John Lennon’s “Imagine” becoming a reality?

UN encouraging open borders with new agreement

Janet Moje
UN encouraging open borders with new agreement

Imagine a world with no borders, anyone can live where they want. No more illegal migrants… migration is totally legal because it is a human right.

Wait... what? While some call it the European Union on steroids, the UN describes it as the first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement to cover all dimensions of international migration.

In April of 2017, 193 sovereign states began negotiating a set of minimum standards for global migration to guide how migrants themselves are to be treated, as well as the host countries' obligations. The final draft was completed July 11, 2018 and is now known as the UN Global Compact for Migration. This is a non-binding, voluntary agreement, and this year, on December 10 and 11 in Marrakesh, Morocco it will be ceremoniously adopted.

The U.S.A and Hungary were the first to opt out. Since then Australia, Israel, Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Croatia, Switzerland, and Slovenia have opted out, with Italy and Estonia under debate.

But if it is a voluntary, non-binding agreement, why opt out at all? Pierre d’Argent, a Belgian law professor argues, "This will act like other UN compacts that have proceeded, it will be used by lawyers to interpret the meaning of laws."

An example of this is the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 now upheld in most industrial nations. However, in terms of migration, since it is the underdeveloped countries that have populations wanting to leave for a better life in industrialized nations, the one-way migrations to these countries will establish the principles in this document.

Raoul Wallenberg, from the Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law says, "Its 'principles, commitments and understandings' are intended to structure future action on migration and it is likely to be a major influence on the interpretation of existing legal instruments and the creation of new ones.”

Sharryn Aiken, an immigration law expert at Queen’s University explained that, "…the compact is not legally binding.”

“There’s key wording in clause 7," she continues, "which states that the compact is a 'non-legally binding, cooperative framework that builds on the commitments agreed upon by Member States.'"

UN General Assembly President Maria Espinosa states, “We fully understand the decision of some countries that have decided they are not ready to commit, and it’s perhaps because they are taking the issue [of] migration very seriously, and they need to have greater discussions and conversations domestically.”

So what do some of those leaders say about why they opted out? Do they agree with Espinosa?

  • U.S. President Donald Trump said in September, “Migration should not be governed by an international body unaccountable to our own citizens."
  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morris remarked the compact is “inconsistent” with his nation’s best interest, and it “fails to adequately distinguish between people who enter Australia illegally and those who come to Australia the right way.”
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We are committed to guarding our borders against illegal migrants. This is what we have done, and this is what we will continue to do."
  • Poland’s Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski said, “The draft of the agreement does not contain adequately strong guarantees of [nations’] sovereign right to decide who comes into their territory and [nor does it] distinguish legal and illegal migration”.
  • Maxime Bernier stated, “The Global Compact for Migration commits Canada to developing all kinds of programs to deal with migration” and “ensure they have jobs.” (Note: Factcan.ca says, "Bernier’s statement is false. It framed an international cooperative framework as a legally enforceable agreement.")

Bernier has started a petition against the compact with a deadline of February 21, 2019. The Compact has 23 guiding principles and the UN has created a list with brief descriptions of each. The final draft has 37 pages of details, listed under each guiding principle.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, Canada ranks eighth in the top ten countries to migrate to. The other nine are United States, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirate, France, Australia, and Spain.

If you have questions, then get the facts, and let our government know what you think:

UN Compact on Migration

International Migration Report 2017

Petition against the compact