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Opinions & Interviews

23 Mar 2017

Steps of Belarus, Council of Europe towards each other praised

Steps of Belarus, Council of Europe towards each other praised

MINSK, 23 March (BelTA) – Belarus and the Council of Europe are taking steps to meet each other halfway, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko said as he met with Andrea Rigoni, Rapporteur on Belarus of the Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), on 23 March, BelTA has learned.

According to the speaker, Belarus is seeking cooperation with the Council of Europe, first of all, in studying its best practices and harmonizing the Belarusian legislation with European standards. Vladimir Andreichenko stressed that the Council of Europe is the oldest international organization with a powerful expert potential. He added that Belarus is interested in multilateral cooperation with the Council of Europe in the area of democracy and human rights, economic sector, investment, the fight against corruption and trafficking in persons.

Steps of Belarus, Council of Europe towards each other praised“Today we can see constructive steps Belarus and the Council of Europe are making toward each other,” Vladimir Andreichenko noted. He stressed that Belarus has been gradually joining the international agreements of the Council of Europe and taking part in their implementation as a full member. In 2016 the Belarusian government adopted the National Human Rights Action Plan taking into account the recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The speaker noted that the National Assembly invited the PACE observation mission to monitor the presidential election in 2015 and also the parliamentary elections in 2016. “We are interested in taking part in the PACE events in the future. Belarus is open to dialogue in all sectors, including sensitive issues,” the speaker said noting death penalty issue, which is currently widely discussed.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives said that the sixth-convocation parliament set up a working group on death penalty. “We discuss the issue with the parliaments of other states, share opinions on the matter,” the speaker said. In his words, MP Andrei Naumovich has just returned from London where he met with British MPs to discuss the death penalty issue. Vladimir Andreichenko added that in early 2018 Belarus plans to hold parliamentary hearings on the matter.

Steps of Belarus, Council of Europe towards each other praisedThe speaker added that Minsk will host the OSCE PA Summer Session in July 2017. In November the Belarusian capital will play host to a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Central European Initiative (CEI) where Belarus is presiding this year. In his words, Belarus and the PACE will be able to continue the discussion of important issues on these platforms.

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