Based on the decision of the Council of the Estonian Association of Architects dated 12.01.2023, the decision of the Council of the Latvian Association of Architects dated 02.02.2023, and the decision of the General Assembly of the Lithuanian Association of Architects dated 27.04.2023, the Baltic Architects Unions Association (BAUA) announced its withdrawal from the International Union of Architects (UIA) yesterday, on the 6th of July during the UIA General Assembly in Copenhagen.
The full-scale war started by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022 has lasted already for more than a year. During this time, tens of thousands of civilians have been killed with millions forced to flee their homes as complete cities have been destroyed.
Already at the beginning of the war, the National Union of Architects of Ukraine demanded that the membership of Russia and Belarus in UIA to be suspended. In spring 2022, several similar appeals to UIA were made by BAUA. The initiative was developed in UIA Forum in Madrid 2022, when a motion by BAUA and Nordic section (supported by RAIC, AIA, SARP, BAK) was presented to the General Assembly of UIA. With this we were asking to limit activities of Russian and Belorussian architects Unions at UIA until the representatives of the mentioned above would in written form attest that they stand by the UIA preamble, adopted in Cairo, 1985, reads:
The Preamble can have meaning only in a world with peace among nations. The greatest obligation of governments in relation to humanity is the preservation of peace as the basis for realizing the needs and ambitions of people throughout the world. Governments should stop production for war and use their resources for improvement of conditions for all humanity.
The motion was voted but was not supported by the majority of UIA delegates. And, the Russian and Belorussian Unions of Architects have not condemned the war so far.
The BAUA does not consider possible being a member of an organization that still has not suspended the membership or limited activities of the national architectural associations of Russia and Belarus. As architects and urban designers, we find it impossible to sit around the same table with people who represent a country responsible for bombing civilian objects and destroying entire cities. By the way, we are forced to do it more than other members of UIA, as BAUA is still subjected to be a member of an outdated structure – UIA Region 2, that was created with respect to the borders of former USSR.
Until Russian and Belorussian architects’ Unions’ are full-fledged members of UIA during the war, inflicted by Russia in Ukraine, BAUA stops being a member of UIA.
We will continue to help Ukrainian colleagues architects and citizens and show our support through various other collaborations - international and direct ones.
BAUA President, Juris Poga (Latvia)
BAUA Vice-President Ruta Leitanaite (Lithuania)
BAUA, Estonian Association of Architects, President Andro Mänd (Estonia)
The opening of the BAUA pavilion 2023 in Copnehganen.
From the left: Juris Poga (Latvia), Ruta Leitanaite (Lithuania), Karl Pops (the author of the pavilion, Estonia)
Photo: Kairi Rand