Estonia not to send representatives to Marrakesh

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Välisminister Sven Mikser.

PHOTO: Tairo Lutter

Estonia will not send a representative to the United Nations conference in Marrakesh, Morocco where UN member states are due to express their political support for joining the Global Compact on Migration, but the Estonian ambassador to the UN will participate in the vote on the migration pact at the end of December.

"No one from Estonia will go to Marrakesh. The migration framework is not an agreement in the sense of international law and will therefore not be signed. So, no signing of the migration framework will take place in Marrakesh, but an expression of political support will," spokesperson for the Estonian Foreign Ministry Sandra Kamilova told BNS.

"The fact that no one from Estonia will be partaking in Marrakesh will not change Estonia's desire and possibility for supporting its decision regarding the framework at the UN General Assembly vote," Kamilova said.

She said that the UN General Assembly, in the framework of which the global migration framework will be put up for approval, will convene on December 19 and Estonia will be represented there by ambassador to the UN Sven Jürgenson.

"The migration framework will not be signed at the UN General Assembly either as it is not an agreement. The Estonian representative will be able to support the framework at the General Assembly vote," the ministry spokesperson said.

President Kersti Kaljulaid said on Tuesday, after the parliament on Monday expressed support for joining the UN migration pact, that she will not fly to the UN conference in Marrakesh.

"With the prime minister, we arrived at the understanding that representing Estonia at the Marrakesh conference will be organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," the president announced after a meeting with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas Tuesday morning. 

"The decision of the president of Estonia not to participate in the Marrakesh conference will in no way impact Estonia's decision to support the framework at the General Assembly vote, based on the statement adopted in the parliament and the principles expressed within it," Foreign Minister Sven Mikser said.

"The parliament issued a statement in support of the UN Global Compact on Migration. Coalition partners have affirmed that they do not wish to discuss the issue additionally in the government, thus, I am giving the Estonian representative to the UN instructions to vote in favor of approving the migration framework at the UN General Assembly in December," Mikser said.

The UN Global Compact on Migration is a political statement, expressing the good faith and free will of countries to agree on general principles concerning migration, it is said in an explanation of the migration pact published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Marrakesh meeting is to take place from Dec. 10 to 11.

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