UN to Adopt Migrant Pact Hit by Withdrawals

The US government disavowed the negotiations late last year, and since then Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia have pulled out of the process, reported France24. 

The US on Friday took a fresh swipe at the pact, labelling it "an effort by the United Nations to advance global governance at the expense of the sovereign right of states".

But a host of other nations led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel are in Morocco to endorse the deal and the UN remains upbeat that it can help the world better cope with the hot-button issue.

On the eve of the conference, UN special representative for migration Louise Arbour hit back at the pact's critics, insisting the document is not legally binding.

"It is surprising that there has been so much misinformation about what the compact is and what the text actually says," she told reporters in Marrakesh.

"It creates no right to migrate. It places no imposition on states," she said, adding that 159 member countries are due to attend the conference, including "around 100" represented by heads of state, heads of government or ministers.

Criticism from right and left

But rows over the accord have erupted in several European Union nations, hobbling Belgium's coalition government and pushing Slovakia's foreign minister to tender his resignation.

From the United States to Europe and beyond, right-wing leaders have taken increasingly draconian measures to shut out migrants in recent years.

UN migration pact has 'turned into a flashpoint' for debate in Europe, says France 24's Dave Keating

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