MINSK, 18 April (BelTA) – On 18 April Geneva hosted a high-level segment meeting as part of the 70th Session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yuri Ambrazevich addressed the meeting via a video link, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The anniversary session of the Commission is taking place amidst the worst global security crisis since the end of World War II. The future of multilateral cooperation under the auspices of the UN and the role of the organization itself have been called into question. UNECE has also faced politicization-related challenges,” the deputy minister said.
“Set up after the devastating war, the Commission remained a very useful cooperation platform for all states from Vancouver to Vladivostok for many years. However now we see that the past gains may erode completely. In violation of the rules of procedure, political and security matters that have nothing to do with the Commission's mandate have been included into UNECE agenda. Attempts have been made to block and limit the participation of some countries in the work of the Commission,” Yuri Ambrazevich said.
Belarus is convinced that there will be no alternative to the multi-polar world order, he added. “The world will need a platform for meaningful multilateral cooperation based on the principles of sovereign equality of states and non-interference in internal affairs,” the deputy minister said.
“That is why we believe that the goals and objectives of the Commission - to foster economic growth and facilitate economic integration without new dividing lines – are still relevant. We have repeatedly stated that it was not us who initiated the restrictions against the Belarusian government and people that were introduced by the EU members and the United States. Despite unprecedented external pressure, we want normal relations with all countries, including the Western world, but we are not going to give up our national interests, principles and values. We will not trade them for anything,” the diplomat said.
“We are steadfast in our political position, and we believe that our joint work on the matters included in the session's agenda is utterly relevant. Digital and green transformations can be rightfully called the achievements of the UNECE region. We also think highly of the contribution of the Commission to this,” Yuri Ambrazevich stressed.
He drew attention to the fact that the digital economy has become part and parcel of Belarus' development. The government creates an enabling environment for digital transformations in all areas.
Belarus is among the global leaders in the per capita export of IT services; mobile applications developed by Belarusians in the Hi-Tech Park in Minsk are used by more than a billion people in 190 countries.
Belarus is implementing the National Action Plan for the Green Economy for 2021-2025. The promotion of the circular economy is viewed by the government as one of the most important tasks.
The representative of Belarus expressed his gratitude to Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova for her effective leadership at the secretariat and her commitment to depoliticization and equal cooperation at the organization. He called on all member states to make sure that the Commission will stick to its unique and timeless mandate to promote sustainable development and prosperity across the region.