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Foreign Minister Maas on adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees

18.12.2018 - Press release

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (18 December) on the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees:

Yesterday, the Global Compact on Refugees was adopted by an overwhelming majority of the Member States. This is a memorable day for the international protection of refugees. It shows that the international community is facing up to the challenge of dealing with major refugee situations. 



Germany is already doing its share to help refugees around the world – as an important donor of humanitarian assistance and as a host country. Currently, not enough countries are showing commitment to this cause and assuming responsibility for the protection of refugees. This is what the Global Compact on Refugees wants to change. 


With the Compact, we now have a political framework, as well as a point of reference for our demand that the entire international community must step up its engagement. The international community must make a joint effort to better protect and create prospects for refugees, and provide more support to host countries. Furthermore, with the Global Compact on Refugees, we also want to create better prerequisites for refugees’ return in safety and dignity to their countries of origin. That is exactly why Germany has over the past two years been campaigning for the drafting and adoption of the Compact.

Background information:

The Global Compact on Refugees was adopted yesterday by an overwhelming majority of Member States of the United Nations.

The foundation for the Global Compact on Refugees was laid in September 2016 with the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. The Compact was drafted under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The Global Compact on Refugees relates solely to refugees, that is to say to people who have a right to protection under applicable international law, regional legal frameworks or national law. The Global Compact on Refugees differs from the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The latter also has its roots in the New York Declaration, but focuses on migrants who fall into a different legal category.



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