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85% of UN Nations Back Migration Deal. US Isn't One

Global Compact for Migration seeks to ensure safe, orderly, and humane migration
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 10, 2018 2:34 PM CST
A view of tents where sub-Saharan migrants stay at Ouled Ziane camp in Casablanca, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018.   (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)
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(Newser) – Defying fierce opposition from the United States and a few other nations, nearly 85% of the countries at the UN agreed Monday on a sweeping yet non-binding accord to ensure safe, orderly, and humane migration. A total of 164 countries among the 193 UN members approved the first-of-its-kind the Global Compact for Migration by acclamation Monday, reports the AP. At the two-day conference, UN leaders were hoping to lure in holdouts from mostly Western nations who were not signing: Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, and Slovakia along with the United States, which under President Trump did not participate in drafting the accord.

The UN's International Organization for Migration estimates there are 1 billion migrants worldwide, or nearly one in every seven humans," and more than 60,000 migrants have died on the move since the year 2000," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a migration conference in Marrakesh, Morocco. "This is a source of collective shame." The conference is the capstone of efforts set in motion two years ago when all 193 UN member states, including the US under President Barack Obama, adopted a declaration saying that no country can manage international migration on its own and agreed to work on a global compact. The Trump administration pulled out of the accord a year ago. It said it could not "support a 'compact' or process" that could "impose" policy and said the agreement failed to "distinguish adequately" between legal and illegal immigrants. Read more on the pact here.

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