By Umar Farooq
The UN General Assembly passed a non-binding compact Monday that provides increased support for nations hosting refugees, despite opposition from the U.S. and Hungary.
The UN drafted the Global Compact on Refugees to strengthen shared international responsibility to help those forced to flee from persecution in their countries.
The compact passed with a 181-2 vote, with three countries abstaining.
"It is a good day for the 25 million refugees around the world. It is a good day for the countries and the communities hosting refugees, who will now receive more and much needed support," UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa said at a plenary meeting.
UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi called the vote "historic" on Twitter, saying it is the biggest effort to share refugee responsibilities he has ever seen in his 34 years of work with refugees.
Nine out of ten refugees live in developing countries, according to the UN refugee agency. Wars, persecution and other types of violence drove 68.5 million people from their homes in 2017. Of these, 25.4 million were refugees, 40 million were internally displaced people and 3.1 million were seeking asylum.
"Refugees are among those furthest behind. Persecuted, isolated and marginalized in their home countries, and too often their countries of destination, they have struggled to be counted -- and to count," UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said in a statement.
The new compact builds on the 1951 Refugee Convention and aims to provide more investment in areas such as education and health and looks into the environmental impacts on a country that hosts refugees.
Last week, the UN passed another compact aimed at creating a more coordinated response to global migration, but it faced stronger opposition.
*Michael Hernandez contributed to this story.