United Nations Current Affairs - 2019
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United Nations for first time has finalized Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration to better manage international migration, address its challenges, strengthen migrant rights and contribute to sustainable development. This is for first time UN Member countries came together to negotiate agreement covering all dimensions of international migration.
The compact is the first intergovernmental agreement to cover wide-ranging dimensions of international migration in holistic and comprehensive manner, agreed upon by all the UN member states minus the United States. It is not legally binding. It sets out 23 objectives to deal issues ranging from factors that compel people to move, legal channels for migration, combating trafficking and smuggling, harnessing the economic benefits of migration and return of the migrants.
Currently, over 250 million migrants worldwide account for 3% of the world’s entire population, but contribute 10% of the global gross domestic production (GDP). Migrants remittance is huge contributor to their home countries’ development. The process of developing compact was started in early 2017 as implementation of decision by UN member states as adopted New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in September 2016. UN member states’ another decision pledged in the declaration is to develop a Global Compact on Refugees.
The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has approved US $6.69 billion dollar budget for 13 peacekeeping operations for year 2018-19. This is second year in row in which committee has made significant cuts to overall peacekeeping budget.
The budget approved for missions include MINUJUSTH (UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti), MINUSCA (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Central African Republic), MINURSO (Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara), MONUSCO (Stabilisation Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo) and UNIFIL (Interim Force in Lebanon). The United States is biggest contributor to UB, paying 22% of $5.4 billion core budget and 28.5% of the US $7.9 billion peacekeeping budget. China is other top contributor with 10.3% followed by Japan with 9.7 %.
The Committee also approved significant management reforms including creation of two new departments focused on political and peacebuilding affairs and four stand-alone divisions for Africa aimed at streamlining UN’s operations. These are first reform approved in more than 40 years. They will result in restructuring that cuts through silos and UN bureaucracy, removes redundancies, increases commonsense UN coordination and ultimately makes UN a more accountable, transparent, and efficient organisation.