In a historic turn of events, a global migration deal – the very first international deal pertaining to the recent migration crisis – aiming to “prevent suffering and chaos” for migrants was agreed upon on Monday at an intergovernmental conference in Morocco.
Leaders from 164 UN countries signed the non-legally binding agreement, which looks to better coordinate migration issues at local, national, regional and global levels. This will include increased focus on tackling the dangers refugees and migrants are faced with while on the move.
According to IOM more than 3,300 people have died in the process of migrating towards an international destination in 2018. Since the year 2000, this number amounts to more than 60,000 people. It is hoped that if upheld the global migration compact will go a long way towards reducing these numbers by encouraging policies for safe, legal migration. It serves to reinforce the fundamental principle of the right to fair and dignified movement across borders for all people.
Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, said at the conference that “migration has always been with us. But in a world where it is ever more inevitable and necessary, it should be well managed and safe, not irregular and dangerous. National policies are far more likely to succeed with international cooperation.”
The USA has refused to sign the deal, along with Australia, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Chile and the Dominican Republic. Switzerland, Israel and Italy have yet to decide whether or not they too will back out of the agreement. Despite Donald Trump’s lack of support, the UN General Assembly is expected to meet in New York on 19th December to formally adopt a resolution endorsing the deal.