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Consensus, Refugees, and Migrants


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Personal)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/01/25

In terms of the documents within the international community, one of the more important, and recent, documents comes in the form of the United Nations Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration that started in July 13, 2018 under the auspices of the United Nations but then was put into serious consideration as the months progressed, as the various migrant crises continue to accrue and the international community requires a robust framework and set of targeted objectives for the management, in a legal and globally agreed upon way, of mass migration with, approximately, one quarter of a billion people identified as refugees and migrants now.

A December 10, 1948, document set in motion the equality of all human persons as being human beings come in the form of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The rights of refugees and migrants inhere to them as human beings as much as a billionaire, a genius, or royalty. This is a modern era of rights, where, in time, this will extend to other animals and also to artificial constructs.

But for the time being, the issue in front of us with the Rohingya cannot be ignored with, perhaps, 1 million as, in essence, stateless and in need of assistance. But there is also the emphasis in this global compact starting on July 13, 2018, of the right of national sovereignty being kept as well as the non-binding legal nature of it; the Member States of the United Nations can opt out of it.

In that, there is a great deal of leeway to it. But, as of December 19, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly, the main UN organ, not only approved but “fully endorsed” it. The votes of the Member States do not lie about it. As we can see, there is a clear stipulation set about the ways in which the international community overwhelmingly is in support of it.

152 approved it; 5 were against it, including the US and Israel; 12 abstained; and 24 issued a no vote; in other words, or in short, if an individual Member State were to vote, the overwhelming consensus is an approval of the global compact. This is strong support via the international community for the need to keep national sovereignty, maintain an orderly and proper refugee and migrant adoption process, retain the rights of refugees and migrants as human beings, emphasize an overall framework negotiated and agreed upon at the highest levels of international consensus, and with an overwhelming consensus in support of it.

This is about a month and a week ago. We can do better. We can work towards the common goals and strategies within this overall framework for the global compact as a means by which the international community can begin to help those among us who are the most desperate, of greatest need, and deserving of the same rights and freedoms, and considerations, as those of us who are freely writing on their plights.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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