Marrakesh — A UN conference adopted a migration pact in front of leaders and representatives from 150 countries in Morocco on Monday, despite a string of withdrawals driven by anti-immigrant populism. The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration — finalised at the UN in July after 18 months of talks — was formally approved with the bang of a gavel in Marrakesh at the start of a two-day conference. But the US and 15 other countries either opted out or expressed concerns, with some claiming the pact infringes national sovereignty. 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. Describing it as a "roadmap to prevent suffering and chaos", UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres sought to dispel what he called a number of myths around the pact, including claims that it will allow the ...

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