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Global pact on immigration

· Bodies of eighteen drowned migrants found on the Libyan coastline ·

UN studies a general document on managing the emergency

The immigration emergency is becoming more critical by the day. Evidence is seen once again the the tragic end to the journey of a group of migrants. On Thursday, 4 August, eighteen bodies were found drowned on the coast of Libya, west of Tripoli, according to a report by the Red Crescent. Meanwhile the UN continues to discuss a global pact on managing the migratory phenomenon. On Wednesday, 3 August, delegates of the 193 member countries, meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, reached an agreement on a draft document to be presented and discussed in September at the General Assembly, where a summit on immigration will be held.

The document is not legally binding, but the negotiations are highly complicated, such that the text – according to diplomatic sources – remains ambiguous on many points. Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar indicated that “it is a very, very difficult issue”. Critics state that the text contains no precise indications regarding concrete actions to be taken. In general, however, the draft states that refugees deserve protection and must not be sent back to places where then may fall victim to war or persecution. Addition, it calls for countries to permission for migrants to work and for their children to attend school. A first draft proposed a global pact for the permanent resettlement of refugees, but it was not passed.

As indicated, a summit on the situation of refugees and migrants will be held concomitantly with the General Assembly, and the document approved yesterday will be the fulcrum of the meeting. “More people have been forced from their homes than at any time since the end of the Second World War”, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said in a recent statement, urging leaders “to commit to halving the number of internally displaced people by 2030, and to find better long-term solutions”. There are roughly 60 million people in the world that have had to abandon their homes and their homelands. At the moment it is difficult to say what developments may arise from the UN initiative. Certainly, as analysts reveal, it is the first step in the right direction in a broader debate on the topic of immigration. 

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