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Call for Congress of Local and Regional Authorities to align its activities with SDG efforts

Politics 12.09.2018 | 12:22

MINSK, 12 September (BelTA) - Belarus calls for the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe to align its activities with the SDG efforts, Chairman of the Council of the Republic Mikhail Myasnikovich said at a roundtable on topical issues of local self-government in Minsk on 12 September, BelTA has learned.

The roundtable in the Council of the Republic has been organized jointly with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. Mikhail Myasnikovich recalled that on 25 September 2015, 193 UN countries adopted a new Agenda for Sustainable Development up to 2030 and approved 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Belarus is actively involved in the work to achieve them. “It makes sense for the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities to align its activities with the work on achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, while respecting the sovereign rights of each organization and their autonomous status,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said.

“The work on the Sustainable Development Goals yields positive results. One of them is the harmonization and unification,” the speaker added.

According to him, despite the centuries-old history Belarus learns from other states and nations. “We are happy to adopt the best practices in the development of the civil society, social and economic development. Adopting the law on local government and self-government in 2010, the Belarusian parliament formalized the basic principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said.

The Belarusian legislation provides citizens with an opportunity to communicate through the councils of deputies and territorial self-government bodies and to participate directly in the state and public affairs. “This is a real principle for the development of a modern civil society taking into account pan-European principles,” the speaker said.

He wished the congress every success in the fulfillment of its tasks, including in the cooperation with the countries who are not yet the CoE member states and who aspire to make the lives of European more productive and safer.

The roundtable will highlight the issues related to the approximation of the Belarusian legislation on local government and self-government with the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. Participants will discuss ways to improve the system of training, retraining and enhancing the qualifications of local authorities. Experts will talk over prospects for the development of associations of local councils of deputies. Particular attention will be paid to the strengthening of twinning relations as a tool for developing border areas.

Taking part in the event are representatives of the Congress from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, and Romania. The delegation is headed by President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe Gudrun Mosler-Tornstrom.

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is an institution of the Council of Europe that represents local and regional authorities of European states. The Congress is made up of two chambers: the Chamber of Local Authorities and the Chamber of Regions. The Council on Local Self-Government Cooperation at the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus has a status of an invited observer in the Congress. The Congress has 324 representatives of over 200,000 local and regional authorities in the Council of Europe's 47 member states.

Photos by Gennady Zhinkov

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