The Trump administration has pulled out of the United Nations’ ambitious plans to create a more humane global strategy on migration, saying involvement in the process interferes with American sovereignty, and runs counter to US immigration policies. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, informed the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, at the weekend that Donald Trump was not willing to continue with an American commitment to the UN global compact on migration. In 2016, the 193 members of the UN 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 had access to education and jobs. The initiative had the enthusiastic backing of Barack Obama, and was embraced by Guterres as one of his major challenges for 2018.
The US decision to withdraw will delight Trump’s “America first” political base, but will do little to improve his standing in developing countries. The US mission to the UN said in a statement on Saturday that the declaration “contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies and the Trump administration’s immigration principles”. The UN had always insisted that the compact was never intended to be legally binding on any country, but instead was an attempt to create a shared understanding that migration flows are likely to increase, and need to be regularised by recognising the reality of state interdependence, as much as national sovereignty.
Read more: Patrick Wintour, Guardian, http://bit.ly/2zIG3o5