- The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is the world’s first, intergovernmentally negotiated agreement covering all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. It was finalised under United Nations auspices on July 13 this year, and is due to be formally approved at a meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, on December 11-12.
- Austria announced that it would not sign the compact, criticising its “almost irresponsibly naive pro-migration tone”, which represented a “danger to (Austria’s) national sovereignty”.
- “Migration is not and cannot become a human right. It cannot be that someone receives a right to migration because of the climate or poverty.”
- Austria currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency, and its Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who took office last December in a coalition with the Freedom Party, has made curbing of unregulated migration a priority. In September 2016, with Europe overwhelmed by waves of migrants from Africa and West Asia, all 193 UN member states, including the United States under President Barack Obama, adopted a declaration saying that no country could manage international migration on their own, and agreed to launch a process leading to the adoption of a global compact in 2018.
The compact has 23 objectives
- that seek to boost cooperation to manage migration and numerous actions ranging from technical issues like the portability of earnings by migrant workers to reducing the detention of migrants.
- The UN estimates that there are over 258 million migrants living outside their country of birth today — a figure that is likely to rise with growing population, increasing connectivity and trade, rising inequality, and climate change.