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Save the Children Statement on U.S. Vote against United Nations Resolution Supporting Refugees


In response to today’s decision by the United States to vote against the United Nations General Assembly resolution that affirms the Global Compact on Refugees, Carolyn Miles, Save the Children President & CEO said:

We welcome today’s vote at the United Nations for the Global Compact on Refugees.  The United States’ vote against the resolution was disappointing, but we remain encouraged by past statements from the U.S. delegation demonstrating overall support for the Compact and clear understanding that the objectives advance both U.S. and international interests.

Currently, there are 25.4 million refugees worldwide, over half of whom are children, who face a dire future. Front-line refugee-hosting states in Africa, Asia, Latin American and the Middle East are struggling to support them. The Global Compact on Refugees signals international resolve to strengthen the world’s collective response to the refugee crisis.

We welcome the fact that the vast majority of the international community – 181 countries – voted to both affirm and call for implementation of the Global Compact. Given the importance of the U.S. role, however, it is critical that the U.S. decision to vote against the resolution not result in diminished U.S. leadership or pave the way for other governments to diminish their support for the Compact.

Without robust implementation of the responsibility-sharing and burden-sharing efforts contained in the Compact, children fleeing violence and persecution will be at risk of losing access to critical services and response efforts that support their futures. We urge the U.S. government to work with partner governments and refugee-hosting countries to prioritize implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees and ensure refugee response efforts are a foreign policy priority.

History has taught us that, left unattended, conflict and violence can lead to instability and eventually threaten American national interests. Neither the United States, the international community, nor the 13.2 million refugee children around the world can afford to have the U.S. sitting on the sidelines in the face of one of the greatest global challenges of our time.

Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. 

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