UN Migration Pact Would Forfeit Australia’s Sovereignty

What you should know:

  • The ‘pact’ would force Australian media corporations to only report ‘good news’ on any story involving migrants.
  • No member for parliament has owned up to drafting the ‘pact’ document; no even one knows who wrote it.

In an increasingly globalised world, nations are under pressure to cede their sovereign rights to various global commitments, like the costly and somewhat dubious Paris Climate agreement.

But signing up to these accords is often far easier than exiting them. Just ask the British how Brexit is proceeding.

Fortunately, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has ruled out signing onto a global pact on migration. He stated that he will not allow the United Nations to undermine Australia’s borders.

According to the AAP, more than 190 countries have agreed to the pact.

If that smells like BS, it most certainly is. There are  roughly 30 civilised countries in the world that are highly advanced thanks to mostly white indigenous populations. No Arab & no African states will absorb third world savages in large numbers, so their signatures are meaningless.

More below the fold.

UN’s migrant compact out to usurp Peter Dutton’s tight controls

The Mocker The Australian August 2, 2018

If you have reservations about Australia becoming a signatory to the United Nations’ Global Compact for Migration, fear not. According to Switzerland’s ambassador to Australia, Pedro Zwahlen, this will not compromise our sovereignty. The compact, he told The Australian this week, “is neither a treaty nor a convention and has no legally binding power.”

The usually serene Swiss, who together with the Mexicans (the country, not the socialists down south) have pushed for the compact, are a tad peeved with us, or more precisely Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton. Last week he announced that Australia would not sign off on the compact in its current form. “We’re not going to surrender our sovereignty,” he told 2GB’s Alan Jones. “I’m not going to allow unelected bodies to dictate to us, to the Australian people … they do not want us to go soft on borders.”

As Zwahlen responded: “The right of states to determine their migration policies and ‘their prerogative to govern migration within their jurisdiction’ is explicitly reaffirmed.” His assurance comes as a welcome relief. In any event, who would have thought that a compact comprising 34 pages, 54 paragraphs, and 16,603 words which provides that the UN “will review the progress made at local, national, regional and global levels” was anything other than aspirational?

Heaven forbid even the mere thought this behemoth of a world bureaucracy would want to usurp Australia’s immigration policies, despite it being our harshest external critic of them. Its intentions have never been anything other than altruistic, and we can only attribute Dutton’s hostility to the provincialism of his Queensland heritage, or perhaps an ex-cop’s cynical inclination to treat with suspicion any document drafted by bureaucratic lawyers.

Forgive my facetiousness, but you would have to be a prize dill to mistake the turgid prose of this compact for mere motherhood statements. While it lists the usual tedious platitudes, it also insinuates that its narrative must not be challenged. For example, it specifies that signatories must provide an information campaign “with a view to dispelling misleading narratives that generate negative perceptions of migrants.” The means to which this compact seeks to influence domestic discussion on immigration is not limited to mere political correctness. Rather, the intention is to create a chilling effect through fear of sanction.

Consider these euphemisms. Signatories will be obliged to “promote independent, objective and quality reporting of media outlets, including internet-based information, including by sensitising and educating media professionals on migration-related issues and terminology”. You can be sure the first media organisation to be targeted will be that which refers to unlawful immigrants or Sudanese crime gangs. But what happens to those journalists who refuse to be ‘sensitised’ or ‘educated’?

In short, they will be censored. If you think that is an exaggeration, remember the compact calls for “stopping allocation of public funding or material support to media outlets that systematically promote intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants.” As an ironic rider, it adds that this be done “in full respect for the freedom of the media”.

You could argue these concerns are largely academic given our national broadcaster, the ABC, already toes the UN-line, and that most media organisations in Australia are not dependent on government funding. But remember the public spectrum would constitute “material support”, in which case the government would be obliged to cancel the licence of an offending television or radio station. Can you imagine the likes of Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane of the Australian Human Rights Commission having the power to do this? Do we really want these UN acolytes vetting what Australian journalists report and deciding what terminology is acceptable?

No doubt the UN would dismiss this as scaremongering, yet it has shown a consistent course of conduct in attempting to regulate the media’s reporting. Last year the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommended Australia “Put an end to racist hate speech expressed in the print and electronic media, and encourage the media to adopt a code of good conduct containing provisions against racism and racial discrimination.” It also called for the balance of proof to be reversed in civil cases involving racial discrimination. Even the left-leaning Sydney Morning Herald warned the recommendations amounted to “effectively censoring aspects of the media and public commentary.”

