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UN initiative Expert group recommends Switzerland sign migration pact

flags in marrakesh

Leaders are meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco on December 10-11 to ratify the pact.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Federal Commission on Migration (FCM) has recommended that Switzerland sign the recently-drafted United Nations Global Compact for Migration, a document criticised by some political groups.

The FCM, a 30-member extra-parliamentary group that advises the government on questions related to migration, announced on Wednesday that a Swiss ratification of the compact is not only desirable, but “necessary”.

“It [the signing] would associate our country to the global effort to regulate migratory flows, and would bring direct benefits for Swiss migration policy,” the FCM wrote (in French)external link.

The expert group also stressed the “symbolic significance” of signing, and reminded that the non-binding nature of the pact means that all signatory countries are free to continue formulating their own migration policies.

+ Swiss Ambassador defends the pact he helped to shape

Last month the Swiss government initially announced their approval of the Compact, a non-binding document containing ten guiding principles, 23 objectives and a list of possible voluntary actions for implementing each objective.

Following criticism from various political parties in the Swiss parliament, however, notably from the right, the government later said that it would not attend the international conference in Marrakesh on December 10-11 where nations are set to approve the accord.

Though it will take the final decision itself, the government stressed, it wanted to wait for parliamentary debates on the issue during the forthcoming winter session before deciding whether to give the migration pact its final blessing.

The pact has also come in for criticism by nationalists in various other countries, while the United States, Hungary, Austria, Israel, and Poland have all said they won’t support it.

swissinfo.ch/dos

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