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STATEMENT: US withdraws from UN global compact for migration – ODI response

Written by Marta Foresti

Press Release

The US has pulled out of the UN global compact for migration, ahead of a major summit due to start tomorrow (Monday, December 4) in Mexico.

Marta Foresti, managing director at the Overseas Development Institute, said: 'The US decision to pull out of the global compact for migration is a decision which the President will likely come to regret. Indeed, some people at the global summit on migration, taking place in Mexico this week, say they will not be surprised to see the US back at the negotiating table in the not too distant future.

'This is because the global compact for migration will not be a new legally binding treaty establishing new global rules. Instead, it aims to develop a pragmatic and realistic framework for collaboration and action to better manage global migration. It is therefore the US’ loss not to be part of the negotiations that will determine its content and actions.

'The US has stated it wants to develop its own migration policies, as ‘our decisions must always be made by Americans and Americans alone’. However, international migration by definition involves human beings moving across two or more states, so the only possible solution to manage it is a collaborative effort between these states, which does not in any way diminish their sovereign right to manage their borders.'


Ms Foresti will be at the summit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this week. For more information or to arrange an interview please contact James Rush on [email protected] or call +44 (0)7808 791265