On Thursday, 6 December, Latvia’s Saeima adopted a resolution in which the government is asked to not join UN migration pact. 43 members of the parliament voted in favour of this resolution and 31 deputies voted against.
Members of the National Alliance ‘All for Latvia’-‘For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK’, Union of Greens and Farmers, New Conservative Party and KPV LV voted against joining this pact, whereas Harmony, Attīstībai/Par and New Unity voted in favour. Nine deputies representing UGF, KPV LV, Harmony and NCP abstained in the vote. This also includes three UGF ministers.
Previously the government had agreed to take into account Saeima’s vote on the matter of Latvia’s support for UN migration pact.
Deputies had previously held wide debates on this matter, voicing arguments both in favour and against the pact.
Deputy Aleksandrs Kiršteins from the National Alliance criticized the migration pact. He said this document is very contradictory, legally incorrect and is ruinous for Latvia’s nation. Additionally, he proposed supporting the resolution and opposing Latvia joining this pact.
Deputy Marija Golubeva from AP spoke against the resolution, so that Latvia does not become the only Baltic State that has not joined the UN migration pact. She proposed voting against the resolution so that Latvia would not stand on the sidelines when other countries are trying to resolve the migration problem. Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš from New Unity also said the proposed resolution should be rejected, adding that there are many mistakes in it. He said approval of the resolution would limit the range of measures open to Latvia in the fight against illegal migration.
Dagmāra Beitnere-Le Galla from NCP stressed that «Latvia cannot be allowed to commit suicide», and added that «there is no reasonable need to join such a poorly put-together document that may have lasting consequences». Politician Jānis Dombrava from the National Alliance said that multiple deputies mentioned during debates that UN pact is not legally binding. Nevertheless, he pointed out that it does state: «We commit […]», which does imply certain duties.
The resolution on rejection of the pact was submitted to the Saeima by members of the National Alliance, Union of Greens and Farmers deputy Armands Krauze and non-party deputy Jūlija Stepaņenko.
In this resolution, the Cabinet of Ministers is asked to not join the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, because the document is controversial with a very one-sided position. Additionally, the resolution states that the pact contains unacceptable conditions for the country in migration affairs.
The resolution also mentions that the pact is not presented and explained to society appropriately. Its signing may breach Latvia’s legislation. The document also details that the Saeima strongly opposes «one-sided claims of the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, that all forms of migration, illegal included, is a human right, is unavoidable, positive and a desirable phenomenon that contributes to welfare, innovation and sustainable development».