As this newspaper’s legal affairs editor Chris Merritt succinctly wrote yesterday, the compact’s much-vaunted declaration that countries would retain national sovereignty in migration matters amounts to “the world’s finest example of dissembling claptrap.” This sophistry is evident in paragraph seven, which specifies the compact “fosters international cooperation among all relevant actors on migration, acknowledging that no State can address migration alone, and upholds the sovereignty of States and their obligations under international law. Any guesses as to which institution the UN regards as the ultimate interpreter of international law?

If you are in any doubt as to the UN’s presumptions in this area, consider the bombastic language of UN human rights committee vice-chair Yuval Shany only last year. Castigating Australia’s rejection of the committee’s views, his language revealed much about the UN’s attitude towards national sovereignty. “While the function of the human rights council is not as such a judicial body,” he pronounced, “the views…are characteristic of a judicial decision…[and] represent an authoritative view.”

“While we can accept, in some cases, delay, because changes take time especially in implementing domestic legislation, it is unacceptable for a state to almost routinely fail to implement the views of the committee and in essence challenges the expert nature of the committee.” Oh the humanity. Fancy a democratically-elected government not deferring to an unelected committee of overpaid foreign bureaucrats.

The UN’s disdain for Australian democracy is one that borders on contempt. Condemning the government’s decision to conduct last year’s same-sex marriage plebiscite, Shany’s fellow committee member Sarah Cleveland haughtily decreed “Human rights are not to be determined by opinion poll or a popular vote”. Last year Christiana Figueres, a former executive secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change demanded Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reconsider a proposed $1 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility loan for conglomerate Adani’s intended coalmine in Queensland, saying it would have “serious negative impacts” for Australia’s international reputation.

In 2015, then UN special rapporteur Michel Forst intervened to demand the Abbott government explain its criticism of Gillian Triggs, then president of the AHRC. Expressing “grave concern” at her supposed ill-treatment, Forst even questioned whether budget cuts to the AHRC were in response to the findings of Triggs’s inquiry into children in detention. You would think the UN’s primary concern would be the fact Triggs had delayed her inquiry for 18 months until the Coalition had assumed government, the reasons for which she has given several contradictory explanations. As is typical of those who ride on the grievance gravy train, they instinctively look out for each other, knowing that the demise of a driver can lead to its derailing.

The UN’s obsession with undermining democratic institutions is one that occasionally provides comic relief, albeit of the dark variety. Last week it recommended Australia adopt a charter of human rights. The reason? “To better protect women’s rights at home.”

For pity’s sake, has it not considered that perhaps there are countries other than Australia that the UN should direct its efforts towards in this respect? Would it be cynical to surmise that the main criterion for the UN’s scrutiny is not the urgency of the situation but instead the lure of the junket? Last week UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reported a deficit of US $139m, saying the organisation had “never faced such a difficult cash flow situation this early in the calendar year.” No doubt any day now we will hear the well-rehearsed “There is no more fat to cut” line.

The United States and Hungary have indicated they will not be signing the compact. At the risk of being seen to question the expertise of some nameless UN committee members, Australia should do the same, in spite of the assurances of the Swiss ambassador that signing it poses no risk to our sovereignty. With all due respect, sir, that compact has more holes in it than your country’s famous cheese.

1/ Peter Dutton has so far resisted attempts by the UN to dictate migration policy.

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Dutton is right to reject this United Nations claptrap

Chris Merritt The Australian August 1, 2018

The Global Compact for Migration contains an affirmation of respect for national sovereignty that would have to be the world’s finest example of dissembling claptrap. It means nothing.

Also bereft of meaning is the argument that this pact is benign because its provisions are not enforceable. They don’t need to be. They work by encouraging governments to pass laws that the UN considers to be correct.

Without change, Peter Dutton is right to reject this pact. Signing up would permit the UN to make Australia a whipping boy for deviating from the terms of the compact.

Signatories will be subjecting themselves to “inter-governmental measures that will assist us in fulfilling our objectives and commitments”.

