Delegates from 164 UN member states assembled in Marrakech, Morrocco, to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration on Monday. The compact reaffirms the signing nations’ commitment to protecting the human rights of migrants and acknowledges that migration is an issue that requires collective, multinational action. While the compact does not create new legal obligations, it does provide states with a framework to better meet existing legal obligations and to address issues related to migration, such as data collection, on an international level.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the two main premises of the compact: “Firstly, that migration has always been with us, but should be managed and safe; second, that national policies are far more likely to succeed with international cooperation.”
In recent months the compact has proved controversial. Nearly 30 of the nations that worked to draft the agreement withheld their endorsement of the compact. Critics claim that the international cooperation encouraged by the compact diminishes sovereignty and voice fear about it increasing migration. The US, Australia, Israel, Chile, Luxembourg, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Croatia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were among the countries that did not adopt the compact.