December 19, 2018 / 6:02 PM / 3 months ago

U.N. formally approves global migration pact opposed by U.S., others

FILE PHOTO: A member of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) talks with Venezuelans as they queue in line to receive a vaccine after showing their passports or identity cards at the Pacaraima border control, Roraima state, Brazil August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations General Assembly formally approved a deal on Wednesday aimed at boosting global cooperation to tackle rising migration, but the United States, Israel, Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland voted against the voluntary pact.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has said the global approach to the issue was not compatible with U.S. sovereignty and Washington did not take part in negotiations on the migration pact.

A U.N. General Assembly resolution enshrining the deal was adopted on Wednesday with 152 votes in favour and 12 abstentions, while 24 countries did not vote.

At a ceremony in Morocco this month 164 countries formally signed the pact.

Since July, the accord, which addresses issues such as how to protect migrants, integrate them and send them home, has been criticized by mostly right-wing European politicians who say it could increase immigration from African and Arab countries.

Belgium voted in favour of the U.N. resolution on Wednesday. Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel offered to resign on Tuesday after opponents tabled a no confidence vote in a political crisis triggered by his support for the U.N pact.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by James Dalgleish

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