The United States has rejected the United Nations’ Global Compact on Refugees, joined only by Hungary out of 193 member states, as the Trump administration maintains that the pact is "inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies."
The pact is not legally binding and does not need US support to pass the Assembly. But the UN says it represents a useful set of guidelines to deal with the highest level of human displacement the world has ever seen, and will thus save lives. But it needs US support to have maximum effect.
US policies are having a clear negative impact on attitudes towards refugees around the world, says Marcus Engler, a migration analyst based in Berlin.
"The Trump administration has cut down resettlement numbers in a dramatic way and will very likely do so until the end of its term," Engler told DW. "And what's more concerning is the discourse the Trump administration and Trump himself is spreading around the world, which is used as a reference point by other governments."
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said his country is rejecting the pact because it is viewed as a way "to bring through the back door" people who do not fall under the migration pact — which Hungary also rejected.
The UN plans to hold a formal vote to adopt the Global Compact for Refugees in December. But as Engler points out, even if it passes and the United States can be persuaded to come around on it, a lot more must happen to improve the lot of refugees.
"It's one thing to adopt it as a first step, but then governments need to deliver," the migration researcher says.