Editor’s Note: December 12, 2018
Should we care about the UN’s migration pact?
UN member states have adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration – the first global intergovernmental agreement of its kind – during a two-day conference in Marrakech, Morocco.
A total of 164 countries have ratified the plan, which is being billed as a major milestone for international cooperation.
Sadly it serves mainly to underline how politicized and distorted the debate around migration has become. Media coverage has been dominated by the US’s refusal to participate and the withdrawal of a number of European countries led by Austria.
Their contention is the familiar hysterical populist narrative that the deal impedes national sovereignty.
This is a lie.
The agreement is not legally binding and has 23 tamely worded, non-enforceable objectives.
This includes ‘promoting evidence-based public discourse’, hinting at the deluge of misinformation surrounding the topic.
This has contributed to the perception that Africa, the only region to be singled out in the agreement as needing particular attention, is responsible for the bulk of international migration. In reality the continent accounts for the smallest share of international migrants at 14.6% according to the UN, with the majority being internal.
We’ll have to wait and see if the compact prompts action on this and its 22 other objectives, but it feels decidedly toothless.
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Tanzania is expected to sign a $3bn deal this week for the construction of a 2100MW hydroelectric power plant that could more than double the country’s power generating capacity. The contract has reportedly been awarded to Egyptian construction firm Arab Contractors. More: Reuters
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The Global Perspective
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The UK’s development finance institution, CDC Group, has invested $180m in Africa-focused internet company Liquid Telecom to help fund the roll-out of broadband infrastructure on the continent. The deal comes a week after CDC announced plans to invest $4.5bn across Africa in the next four years. More: Business Day
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IOM - UN Migration @UNmigration: News and updates from the International Organization for Migration.