All Visegrad countries have now rejected the United Nations pact on the treatment of migrants worldwide, after Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini on Sunday (25 November) announced his country’s position after the EU summit.
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was approved in July by all 193 member UN nations except the United States, which backed out last year, and is due to be ratified formally in December.
The pact was conceived after the biggest influx of migrants into Europe since World War Two, many fleeing conflicts and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and beyond.
The list of countries pulling out from the global migration pact is getting longer by the day. At least seven EU countries said they will not sign or even send envoys.
After Hungary, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Bulgaria, Slovenia too has made it plain that it will not send a representative at the intergovernmental conference in Marrakesh on 10 December.
Outside the EU, Australia, Switzerland and Israel also announced they will not sign the agreement.
In Belgium, a coalition partner to the government of Charles Michel, the Flemish nationalist N-VA, said the pact was “particularly problematic” for them.
“Slovakia will not support this United Nations pact under any circumstances and will not agree with it,” Pellegrini told reporters in Brussels after the summit where EU leaders approved the agreement on Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc.
A Slovakia rejection of the migration pact could lead to a shake-up of Pellegrini’s government, given that Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák has threatened to resign if the government shuns the agreement.
Lajčák was President of the United Nations General Assembly when the migration pact was adopted.
Pellegrini said that he believed Lajčák would stay even when the pact is rejected by Slovakia.
“I will do everything I can to keep him in his seat,” the prime minister said.