UN affirms ‘historic’ global compact to support world’s refugees

UNICEF/Nybo A group of Rohingya refugee children cross a makeshift bamboo bridge in Kutupalong refugee settlement in southern Bangladesh, where hundreds of thousands of refugees are sheltering after being forced to flee their homes in Myanmar.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The United Nations General Assembly affirmed a non-legally binding Global Compact on Refugees on Monday, marking the latest move by Member States to support the rights of  over 68.5 million people have been forced to flee worldwide, including more than 25.4 million people who have crossed borders to become refugees.

An overwhelming number of majority States, 181, voted in favor of adopting the compact, with the United States and Hungary opposing the move. The Dominican Republic, Eritrea and Libya abstained.

UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Chief, Filippo Grandi, said the pact was “historic” and speaking at an event at UN Headquarters in New York to mark the compact, noted it was the first time the Assembly has seen an agreement between and beyond States, that acknowledges the need to work collectively for the rights of refugees.

“In this world of ours, which often turns it back to people in need, that has shamefully politicized even the pain of exile, that has demonized and continues to demonize refugees and migrants and sometimes even just foreigners, this compact, in synergy with the other compact, the compact on migration, can really represent tangibly, a new commitment to international cooperation,” said the UNHCR chief.

He said it represented “a new commitment to shared values of solidarity and the quest to just and sustainable solutions for disadvantaged people.”

This global compact for refugees, which is separate from the newly-adopted Global Compact for Migration, aims to strengthen the international response to large movements of refugees and their protracted situations, and was prompted by the historic, 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, in which all 193 Member States agreed that the protection of refugees should be a shared responsibility.

The Declaration tasked UNHCR with authoring the refugee compact, which came to fruition after 18 months of extensive consultations between Member States, experts, civil society, and refugees.

Just last week, the Global Compact for Migration, also non-legally binding, was adopted by 164 Governments at an international conference in Marrakech, Morocco in a bid to support safe, orderly and regular migration.

This “great achievement for multilateralism,” as UN senior migration official, Ms. Lousie Arbour called it, specifically targets the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants, which comprise a different group of people on the move than refugees. More on that and the crucial differences, can be found here.

Approximately 85 percent of refugees live in developing countries, according to UNHCR, where services are already strained. Though donors have been generous in financing aid to refugees, Mr. Grandi noted that the disproportionate burden on middle and low-income countries is evident, and leaves us “at the mercy of economic downturns.”

Thus, part of the compact’s pledge to joint action entails addressing the specific challenges faced by developing host countries.

In addition, Mr. Grandi urged States to re-evaluate the way refugees are supported to be more inclusive: “The image that we have of refugees is the refugee camp. We want to get away from that.”

Both the Global Compact on Migration and Global Compact on Refugees, surface a time of heightened division across the world and within societies, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said.

“In recent years we have seen a contagion of closed borders, contrary to national refugee and human rights law. Millions of refugees are facing years in exile, or risking their lives on dangerous journeys to an uncertain future. And that is why this global compact is such an important step,” she said.

Ms. Mohammed stressed that the effort “to shoulder our responsibilities toward refugees, to find solutions that respect their human rights, to provide them with hope, and to recognize the legal responsibility to protect and to support them,” are not only important goals in themselves, but play a critical role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, “that seriously leave no one behind.”

Adoption of the compact, is “not the end, but the beginning” of the international community’s work on the issue, general Assembly President, Maria Fernanda Espinosa declared. What’s left is implementation.

Echoing the call to further action, Mr. Grandi warned that the compact on refugees “is not a silver bullet that will solve all the problems,” but with concrete international engagement, could “be transformative.”

“Without this international cooperation we will not be able to face neither this all the other global challenges that await us in the future,” he added.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Sassoli: Migration agreement respects fundamental principles of Parliament’s proposal

Guterres: Security Council’s African alliances ‘needed and appreciated more than ever’

Cash-strapped cities must look to private partners

MWC 2016 LIVE: Industry looks to reduce mobile gender gap

Is our brave new world about to burst?

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Harvested’ rainwater saves Tanzanian students from stomach ulcers, typhoid

MEPs spell out priorities for the European Central Bank and on banking union

Yemen: Major UN aid boost for ‘up to 14 million’ as country risks becoming a land of ‘living ghosts’

Towards a European Republic

How technology can help India breathe more easily

Davos participants call for digital trade deal

On flight to sustainable development, ‘leave no country behind’, urges aviation agency

Varna (Bulgaria) awarded European Youth Capital 2017

The dangers of data: why the numbers never tell the full story

Indonesia is buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit. And others in ASEAN aren’t far behind

An Eastern Wind

5 lessons from China on how to drive sustainable growth

We have a chance to build the gender-equal workplaces of the future. Here’s how

European Labour Authority ready to start working in October as decision is taken on new seat

A Monday to watch the final act of a Greek tragedy; will there be catharsis or more fear?

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

CDU-SPD agree the terms for EU’s Banking Union

The DNA of the future retail CEO

Could a Digital Silk Road solve the Belt and Road’s sustainability problem?

Ebola in DR Congo: UN chief ‘outraged’ by recent killings of civilians and health workers

How can batteries become more sustainable? This young scientist might have the answer

Christmas spending: Who can afford not to cut?

3 of Jack Ma’s best pieces of advice

Mobile 360 Africa 11-13 July 2017

Brexit kick-off: a historic day for the EU anticlockwise

Guterres underlines climate action urgency, as UN weather agency confirms record global warming

Why the answer to a more sustainable future could lie within the platform economy

Pedal power makes ‘positive impact on climate’, urges UN on World Bicycle Day

China’s lead in the global solar race – at a glance

The Chinese retail revolution is heading west

Erdogan’s electoral win on a ‘me or chaos’ dilemma means trouble for everybody

This brewery is ditching plastic six-pack rings to save marine life

Investing in rural women and girls, ‘essential’ for everyone’s future: UN chief

What does Tsipras have to offer to the rest of Europe? Is it worth an early advance of €10 billion? Berlin sturdily denies it

Easing funding woes for UN agency assisting Palestine refugees a ‘wise investment for today and the future’

High unemployment to continue haunting the EU

A young European voice on Grexit: too high a bill and too big a deal!

JADE visits Lithuanian Junior Initiatives

The power of digital tools to transform mental healthcare

Libyan national conference postponed, nearly 500,000 children at ‘direct risk’ from fighting around Tripoli

From social entrepreneurship to systems entrepreneurship: how to create lasting change

Would you let an AI vote for you?

It’s ‘time for concrete action’ says UN chief, welcoming inter-Korean agreement

To my Chinese friend

Austrian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

Do we have to choose between creating jobs and protecting the climate?

5 ways students can graduate fully qualified for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

India is investing more money in solar power than coal for first time

A refugee from Syria cries out: “I’m not just a number!”

China is a renewable energy champion. But it’s time for a new approach

Camino de Santiago – a global community on our doorstep

Four ways Europe can become a global innovation leader

Three steps to clean up electric vehicle supply chains

A giant marine heatwave has descended on Alaska

Haiti: ‘Laden with challenges’ but also hope, Mission chief tells Security Council

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s