The United Nations‘ special representative for international migration, Canadian Louise Arbour, is taking aim at what she calls the rampant misinformation surrounding the Global Compact for Migration.
Arbour, the leader of the upcoming conference in Marrakech, Morocco, where the pact is set to be adopted by most UN member countries, said Sunday that some of the most oft-voiced criticisms of the pact are unfounded.
“It creates no right to migrate. It places no imposition on states… It is not legally binding,” she told reporters on Sunday.
The Montreal-born Arbour, who served as a justice on the Supreme Court of Canada between 1999 and 2004, said she expected the pact to “stand the test of time,” even though the U.S., Australia, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Latvia and the Dominican Republic have pulled out.
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Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, who is in Morocco for the summit, says Ottawa is committed to signing onto the pact despite protests from right-wing political activists.
Hussen said the pact will spawn an international framework for countries to work together on the causes and impacts of migration.
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Arbour expressed similar sentiments in tweets on Sunday.
“This is not a Global compact #ForMigration, but for safe, orderly and regular migration. This is an effort to do better together, to look at the decades ahead of us, and collaborate on the wide range of issues pertaining to international migration,” she wrote.
“I hope that tomorrow will be the starting point of anchoring the Global Compact #ForMigration in its rightful narrative – recognizing the overwhelming benefits that it brings to all.”
— With files from the Associated Press and the Canadian Press