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UN backs migration pact despite opposition from US, Hungary

AFP  |  United Nations 

Despite a boycott from the United States, UN member states have backed a global pact on migration, pledging to boost cooperation in addressing the world's growing flows of migrants.

Applause broke out at a UN conference room yesterday when the final text was approved following 18 months of negotiations on what is billed as the first international document on managing migration.

The buoyant mood shifted however when Hungarian took the floor to say his country is likely to pull out of the non-binding agreement.

The expressed concern that the agreement could lead to stronger measures that would force governments to open up their borders to migrants -- a move sees as a threat to stability.

"We don't think that anyone has a right to pick a country where he or she would like to arrive as a country of destination and in order to do so to violate a series of borders," said Szijjarto.

The will decide on Wednesday whether to withdraw from the global compact for migration, he added.

If quits the deal, it will follow Washington, which announced in December that it was withdrawing from negotiations on the pact because of provisions "inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies."

On a visit to Britain, criticized European immigration policies, saying allowing "millions and millions of people to come into is very, very sad."

"I think you're losing your culture," he said in an interview to a British tabloid.

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 3 per cent of the world's population.

Negotiations faced hurdles over how to address illegal migration, with some governments insisting that migrants who fail to be properly registered be returned to their countries of origin.

UN described the document as "the beginning of a conversation" to face up to what she termed as the new "human mobility" in the world.

"We are going to have to revisit some of these issues, possibly with more robust mechanisms," Arbour said, but the document is a "launching pad to do much, much better."

UN has argued that governments should recognize that "migration is a positive global phenomenon" and that migrants are needed to keep labour markets afloat.

At a conference on Thursday, he cited his personal experience of hiring migrant workers to care for his elderly mother in

"I've never seen a Portuguese taking care of my mother," said Guterres.

The document will be formally adopted during a conference in on December 10-11.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, July 14 2018. 03:00 IST