And that includes re-educating journalists, “sensitising” them about migration-related terminology, manipulation by governments designed to “shape perceptions of migration”, the withdrawal of public funding from certain media outlets and investing in “ethical” reporting standards.

The big con is the guarantee that signatories will be free to enact their own migration policies. This promise, in paragraph 15 of the pact, is subject to the qualification that this freedom is to be exercised “in accordance with international law”.

This form of words, which is peppered throughout the compact, might seem innocent, but it’s not. It invites some UN committee of experts to decide which Australian laws are in accord with international law.

Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten should have nothing to do with this — unless they are happy to make the UN the arbiter of Australian law.

This is a key measure of sovereignty and it resides exclusively with those who vote in Australian elections — and that is where it should stay.

1/ Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton. Picture: AAP

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UN wants good news on migrants

Chris Merritt, Primrose Riordan The Australian August 1, 2018

A major UN pact on migration commits governments to introduce programs aimed at “sensitising and educating” the media and withholding public funding from publications that “promote intolerance” of migrants. Meanwhile, Switzerland has hit back after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton declared Australia would not sign the compact as it stands, contradicting his suggestion it would undermine national sovereignty.

UN member states, led by Mexico and Switzerland, helped negotiate the compact and the final text suggests it could pressure Canberra to review its immigration detention policies.

Switzerland’s ambassador to Australia, Pedro Zwahlen, instead said sovereignty was central to the deal and emphasised the agreement was not legally binding.

“Not at all. National sovereignty is one of the 10 guiding principles of the Global Compact for Migration. The right of states to determine their migration policies and ‘their prerogative to govern migration within their jurisdiction’ is explicitly reaffirmed,” he told The Australian.

“(The agreement) is neither a treaty nor a convention and has no legally binding power.”

He said Australia had been a part of the negotiations.

The education program for those in the media, which would extend to their terminology, is outlined in paragraph 33 of the final draft of the Global Compact for Migration which commits governments to “shape perceptions of migration”.

Paragraph 15 of the compact “affirms the sovereign right of states to determine their national migration policy and their prerogative to govern migration within their jurisdiction”.

But that provision also says this should be done “in conformity with international law”.

The compact also commits governments to review and revise migration legislation, policies and practices “in accordance with international law”. That revision should “prioritise non-custodial alternatives to detention”.

The compact requires governments to shape perceptions of migration by promoting “evidence-based public discourse”.

While some media outlets would lose public funding under the compact, is also requires governments to invest in advertising and “ethical reporting standards”.

It says these steps should be taken in order to promote “independent, objective and quality reporting … in full respect for the freedom of the media”.

The final draft of the compact, dated July 11, was published by the UN’s International Organisation for Migration.

The IOM, which will have a key role in administering the compact, produced “supplemental input” last October for a report on its “actionable commitments”.

That IOM document says one of the goals of the compact should be to “work with local media to develop means for regular transmission of positive narratives about migrants and migration in order to counteract discrimination, racism and xenophobia”.

The IOM’s proposed actionable commitments included a move to “align national legislation with obligations and standards on the protection of migrants in relevant international law”.

The Australian revealed last week that the Turnbull government had left the door open to withdrawing from the compact, which so far only the US and Hungary have rejected. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has simply said Australia is “considering” the deal.

1/ The UN has asked for public funding to be withheld from publications that “promote intolerance” of migrants.

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Why did Australia not sign the global pact?

The idea of the pact is commendable. It aims to promote safe and orderly migration and to reduce human trafficking. And it likely makes sense for most of the 190 nations that have signed up to do so.

But unlike many of the countries who have already signed up for the pact, Australia is a safe, wealthy nation with secure borders. And Peter Dutton intends to keep it that way.

Speaking to 2GB radio yesterday he said:

We’re not going to sign a document that surrenders our sovereignty. We’re serious about keeping our borders secure. We’re not going to allow the UN or anybody else to disrupt the hard work that’s taken place.’

Dutton also pointed to Europe. While most European nations are relatively wealthy, their borders are anything but secure.

Dutton implied that after being inundated by millions of undocumented migrants some European countries were losing their sense of national identity. ‘In generations to come that will have a huge impact on those societies,’ he said.

And he warned that people smugglers were still out there keeping a keen eye on Australia. But Dutton isn’t prepared to give them an opening.

We’re not going to give up those hard-fought gains,’ Dutton stated.