US Withdraws From Global Pact That Upholds Rights of Refugees

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Photo: AFP

The U.S. administration has pulled out of a global declaration that pledges to uphold rights of refugees and migrants, arguing that it is “inconsistent” with current U.S. policies and infringes upon U.S. sovereignty.

“Today, the US Mission to the United Nations informed the UN Secretary-General that the United States is ending its participation in the Global Compact on Migration,” the U.S. mission to United Nations announced Saturday.

In September 2016, the 193 members of the U.N. General Assembly unanimously adopted a non-binding political declaration, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, pledging to uphold the rights of refugees, help them resettle and ensure they have access to education and jobs.

“The New York Declaration contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies and the Trump Administration’s immigration principles. As a result, President Trump determined that the United States would end its participation in the Compact process that aims to reach international consensus at the UN in 2018,” the U.S. statement said.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the country would continue its “generosity” in supporting migrants and refugees around the world, but that “our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone.”

“We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country. The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with US sovereignty.”

Under President Donald J. Trump and his “America First” policies, the United States has withdrawn from several global commitments made under the administration of President Barack Obama, including the Paris climate deal.

More recently, the U.S. pulled out of the Paris-based culture and education body, UNESCO, accusing it of “anti-Israel bias.”