MINSK, 22 September (BelTA) – Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Aleinik met with Regional Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for Central Europe Roland Schilling on 22 September, the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told BelTA.
Roland Schilling is in Belarus on 21-24 September to discuss the further format of Belarus-UNHCR interaction in light of the UNHCR's decision to shut down its dedicated office in the country.
The UNHCR decided to shut down the office in Belarus as from January 2022 as part of the plan to reorganize the UNHCR operation as a whole. In line with the plan the UNHCR's subregional office in Budapest will work with Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Czechia. The decision to reorganize the UNHCR system was made in 2020 considering the successful operation of the Belarusian shelter provision system and considering the financial status of the UNHCR.
During the meeting Sergei Aleinik and Roland Schilling reaffirmed the mutual interest in preserving the high level of Belarus-UNHCR cooperation. Practical aspects of the organization's representation in Belarus in the future were also discussed.
Sergei Aleinik and Roland Schilling also exchanged opinions about approaches to resolving a set of issues caused by the invigoration of migration processes across the globe.
Sergei Aleinik explained Belarus' stance on the situation with refugees at the Belarusian border with neighboring Western countries. Roland Schilling thanked Belarus for interaction with the Minsk office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and for enabling the UNHCR and public organizations to access refugees at the Belarusian-Polish border for humanitarian purposes.