Upon returning to the Dominican Republic from the inaugural of the President of Mexico, President Danilo Medina said late on Sunday, 2 December 2018 that he would speak to the nation regarding the migratory pact this week. President Medina is the Dominican President that has probably been the least available to questioning by the press.
Despite the matter being a trending topic in the media, the Dominican government has not confirmed whether the country has signed the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The agreement would create a new paradigm for migration. It is scheduled for a formal signing in Marrakesh, Morocco on the 10th and 11th December 2018.
Details on the agreement were only known recently in the country, after publications such as El Pais in Spain made known that countries such as the United States, Australia, Hungary and Czech Republic had not signied the pact, citing concerns of national security.
Celso Marranzini, former president of the National Business Council, in a Twitter post has advanced: “The country signed the migratory agreement proposed by the United Nations. We still have the chance in Marrakesh to reject signing the end to our nation as the recent incidents on the border have alerted to. Of course we need to leave behind the indifference policies or we will disappear as a nation.”
Deputy Minister of Foreign Relations Marjorie Espinosa told Listin Diario: “This is a multilateral event to which the member countries of the United Nations will attend, but I have not expressed any position on whether the Dominican Republic will participate or not, much less our formal position, because the spokesperson on this issue in my institution is the minister,” she explained on Friday, 30 November 2018. Vargas has been abroad and not available to the press for commentary on the agreement.
Meanwhile, numerous organizations and persons continue to urge the nation’s authorities to not sign the agreement. Former legislator Pelegrín Castillo said the signing would be “a severe blow to national sovereignty, and would cause serious disruption on the island of Santo Domingo.” He argued that the signing of that instrument would cause a so-called effect that would increase the exodus from a destabilized Haiti to the national territory.
Spokesmen for the opposition parties, PRM, PRSC and DxC, also reject the country signing the agreement. The president of the PRM, the largest opposition party, Jose Ignacio Paliza stated: “With full knowledge that the issue of migration is of vital importance for the harmonious life of the Dominican nation, the PLD government has been negotiating behind the back of the people for almost two years the Global Compact on Migration, proposed by the United Nations (UN),” said the PRM president in a statement released on Saturday, 2 December 2018 on the subject. He said that “a decision of this magnitude can not rest exclusively in the hands of a government “for which the issue of migration and the border are not priorities, and that serves in an improvised manner important bilateral relations with Haiti, without a structured plan.”
Paliza added: “The Global Migration Pact is another important issue that is added to the long list of agreements that the government negotiates in the international context with complete opacity, without any transparency, agreements that commit to actions as a country without having previously consulted with all sectors. Given the widespread ignorance in our country about the content of that pact, the Modern Revolutionary Party urges the Dominican government not to sign it until it has carried out the broadest consultations at the national level and with the participation of the citizens”.
Former PRM presidential candidate Luis Abinader stated: “The international community has to understand that the Dominican Republic cannot carry the unsustainable load that the entrance to our country of a large number of irregular Haitians means.”
The president of the PRSC, Federico Antún Batlle urged President Danilo Medina and Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado to join the countries that have rejected adhering to the pact on grounds that it would be highly damaging to national sovereignty. “The Dominican Republic must travel a path of full independence, exercise its sovereignty and the migratory pact proposed by the UN does the opposite, since it forces us to bear the full weight of an impoverished nation and a failed state, as is Haiti, which could sink our nation if we receive more Haitian immigrants, as the United Nations’ global migratory pact states,” he said.
Lo de Hoy RD
3 December 2018