Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, December 7th, 2018 - 123 comments
Categories: act, australian politics, Iain Lees-Galloway, International, labour, making shit up, national, nz first, Propaganda, same old national, Simon Bridges, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, United Nations, us politics, winston peters, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:
National and ACT have both come out against the UN Global Migration Pact. National has even started a petition.
Simon Bridges gives the reasons why:
National would pull New Zealand out of the UN’s Global Compact on Migration because of its potential to restrict New Zealand’s ability to set its own migration and foreign policy, National Leader Simon Bridges says.
“National is supportive of global action on major issues and of migration into New Zealand because it brings skills, capital and connections and makes New Zealand a better, more diverse place. And we support the ability for New Zealanders to travel and live and work overseas should they choose.
“But immigration policy is solely a matter for individual countries and must take account of their individual circumstances – and New Zealand’s policies are already held up as international best practice. There is no automatic right to migrate to another country without that country’s full agreement, a view which the United Nation’s Global Compact on Migration, set to be signed next week, seeks to counter.
“While not binding, the Compact could restrict the ability of future governments to set immigration and foreign policy, and to decide on which migrants are welcome and which aren’t. While National is the party most open to immigration, we cannot accept this.
Was this guy really a lawyer? How can something that is not binding restrict the ability of future governments to set immigration and foreign policy?
His twitter alter ego (is that you Hamish?) also got in on the Act:
We do this because of its potential to restrict NZ’s ability to set its own migration and foreign policy & because we support the ability for Kiwis to travel and live & work overseas should they choose.
— Simon Bridges (@simonjbridges) December 3, 2018
So National wants to prevent other Governments from restricting New Zealanders ability to travel but at the same time wants to make sure that New Zealand governments have the ability to restrict other countries’ citizens from travelling to New Zealand. Help my head hurts.
Such nuttiness is not the preserve of National. ACT got in on the game as well and claimed that the Pact was an attack on the rights of freedom of speech. Stephen Berry, ACT’s spokesperson put out a press release saying this:
ACT’s Human Rights Spokesman Stephen Berry says the UN Global Compact for Migration will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression and the freedom of the press.
“ACT has always been an unabashed defender of free speech and a free press. This treaty has grave implications for both.
“The darkest aspect of the Compact is Objective 17 which deals with shaping public perceptions on migration through childhood education, the media, and public information campaigns.
“It implores nations to use ‘awareness-raising campaigns’ to ‘inform public perceptions regarding the positive contributions of safe, orderly and regular migration.’ This provides the perfect opportunity for propagandists at the Human Rights Commission to tell New Zealanders what to do and think.
“The Compact would require New Zealand to ‘enact, implement or maintain legislation that penalises hate crimes’ without specifying exactly what constitutes a hate crime. Countries that have enacted hate speech laws show they are used to silence and bully political opponents. Those who define intolerance are always the last people you would ever want to have such power.
Clearly they cannot tolerate intolerance against intolerance. Freedom of speech for xenophobes!
Berry is just channelling Stefan Molyneux who claims the Pact is designed to enforce propaganda.
When the Pact was passed in 2016 unanimously by all nations in the world National was in power. Someone must have signed this off.
Other paranoid right wing administrations have already pulled out of the Pact. Guyon Espiner reports:
Last week, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there were concerns the Compact may be used to “undermine Australia’s strong border protection laws and practises”.
“The Compact fails to adequately distinguish between people who enter Australia illegally and those who come to Australia the right way – particularly with respect to the provision of welfare and other benefits,” said Mr Morrison.
And, surprise surprise, the Trump Administration pulled out a while ago. Again from Espiner:
The United States pulled out at the end of 2017, when then-US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said migration was an issue for domestic policy.
“We simply cannot in good faith support a process that could undermine the sovereign right of the United States to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders”.
Unfortunately Winston Peters is also showing signs of buckling although at this stage Labour appears to be sound. From Derek Cheng at the Herald:
Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and Foreign Minister Winston Peters are considering advice on the compact.
Peters said while it was not a binding agreement, there could eventually be pressure to treat it as binding.
“The only concern we would have is whether or not we were compromising this country’s sovereignty.
“In terms of morale and in terms of integrity, non-binding sometimes means binding. Why would a first-world country in a democracy sign something with no intention of abiding by it?”
Lees-Galloway said there were important values behind the compact, and did not understand National’s position, given that the compact is not legally binding.
“The reason for National’s opposition is quite unclear at this stage. It doesn’t restrict New Zealand in any way. We will continue to set out own immigration laws.”
The rationale for opposing the Pact is frankly bizarre. As explained by UN Envoy for International Migration Louise Arbour:
The U.N. envoy for international migration said Tuesday she’s “very disappointed” that some countries are reneging on their support for a global compact to promote safe and orderly migration and reduce human smuggling and trafficking — some for “bizarre” reasons.
Louise Arbour said in an interview with The Associated Press that it’s also “puzzling” because the global compact is not legally binding and after its formal adoption next month “there is not a single country that is obligated to do anything that it doesn’t want
The former Canadian judge and U.N. human rights commissioner, who will be secretary-general of the Marrakech meeting, said the backtracking on the agreement shows a “disconnect” in some countries between their foreign policies “and some domestic pressures or national concerns that obviously were not being fed into the process.”
“Many of them have expressed it, in frankly, rather bizarre terms,” Arbour said. “Some have said, for instance, we will not sign which is rather strange because there’s nothing to sign. It’s not a treaty. Others have said we will not come. Others have said we don’t endorse the compact.”
This Global Compact presents a non-legally binding, cooperative framework that builds on the commitments agreed upon by Member States in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. It 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.
This is pizzagate, black helicopter, world government level nuttiness. Being willing to trash New Zealand’s positive reputation as a responsible world citizen for political support from right wing nut jobs should not be something that any major political party should consider doing.