Brussels – Although the Global Compact for Migration was officially signed, the discontent against the pact has not subsided. On Sunday, violent protests were held against the UN agreement in Belgium which is the headquarters of the European Union (EU). The largest political party in the country, the ‘New Flemish Alliance’ withdrew its support to the government as the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel decided to sign the agreement.
On Sunday, more than 5,500 protestors chanted strong slogans against the United Nations (UN) in the Belgian capital of Brussels. Security agencies reportedly resorted to tear gas and charged with batons to disperse the crowd. Moreover, the agencies arrested hundreds of protestors while a few policemen were reportedly injured. The protests have caused a major upheaval in Belgium, and the demonstrations are soon expected to intensify.
Only 164 of the total 193 UN member countries have signed the UN migration pact. The countries opposed to the agreement include the United States, Israel, and ten European states. Opposition from the member nations to the UN agreement at the time when the European Union is trying to address the immigrant problem comes as a significant setback to it. Belgium is a leading nation in the EU which also houses its headquarters located in Brussels. Therefore, much political significance is attached to the Belgium protests.
Only last week, the leading countries of the EU had boycotted a UN meeting that Austria had convened regarding the immigrants. Austria’s refusal to sign the UN agreement became the main reason for the boycott. The subsequent protests in Belgium go to show that the discord among the countries in the EU due to migrants has only deepened further.