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23 May 2017

Belarus delivers statement on behalf of middle-income countries at ECOSOC forum in New York

MINSK, 23 May (BelTA) – Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Valentin Rybakov delivered a collective statement on behalf of the Like-Minded Countries Supporters of Middle Income Countries at the 2017 United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development follow-up in New York on 22 May, BelTA learned from the website of the Permanent Mission of Belarus to the United Nations.

The Belarusian diplomat presented a vision of the place and role of middle-income countries in achieving global sustainable development and drew attention to the specific problems they face in financing development.

On behalf of the Group, Valentin Rybakov stressed the need to develop a more nuanced countries classification that would go beyond the per capita income criteria and take into account the specific development problems of these countries.

“We also recognize that innovation and technologies are powerful drivers of economic growth and sustainable development for middle-income countries. In that regard, we would like to recall the importance of technology transfer and diffusion in the spirit of closing the economic and social gaps between countries to achieve sustainable development,” the diplomat said.

The Group called on the United Nations to make a greater use of the potential of middle-income countries in the global development. “The Group urges the UN to work on a comprehensive UN system-wide and long-term strategy aimed at facilitating sustainable development cooperation and coordinated support towards middle-income countries,” Valentin Rybakov noted.

The Permanent Mission of Belarus to the UN explained that according to the World Bank classification, the category of middle-income countries comprises more than a hundred states. These countries account for more than a third of global GDP. About 70% of the world’s poor live in these countries. Belarus is among the top sub-category of upper-middle-income countries. In 2016 Belarus, Costa Rica and several other countries initiated establishment at the UN headquarters of a separate group of like-minded supporters of the interests of this category of countries.

During the visit to New York, Valentin Rybakov also attended the Second Informal Thematic Session for Global Compact on Migration that addressed the drivers of migration, including natural disasters and human-made crises. He noted that Belarus is still facing the problem of the so-called environmental migration associated with the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that forced over 135,000 people to leave their homes.

Valentin Rybakov noted that it is necessary to ensure prompt and coordinated efforts of the international community to prevent human-made crises and minimize their impact. This will help prevent uncontrolled migration.

The Belarusian diplomat met with Canadian MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes on the sidelines of the forums. The parties discussed the activities of Belarus and Canada in the United Nations in the context of sustainable development, and preparations for the summer session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk.

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