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    Six States' Withdrawal From Global Compact on Migration Not Catastrophic - UNDP

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    PARIS (Sputnik) - The withdrawal of six countries from the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is not "catastrophic," a "good agreement" can still be signed at the upcoming conference, assistant administrator and director of the Regional Bureau for Africa of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Ahunna Eziakonwa told Sputnik.

    "I don’t think it’s catastrophic that we have six counties refusing. I think we still have a good chance of securing a good agreement in Marrakesh with the countries that have already endorsed [the compact] and want to move forward," Eziakonwa said.

    The UNDP assistant administrator expressed hope that the six countries would change their mind.

    "I think this situation underlines the fact that people are still guided by fear rather than evidence of what migration is all about. And I think that we can help by doing more deep studies about issue and making sure policies in the countries are informed by data, by evidence rather than by myths and fears, which I think is also ruling politics," Eziakonwa noted.

    Global Migration Compact Imperfect, But Targets Root Issues

    "The compact is not perfect, there are other things that we need to include in it, but it is the best opportunity we have to address the root causes of the problem," Eziakonwa told Sputnik.

    The UNDP assistant administrator stressed that irregular migration appears where "people don’t see any legal channels sufficient for them to use."

    The inconsistency of policies is another issue that the pact might help solve, Eziakonwa said. The discrepancy between approaches could appear even within one country, with "immigration department holding one position, the ministry of labour holding another position, because they are all fed by different politics and different data."

    "So in one country you have a range of policy positions that are disconnected, that is fragmented and therefore have a divergent impact, it is not having a coherent impact. So if you could have one conversation informed by one set of evidence that allows some coherence between the departments, the different entities of a government and the different entities within the global governance structure, I think we will at least manage to reduce the irregularity of migration, because the incoherence is feeding irregularity," Eziakonwa said.

    READ MORE: UN Migration 'Pact is Carte Blanche for Illegal Migration' — AfD Parliamentarian

    The UNDP assistant administrator continued on saying that the pact helped underscore the issue with "migrant labour supply and demand."

    "We need to acknowledge that, and we need to then open up legal channels for people to move. And the second one [important issue addressed by the pact] is that migration in itself can make a huge contribution to development," Eziakonwa noted.

    The UNDP assistant administrator cited the UN agenda for sustainable development through 2030, which includes such goals as ending poverty, achieving gender equality, reducing inequality within and between states, promoting environment-friendly policy.

    "If we are wise, if we are smart, we should start looking into what are the elements in migration that can contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda, how do we use this force of human mobility to contribute to development," Eziakonwa emphasized.

    She cited an example of New Zealand, which permits seasonal migration from the Pacific countries, allowing people to earn some money in a short three-month period, and at the same time creates "an enormous dividend for development that aid would never be able to contribute to."

    READ MORE: Analyst: UN Migration Pact Will Be 'Used by Media Like Hammer' to Bash Countries

    The Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the non-binding compact will be held in Marrakech on December 10-11.

    Meanwhile, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the United States have decided to withdraw from the agreement, and Poland has said it is considering doing the same.


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