Written by Euronews
The United States wants to amend the 1951 Refugee Convention to empower climate refugees. They are now pro-refugees. Confused? You are not alone. This sudden change of policy stance is confusing everyone in the committee.
As soon as the UNHCR committee session began on April 5, the Venezuelan delegate emphasized the great need to come up with international legal framework for climate refugees and urged the committee to come up with ‘refugee first’ solution.
Afterwards, the US delegate proudly marched to the front of the conference room and declared that, “The US completely agrees with our colleagues in Venezuela,” before criticizing those who were reluctant on helping climate refugees. The US even went on to urge them to think about the potential millions that will die. “Silence will be your answers!” shouted the delegate.
This sudden shift of America’s policy is no less than puzzling. Since Donald Trump became the president, the US government has done everything to cut their refugee intake. In a recent budget proposal for 2020 fiscal year, the administration proposed to slash funding for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration from $3 billion to mere $320 million.
It is very clear that President Trump does not like immigrants. In fact, he wants to build a wall.
So why is this delegate going against their own government policy? The editorial board, along with numerous delegates from UNHCR, is simply puzzled and left to question whether the US delegation is left out of the loop.
Considering President Trump’s disdain for the United Nations, perhaps it’s a tell-tale sign. America used to send smart and qualified ambassadors such as Adlai Stevenson, Madeleine Albright and Samantha Power, all of whom projected America’s diplomatic might to the world.
If President Trump changed his stance on refugee policies, great! The editorial board would be more than happy to see that happening. However, that is not the case. The US government has not changed their anti-refugee policy.
The current US delegates are not informed on their own policy priorities. Instead, they are forming alliances with their foes.
Unfortunately, they are not living up to the bar set by their predecessors.