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Brazil will pull out of UN migration pact in January

Evaristo Sa, AFP | Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro at a press conference in Brasilia, Nov. 7, 2018.

Brazil's future administration announced Monday that it would withdraw from the UN migration pact adopted in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh when far right president-elect Jair Bolsonaro takes office in January.

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"Immigration is welcome, but it should not be indiscriminate," Brazil's future foreign minister Ernesto Araujo tweeted, adding: "It must serve the national interests and cohesion of each society." The pact is an "inappropriate instrument" to deal with the "problem" of migration, wrote Araújo.

Brazil would become the third Latin American country to pull out of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, as did Chile and Dominican Republic. Moreover, the US and at least 14 other countries either opted out or expressed concerns, with some claiming the pact infringes national sovereignty.

Brasilia’s move is another sign of alignment with US President Donald Trump’s diplomacy. Both Jair Bolsonaro and Ernesto Araujo have already expressed admiration for the American President. Early November, Bolsonaro announced his plans to move the country’s embassy to Jerusalem, as did Trump. He also expressed his will to pull out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

During the Marrakesh ceremony, Brazil was represented by its current foreign minister, Aloysio Nunes, who agreed on the deal. But Bolsonaro, who was criticised by detractors for his many homophobic, racist and misogynist remarks, will take Michel Temer’s place on January 1, 2019.

Brazil faces wave of Venezuelan migrants

Like many South American countries, Brazil has been facing a wave of Venezuelan migrants fleeing the country’s economic and humanitarian crisis. Venezuela is in its fifth year of a recession that has halved the size of the economy and forced 3 million people to emigrate to escape hyperinflation and rampant crime.

Araujo said Brazil will keep receiving Venezuelans “who flee [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro’s regime,” he said in a tweet. But, he added, "what’s fundamental is to work for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela.”

Called The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the non-binding pact was finalised at the UN in July after 18 months of talks and was formally approved on Monday by fewer governments than had previously worked on the proposal.

Billed as the first international document on managing migration, it lays out 23 objectives to open up legal migration and discourage illegal border crossings, as the number of people on the move globally has surged to more than 250 million.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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