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21 September 2022, 11:00

Belarusian delegation brings concrete proposals to UN

MINSK, 21 September (BelTA) - The Belarusian delegation, led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei, has arrived in New York to participate in the events of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly. The minister did not arrive in New York empty-handed. In the run-up to this annual international forum, he sent a letter-address to all his counterparts from the UN member states, in which he outlined approaches to the key issues related to the functioning of the United Nations and the ways to reform the organization, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Makei drew the attention of his counterparts to the United Nations in the modern global context. He recalled that Belarus proudly bears the name of the founding member of the organization. Belarus was not even an independent country in 1945, which makes this fact really remarkable, he added. The founding states warmly welcomed Belarus into their ranks then because of the enormous hardships the Belarusian people suffered during World War II and because of the country's great contribution to the victory, which allowed the peace-loving nations to establish the organization.

Two years ago, when the United Nations marked its 75th anniversary, various assessments of the organization and reflections on its future were voiced. Then Vladimir Makei wrote an article “Belarus at the United Nations: assessing its political track record”. The article was published in the journal of Belarusian State University. Among other things, the article analyzed the institutional structure of the UN in order to show the limits of what is possible within the organization for different states and groups of countries. Moreover, views on the prospects for the development of the United Nations were outlined.

In the letter to his counterparts, Vladimir Makei stated that, looking back today, it makes sense to set out some new thoughts about the UN and to voice Belarus' approaches to the organization in the current global context.

On the flaws and one-sidedness of the UN

“On the one hand, the position of the Republic of Belarus towards the United Nations rests on our firm faith in the spirit and letter of the UN Charter, in the absence of an alternative to efficient multilateralism and formulated principles of international law to effectively address the challenges arising from the interdependent nature of our existence on Earth,” the letter reads.

On the other hand, the minister says, Belarus, like many other countries, is forced to admit the growing gap between the current UN and the rapidly growing diversity of the world. In matters of peacekeeping and security the essence and role of the UN is hostage to its institutional structure embodied in the Security Council with the power of veto. Effective international cooperation in other areas, not related to security, is hampered by some other factors.

According to Vladimir Makei, among such factors the main one is the loss of the organization's neutral, technical character of an impartial platform for ensuring international cooperation of equal members.

“Unfortunately, following the end of the Cold War in the 1980s, the UN has gradually become a victim of the unipolar moment in modern world history, having turned, in fact, into an institution subordinate to the interests of the so-called victors. The loss of neutrality is reinforced by several objective factors: the overwhelming dependence of the UN on donor funds provided by developed countries; the predominance of citizens of these countries in politically and financially important positions in the organization. Given the geopolitical interests and peculiarities of human nature, these two factors predetermine the dominance of donor countries' interests in all UN decisions, except those within the competence of the Security Council,” the minister said.

This one-sidedness of the UN is the basis of the organization's limited ability to respond objectively and impartially to the problems of all its members, said the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs. This is why certain countries have to regularly react to the public expression of a biased position UN officials.

On the position of the minority which is presented as an opinion of the entire international community

The minister also recalled that many UN documents are developed by a minority of countries simply because many UN member states lack the necessary expertise. “Many UN decisions are made by vote, by majority vote, and yet many are made by a minority due to flaws in the rules of procedure. Such documents do not reflect the common denominator of all interested parties, and sometimes directly contradict the interests of some of them,” he said.

This is why such obvious violations of the UN Charter as economic sanctions adopted without a Security Council mandate remain outside the organization's decisions and without its condemnation. This is why decisions to exclude or limit cooperation are voted within the UN, which contradicts the very essence of the organization. “Positioning these decisions as a ‘political stance of the entire international community' discredits the idea of the very possibility of global cooperation,” Vladimir Makei said.

In this regard, he considers it not surprising that a large number of resolutions and other decisions of the UN bodies are never implemented.

On the UN Security Council

It may seem paradoxical in the sense of the above-mentioned, but today the UN Security Council probably looks quite an effective UN format in terms of the ratio of the number of decisions and the member states' satisfaction. The Belarusian minister shared the opinion about this working body of the organization with his foreign counterparts.

“Indeed, the decisions that do not meet the interests of its permanent members are simply not taken by the council. Belarus is truly committed to the role of the UN Security Council in maintaining peace and security in the world and intends to support all possible efforts to strengthen this role,” said Vladimir Makei.

On proposals for UN reform

The minister noted that reflections on the state of the United Nations in the context of ensuring effective multilateral cooperation in the world call for certain issues. He voiced four:

- Perhaps the system of international relations, instrumentalized through the UN, should get rid of those spheres of life where the main subject in meeting the needs and ensuring the rights of people is a sovereign independent state?

- Perhaps the UN should limit itself exclusively to issues that have an unambiguous cross-border aspect? "This way we will get real respect for the principle of non-interference in internal affairs. In this way, we will ensure effective cooperation between states with different political and socio-economic traditions of collectivism, conservatism, liberalism, etc.," Vladimir Makei believes.

- Perhaps the UN should make decisions only on those issues where the specific format of work ensures that a common denominator of the interests of absolutely all participants shall be found?

- Perhaps, in order to achieve this goal, the rule of consensus should be introduced into all areas of the UN's work? "So we will get only those decisions on which all participants are ready to work together," the minister concludes.

On the situation of developing countries and the dialogue on global security

Separately, in his letter, Vladimir Makei touched upon the situation of developing countries. "We are particularly saddened by the fact that many developing countries have experienced increased pressure on their sovereignty in the UN in recent years. Nearly five decades ago, it was these countries that brought enormous energy and dynamism to the organization that led to the adoption of the New International Economic Order, one of the most iconic documents in the history of the United Nations. However, today the collective voice of this group of countries, is, unfortunately, not as strong as it was in the past," the minister said.

Yet Vladimir Makei is sure that there is a specific direction where this voice can be as strong as before: "In particular, the extensive article on the UN topic mentioned earlier in this letter draws focus to the dialogue on global security, primarily between the great powers in the light of their clearly growing confrontation. Today, such dialogue in the true spirit of San Francisco is needed more than ever. If the great powers cannot show leadership here, then thist place must be taken by the countries of the developing world."

According to the minister, it is this group of countries that can initiate a process of global dialogue on security in the UN, which may result, among other things, in answers to the above questions and in the outcome document similar to the New International Economic Order.

"There are all reasonable grounds to believe and hope that progress in the field of peace and security will make it possible to move forward in all other areas of the activities of the United Nations," the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs concluded.

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