United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has the told international body that America is withdrawing from a UN declaration intended to protect the rights of migrants.
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has the told international body that America is withdrawing from a UN declaration intended to protect the rights of migrants. JUSTIN LANE

US quits UN agreement on refugees

THE US is withdrawing from a United Nations declaration intended to protect the rights of migrants, saying staying in the agreement would be inconsistent with American immigration policy.

The decision to withdraw from the so-called New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants - a declaration reached last year - is consistent with efforts by Donald Trump's administration to limit incoming migration and refugee settlement.

The declaration calls for a global compact on migration and is expected to be adopted next year.

In discussing the withdrawal, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said her country was proud of its leadership on human rights issues, but framed the international agreement as a breach in US sovereignty.

"Our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone,” Ms Haley said.

"We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country.”

UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak expressed regret for the US decision to withdraw, saying no single nation could tackle the issues surrounding migration on its own.

"The role of the United States in this process is critical as it has historically and generously welcomed people from all across the globe and remains home to the largest number of international migrants in the world,” , the UN General Assembly president, said in a statement. "As such, it has the experience and expertise to help ensure that this process leads to a successful outcome.”

The US decision comes just days before the international community meets in Mexico to discuss migration rights and concerns.

The Trump administration has pushed for restrictions in migration to the United States, and has succeeded in establishing at least temporary restrictions on the acceptance of refugees through executive orders known as his travel bans.

Those bans have targeted predominantly Muslim countries, and one was upheld by the Supreme Court, which deferred matters of national security to the White House.

- Clark Mindock, The Independent



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