Poland refuses to back UN document on refugees

Ministry of Interior will not support the UN’s Global Compact for Refugees. This is another UN document on immigration , after the Global Compact for Migration agreed in Marrakesh, which the Polish government is questioning.

The Global Compact for refugees is a set of recommendations on how countries should receive refugees. It is not a binding commitment. Poland is concerned that it might be used to influence countries on issues such as resettlement of refugees.

In side the EU, Poland along with other Central European countries has resisted a scheme for resettlement of refugees. This stance reflected the promise made to the electorate by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) that the government would not open Poland’s doors to refugees from Middle Eastern and African countries.

In recommendations made by the Ministry of the Interior for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Interior Minister Joachim Brudziński stated that the “Global Pact for Refugees is a political statement in which governments make commitments to take concrete actions in order to create a global division of responsibilities for refugees”.

According to Poland the Geneva Convention on refugees should remain as the basis for international law on this subject. The present government feels that documents such as the Global Compact on Refugees are producing ambiguity in terms of dealing with refugee crisis. It fears that supporting the declaration could lead to pressure on Poland from international organizations and NGOs in order to accept resettlement of refugees. The document, according to Polish government sources, also lacks sufficient emphasis laid on help on the ground in the countries affected by conflicts and on help for people to return to post-conflict territories.

The Global Compact on Refugees is a separate document form the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration that was agreed at a conference in Marrakesh. Several countries have refused to sign it, including Poland, Austria, Bulgaria, Czechia, Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary, Switzerland, Australia, Israel and the USA.