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Opinions & Interviews

9 Apr 2019

Belarus’ FM calls for closer economic integration, trade contacts in Europe

Belarus’ FM calls for closer economic integration, trade contacts in Europe
Photo courtesy of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

MINSK, 9 April (BelTA) – It is necessary to strengthen economic integration and intensify trade contacts in pan-European space, Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said during his visit to Geneva for the 68th session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The minister emphasized the unique role of UNECE as Europe’s only functioning and efficient platform to discuss economic and social development matters. This platform provides equal participation opportunities for all countries of the region. Vladimir Makei informed that Belarus supports leadership efforts of the UNECE Secretariat to revitalize the Commission’s activities on inter-sectoral matters, as these efforts have a unifying potential and are of interest to politicians and experts.

Vladimir Makei urged experts from all European countries to stay focused on the further harmonization of economic rules, standards and practices and on the formation of greater interdependence of states, with a long-term vision to establish a single economic pan-European space. Such a space could be a guarantee for peace, stability and prosperity not only for Belarusians, but also all people living on this continent. To fulfill this task, it is paramount to establish direct contacts between supranational bodies of the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union as soon as possible.

The Belarusian minister of foreign affairs met with Michael Moller, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Personal Representative to the Conference on Disarmament. The parties pointed to the escalation of international tensions and degradation of the traditional system of maintaining world peace and security. During the meeting the parties reaffirmed their commitment to combating these threats by means of strengthening multilateral international institutions.

Vladimir Makei informed Michael Moller about Belarus’ initiative to launch an inclusive and comprehensive dialogue on global security. The Belarusian diplomat also told the UN official about the expert events on this topic that were held or will be held in Minsk in 2018-2019.

The Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva praised Belarus’ contribution to regional and global security, including the country’s active stance on invigorating the activities of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. Michael Moller drew attention to new challenges and threats in the field of disarmament. He believes that these challenges and threats are prompted by technological progress and the rise of non-public sector. He welcomed Belarus’ readiness to handle these issues at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and at the UN General Assembly in New York.

The participants of the meeting discussed a possibility to expand collaboration between Belarus and the UN Secretariat in Geneva in promoting the sustainable development concept in our country.

During his visit to Geneva Vladimir Makei met with UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova. The minister expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between the government and the UNECE Secretariat. Vladimir Makei emphasized the relevance of technical assistance projects implemented by UNECE experts in environmental protection, energy saving, housing and utilities, population ageing, optimization of management in innovations, promotion of public-private partnership and other areas of expertise in Belarus. This work makes a direct contribution to the improvement of the social and economic system in Belarus.

The minister confirmed strategic commitment to the UNECE mandate with a view to promoting economic integration of European countries and expanding their economic cooperation with other regions. In this regard, he declared Belarus’ natural interest in building the capacity of the commission and the country’s determination to provide the necessary assistance to this process, including by means of participation in UNECE governing bodies.

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