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Opinions & Interviews

27 Sep 2018

Belarus FM highlights economic cooperation, security at CIS Ministerial Council

Belarus FM highlights economic cooperation, security at CIS Ministerial Council

DUSHANBE, 27 September (BelTA) – Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei focused on economic cooperation, security and sustainable development as he spoke at the session of the CIS Ministerial Council, BelTA has learned.

The minister noted that two years ago the heads of state took a decision to adapt the Commonwealth to the realities of modern life, which had a crucial impact on its further development. “Today we are glad to state that all the tasks that we set have been accomplished or are in the final stage of accomplishment,” Vladimir Makei said.

In his words, the key issues include the work to update the CIS development concept. “In our view, it is a fundamental document. The reformation of the organization has been launched. Therefore, we suggest consolidating efforts to flesh out the concept in a way to give a substantial additional impetus to integration processes and economic cooperation in the Commonwealth. As far as integration is concerned, economy remains an unconditional priority for Belarus, while the importance of other cooperation avenues should also be acknowledged,” the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs said.

Speaking about security, Vladimir Makei emphasized that this matter is relevant for many countries. “We see that confrontational rhetoric dominates even the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. These are the issues we cannot avoid. Military capacity building is taking place not only in the southern part of the CIS, but also along western fringes. Some countries having the common border with Belarus offer huge money to entice their overseas allies to deploy their military bases there. Of course, we need to take this into consideration and respond adequately,” the minister underlined.

Vladimir Makei informed his CIS counterparts about the forthcoming international security conferences that will take place in Minsk. In his view, the documents elaborated in the CIS should be ahead of their time and should cover the issues that are tackled by other organizations. “Our agenda should be approximated with the agendas of various international organizations that address burning issues and challenges,” he said.

He noted that the upcoming Munich Security Conference Core Group meeting in Minsk in late October -early November will bring together representatives of countries having different views on the international agenda. “Some colleagues of mine are concerned that this might spiral down into a blame game. However, our task is to communicate our point of view. We should not be afraid of such kind of discussions. Forums like that offer a great opportunity to make a point,” Vladimir Makei noted.

Speaking about the agenda of the session of the CIS Council of Heads of State on 28 September, the minister named the interstate joint action program to combat crime in 2019-2023 and the cooperation agreement to fight cybercrime among the most important documents in the field of security. The forthcoming international conferences in Belarus are just as relevant.

The CIS Ministerial Council is taking place against the backdrop of the regular session of the UN General Assembly that deals with issues relating to economic growth and sustainable development. Belarus makes a meaningful contribution to global efforts in this regard. “I am convinced that our countries are able to demonstrate real partnership in achieving the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals,” the minister noted.

He suggested thinking over the way the CIS format can be used to facilitate global efforts to achieve sustainable development. “Maybe, within the framework of our organization we could open an ongoing dialogue between decision-makers coordinating the efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in our countries. This would enable us to understand better the common issues and challenges on the way to the SDGs, to work out joint measures to overcome them and to ramp up cooperation with a view to implementing the 2030 Agenda,” the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs said.

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