UN Global Compact adopted amidst absences

Guterres calls deaths of 60,000 migrants 'collective shame'

11 December, 11:18

    (ANSAmed) - MARRAKECH, DECEMBER 11 - UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, speaking at the conference in Marrakech where the UN Global Compact for Migration was unanimously adopted by all 164 countries in attendance, said that migration "must always be an act of choice, never of desperation".

    The conference was the second step for the non-binding document on "safe, orderly, and regular migration", following its approval on July 23 at the UN General Assembly in New York.

    Although its approval was taken to be a given, some countries, including Italy, were notably absent from the conference.

    Morocco's King Mohammed VI, at the opening of the conference, said the country is "proud to host the event" and "humble before the enormity of the cause, the path ahead, and the work still to be done".

    The Global Compact is divided into 41 points based on 18 principles and 23 objectives, and Guterres said it "reiterates respect for human rights".

    Its approval coincidentally came on the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Guterres said that the 60,000 migrants who have died in recent years represent "a collective shame".

    Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said that despite the absence of some countries at the conference, "those who aren't here in any case contributed to the debate and adopted the text last July in New York".

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was present at the conference, highlighted the importance of the event.

    "Migration is a normal phenomenon and when it is legal it is also a positive thing," she said.

    On Tuesday the conference will focus on bilateral meetings.(ANSAmed).

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