The Global Compact on Refugees approved with overwhelming support by UN member states bar one, the United States

Published 14. Nov 2018

Statement by Dr. James Munn, Director & Head of Humanitarian Policy, NRC Geneva, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
“Yesterday in New York, the Global Compact on Refugees was approved with overwhelming support by UN member states through a vote of 176 in favour and one against.
Over the past two years, governments, the UN, and civil society around the world have come together to develop the Global Compact on Refugees. In this unique process, characterised by cooperation and solidarity, NRC believes the Global Compact will enable better protection and expanded solutions for refugees by addressing the growing global displacement crisis.
Despite the fact that the United States was the only state not to vote in favour of the full GCR, we are thankful for the vast acknowledgement and commitment from UN member states to collective action for refugees. At the heart of the GCR is a future of hope for 25.4 million refugees. In the US explanation of their vote they reiterated their “support for the Compact’s primary objectives to 1) encourage non-refugee hosting countries and countries that do not provide humanitarian assistance to do more; 2) ease pressure on refugee-hosting countries that will allow refugees to stay closer to their home; 3) increase third country options and facilitate solutions, including opportunities beyond traditional resettlement; and 4) improve conditions in countries of origin for safe and voluntary refugee returns. NRC welcomes the opportunity to work with the US delegation to address any impediments ahead of the UN General Assembly’s formal adoption of the GCR next month.
Since the days of Roosevelt, the US has been a world leader and strong advocate for the protection of refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other people at risk. Because of this unwavering commitment to the world’s most vulnerable people, we have grown to expect the USA to stand shoulder to shoulder with us in defence of the humanitarian imperative. We ask them to maintain this leadership not turn from it now.
Global solidarity and cooperation are needed to avoid that innocent women, children and men who have been forcibly displaced from their homes and countries ultimately pay the price.”