Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis today criticised a United Nations migration pact following rejections by the United States, Hungary and Austria.
The Global Compact for Migration, whose final text was agreed in July after 18 months of negotiations, is set to be adopted during a conference in Morocco on December 10-11.
Babis, whose centre-left cabinet is set to discuss the issue next week, said in parliament: ‘I don’t like the pact. It’s not clearly interpreted and it could be abused.’
‘The United States have pulled out, Hungary too, now Austria, and Poland is debating it as well,’ he added.
The pact lays out 23 objectives to open up legal migration and better manage migratory flows as the number of people on the move worldwide has increased to 250 million – or three percent of the world’s population.
The United States quit talks on the pact last December, Hungary’s anti-immigration prime minister Viktor Orban rejected it in July and Austria followed suit on Wednesday.
Babis, a Slovak-born billionaire, has taken a strict anti-migrant stance, refusing to accept a single refugee despite pleas from western European EU partners.
The Austrian government said yesterday that it wouldn’t sign the pact, citing worries about national sovereignty.
The UN’s Global Compact for Safety, Orderly and Regular Migration is not a legally binding agreement.
Austria’s conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz took office last December, forming a coalition with the nationalist, anti-migration Freedom Party.
His position is that migrants rescued in the Mediterranean should be barred entry into Europe.
Austria took in approximately 1 per cent of its population in asylum seekers three years ago during a migration crisis which saw more than a million people travelling to Europe.
Concerns over migration was a central issue of last year’s parliamentary election and helped to elect Kurz’s conservatives.
Kurz, who has implemented policies which include restricting benefits for new immigrants, has said that he will prevent any repeat of that influx.
Strache, the Freedom Party’s leader, said that some contents of the migratory agreement ‘go diametrically against our position’.
‘Migration is not and cannot become a human right,’ he said. ‘It cannot be that someone receives a right to migration because of the climate or poverty.’
Read the entire article at the Daily Mail