Migration pact approved: UN boss Guterres congratulates nations on ‘courageous choice’

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres congratulated Prime Minister Charles Michel on the ‘courageous choice of Belgium’. Our country approved the UN Migration Pact today during the UN General Assembly in New York. 152 countries voted for the text, 12 abstained and 5 voted against.

Our country’s yes vote for the UN Migration Pact did not go smoothly, as we know. The N-VA even stepped out of the government because the other coalition partners stuck to the pact, after which Prime Minister Michel defended the text at the international UN conference in Marrakech.

UN Secretary-General Guterres has personally called Michel to convey his congratulations and appreciation to the “courageous choice of Belgium”, can be heard at the Prime Minister’s office. “Both have repeated their plea and support for international cooperation.”

Guterres also congratulated the Prime Minister for his speech in Marrakech. Michel then said that he ‘makes the choice for multilateralism’, and that Belgium ‘will be on the right side of history’.

The Belgian Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Marc Pecsteen, emphasized in the Belgian explanation of vote today that the UN Migration Pact is ‘non-binding’ and ‘respects the sovereignty of the member states of the United Nations’.

“The text underlines the difference between regular and irregular migration,” Pecsteen said.

The UN Migration Pact was approved today with an overwhelming majority: 152 countries voted for the text, 12 abstained and 5 voted against. The opponents were Hungary, Israel, Poland, the Czech Republic and the United States. Among the states that were abstaining were Austria, Australia, Switzerland, Italy and Bulgaria. Belgium is one of the countries that support the pact.

The legally non-binding pact of Marrakesh aims to increase international cooperation for “safe, orderly and regular migration”. In Morocco, 165 countries approved it at the beginning of this month.

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