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Brazil withdraws from UN Migration Compact

New Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced the withdrawal from the UN Global Compact on Migration as he had promised to do earlier.

Published: January 11, 2019, 8:01 am

    The Brazilian withdrawal from the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was reported in the O Globo daily.

    In a telegram sent to missions abroad, Itamaraty, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry, said that the country would no longer participate in the agreement signed in December by the outgoing the Michel Temer administration.

    The telegram, issued on Tuesday, January 8, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked Brazilian diplomats to inform the United Nations that Brazil had left the Global Compact for Migration.

    BBC News Brazil reported that the document requests the missions of Brazil at the UN and in Geneva to “inform, by note, respectively, the Secretary General of the United Nations and the Director General of the International Migration Organization, in addition to any other interlocutors considered relevant, that Brazil dissociates itself from the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration”.

    Brazil should not “participate in any activity related to the pact or its implementation” according to the document.

    Diplomats told BBC News Brazil that the telegram had been circulating within the Ministry system and already reached the addressees.

    President Jair Bolsonaro and Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo had both warned on Twitter that the country would leave the Compact, with Araújo calling it an “inadequate instrument to deal with the [migration] problem”.

    He said “immigration should not be treated as a global issue, but rather according to the reality and sovereignty of each country”.

    The Compact, which is legally binding under International Law, has set global guidelines for the reception of migrants, demanding “human rights” guarantees from sovereign nations that are not tied to a specific nationality.

    Even the document was signed by at least two-thirds of the 193 UN member states, some powerful nations — in particular the USA, Italy and Australia have refused, saying that the Compact violated state sovereignty.

    Former Chancellor Aloysio Nunes Ferreira of the Communist Party of Brazil, who had represented Brazil in Morocco in December to sign the Compact, is furious about his country now abandoning the deal.

    “The (migratory) question is rather a global issue: all regions of the world are affected by migratory flows, now as source, now as a transit place, now as a destination; hence the need for global responses,” he complained on Twitter.

    Aloysio claims that the Compact “seeks only to serve as a reference for the ordering of migratory flows, without the slightest interference with the sovereign definition by each country of its migration policy”.

    Camila Asano, coordinator of Foreign Policy of the NGO Conectas, funded by the Soros Open Society Foundation, called the move “extremely regrettable”.

    According to Asano, the deal allows a “very valuable consensus on what would be good practices for hosting flows”.

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban meanwhile held bilateral talks with President Bolsonaro during his working visit to Brazil on Wednesday, Orban’s press chief said.

    The two leaders discussed opportunities for international, economic and political cooperation between their countries, Bertalan Havasi told MTI.

    At the talks, Orban confirmed an invitation to Bolsonaro for a visit to Hungary, which the Brazilian president accepted. Orban visited the country to attend Bolsonaro’s inauguration.

    Bolsonaro was elected in October last year, on his pledge to go back “50 years”. Fifty years ago, Brazil was governed by a military junta.

    Soon after Bolsonaro’s inauguration, the minister of women, family, and human rights, Damares Alves – an evangelical pastor – stated in a video that now “girls wear pink and boys, blue”.

    Araújo earlier noted that climate change was an “ideology” dreamed up so imperialist nations could determine Brazil’s future. “The people who say there are no men and women are the same ones who preach that countries don’t have the right to protect their borders,” Araújo stated in his inaugural speech.

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