Tuesday, January 15, 2019

US and Hungary only two nations to vote no on helping refugees at UN General Assembly

"While the vote does not represent a formal withdrawal from the Compact, it does send a signal that the wealthiest country the world intends to abdicate global leadership in working towards the Compact's objectives."

On Monday, only two nations rejected a global pact on refugee introduced at the United Nations General Assembly. The United States and Hungary were the only two countries to vote against the Global Compact on Refugees, while 181 nations approved it and three nations – the Dominican Republic, Eritrea, and Libya – abstained.

The global compact on refugees “emanates from fundamental principles of humanity and international solidarity, and seeks to operationalize the principles of burden – and responsibility – sharing to better protect and assist refugees and support host countries and communities,” the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees stated. The global compact is non-political and not legally binding, instead, “it represents the political will and ambition of the international community as a whole for strengthened cooperation and solidarity with refugees and affected host countries,” the report stated.

According to Refugees International, the non-binding agreement states:

“The Compact was developed over the course of two years of consultations among governments, U.N. agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector, and refugees themselves. At present, around 85 percent of the world’s refugees are hosted by low- and middle-income countries, contributions from wealthy donor governments fall well-short of overall need, and opportunities for refugees to resettle to third countries have actually decreased. The overall goal of the Compact was to establish a more equitable, predictable, and inclusive refugee response framework based on international cooperation.”

“While the vote does not represent a formal withdrawal from the Compact, it does send a signal that the wealthiest country the world intends to abdicate global leadership in working towards the Compact’s objectives,” Refugees International said.

 

 

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