Thank you to those who have contacted me about the UN Global Compact on Migration.
I am assured that the Government is determined to address the multiple challenges of unmanaged migration, including the problems it causes for origin, transit and destination countries, and the risks it poses to the migrants themselves.
The Compact enables the Government to amplify its efforts within a framework of international cooperation. It marks a major milestone for the international community, by setting out a framework to allow countries to tackle unmanaged migration and work towards regular migration that is beneficial for everyone.
The Compact will not affect the sovereignty of countries to control their own borders – its provisions are voluntary for member states. It commits to protecting freedom of expression for the press and public.
The Prime Minister set out the UK’s priorities for global migration reform in 2016. The Compact is consistent with these priorities. It distinguishes between refugees and migrants, confirms the sovereign right of States to control their borders, and makes clear the responsibility of States to accept the return of their nationals who no longer have the right to remain elsewhere.
I do not therefore interpret the Compact as being in conflict with the UK’s current domestic policies – rather that it offers new opportunities for the implementation of Government policy and influence through international processes.
Over 160 countries supported the adoption of the Compact by the UN General Assembly in December, and it is my view that UK support is fully justified.