U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks with reporters after meeting with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in Washington,U.S., December 1, 2017. (REUTERS/File Photo/James Lawler Duggan)
WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- The United States has decided to end its participation in the UN process to develop a Global Compact on Migration (GCM) which it claimed could undermine its "sovereign right," according to a statement by the State Department on Sunday.
The United States cannot "support a process that could undermine the sovereign right of the United States to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders," said State Secretary Rex Tillerson in the statement.
The U.S. participation in the process started last year following the Obama Administration's decision to join the UN's New York Declaration on Migration.
Tillerson in the statement called the declaration containing "a number of policy goals that are inconsistent with U.S. law and policy."
The U.S. withdrawal came ahead of a global conference on migration which is slated on Monday in Mexico.
The decision also followed an announcement in October by the United States of pulling itself out of the UNESCO, a Paris-based landmark UN cultural organization, a move that many countries felt regretful.
Meanwhile, UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak on Sunday expressed regret over a U.S. decision to withdraw from the global migration compact, a UN-led process toward safe, orderly and regular migration.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been informed of the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to end participation in the process that would achieve the first intergovernmentally negotiated agreement on international migration by 2018, said the U.S. mission to the United Nations in a press statement on Saturday.
Lajcak regretted the U.S. decision, saying no country can handle international migration alone.
"In the (2016) New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, all UN member states acknowledged that no one state can manage international migration on its own. Furthermore, they committed to strengthening global governance of migration. To that end, member states agreed at the highest level to launch a process leading to the adoption of a global compact in 2018," said Brenden Varma, the spokesman for Lajcak, in a statement.
"The role of the United States in this process is critical as it has historically and generously welcomed people from all across the globe and remains home to the largest number of international migrants in the world. As such, it has the experience and expertise to help ensure that this process leads to a successful outcome."
Lajcak stressed that migration is a global phenomenon that demands a global response and that multilateralism remains the best way to address global challenges, said the statement.
Despite the U.S. withdrawal, the United Nations should not miss this opportunity to improve the lives of millions of people throughout the world through global migration compact, it said.
U.S. participation in the compact process began in 2016, following the Obama administration's decision to join the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.
"The New York Declaration contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with U.S. immigration and refugee policies and the Trump administration's immigration principles. As a result, President Trump determined that the United States would end its participation in the compact process that aims to reach international consensus at the UN in 2018," said the press statement of the U.S. mission to the United Nations.
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley said: "Our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone. We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country. The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with U.S. sovereignty."
Following the September 2016 New York Declaration, the General Assembly started to develop this global compact in April 2017. The General Assembly will hold an intergovernmental conference on international migration in 2018 with a view to adopting the global compact.