countries that had signed the Pact. The person in charge of giving the news was Ernesto Araújo, the future foreign minister, who pointed out that the country would ignore the pact from January 1, 2019. In social media, he argued that "migration is welcome, more should not be indiscriminate There must be guarantees of protection for both citizens and immigrants".

The undecided

Belgium, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Estonia, Italy, and Switzerland needed more time to make a decision, exactly 72 hours. However, in cities like Brussels, several people, who were summoned through the social media Facebook, took to the streets to express their discontent. The right-wing protesters repudiate the Migration Pact which has been of greater importance because, according to Sputnik, "last week broke the government coalition."

Although the pact is not binding, several controversies have been generated around it and again brings to the table the debate on migration policies within the world. It will be necessary to see how countries adopt measures to protect human rights, but more importantly, it is very important to observe how the United Nations accompanies countries that are guilty of migratory crises.

LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "¿Qué busca el Pacto Mundial de Migración presentado por la ONU?"

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