Self-Interest of U.S. and Other Nations Dilute Global Draft Agreement on Refugee Resettlement

From AllGov:


By Somini Sengupta, New York Times


UNITED NATIONS — More people are forcibly displaced from their homes today than at any time since the end of the Second World War.


But the plight of these people is so politically contentious that after days of intense negotiations over a draft international agreement, the nations of the world have come up with virtually no concrete commitments to make their journeys any better or safer.


Western European countries, along with Russia, resisted what many had hoped would be a pledge to resettle one-tenth of all the people fleeing war and persecution. And the United States balked at language that would have committed all countries to not detaining unauthorized children who arrive at their borders.


At issue is a 22-page draft “outcome document” that the 193 countries of the U.N. are trying to agree on before the annual gathering of world leaders at the General Assembly in September. It is not legally binding. Still, the negotiations are so difficult that a draft text that had been expected to be adopted on Monday, after being postponed at least once before, was postponed again.


“This has been a very difficult topic — very, very difficult and timely,” Dina Kawar, Jordan’s ambassador to the U.N. and one of two diplomats leading the negotiations, said Monday.


The draft agreement comes at a time when refugees and migrants have become a divisive element in European and American politics. In the presidential campaign in the U.S., Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, has proposed barring Muslims from entering the country.


Refugees and migrants will be the biggest issue at the gathering of world leaders at the U.N. next month. President Barack Obama plans to lead a meeting at the …

Continue Reading