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27 February 2020, 10:56

OSCE/ODIHR stresses Belarus' readiness to ensure rule of law, human rights

OSCE ODIHR Director Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir
OSCE ODIHR Director Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir

MINSK, 27 February (BelTA) - The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) emphasizes Belarus' readiness to ensure the rule of law and human rights, OSCE ODIHR Director Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir told the media, BelTA has learned.

The OSCE ODIHR director is taking part in an international conference in Minsk organized by the country's Supreme Court in cooperation with the OSCE ODIHR and the Council of Europe. The conference highlights the issues of the unified procedural code as a tool to exercise the right to a fair trial in civil and commercial disputes.

“I am glad to see the readiness to ensure the rule of law and human rights which make the basis of all truly democratic states,” said Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir.

She emphasized the importance of the ongoing event and expressed support to the Supreme Court in its efforts to expand access to justice for citizens of Belarus.

In her words, civil and commercial disputes arise in people's daily lives and represent one of the most tangible aspects of the justice system for the public. It is vital that the civil justice system be accessible, effective, and affordable. It is also crucial that judicial proceedings are conducted in a timely manner and without undue delay. Respect for such principles increases confidence in justice, which ultimately strengthens the rule of law.

In the light of the strong partnership that has been established between Belarus and ODIHR over the past three years, such cooperation will continue to be mutually beneficial, Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir said. The parties can and should raise this cooperation to a new level by implementing even more ambitious projects to strengthen democratic institutions, independence of the judiciary and human rights.

According to the OSCE/ODIHR director, the ongoing conference is not just a separate event. The conference is part of the rule of law component of the ODIHR project Promoting Democratization and Human Rights in Belarus funded by the European Union since 2018. She named some achievements, which resulted from such cooperation with different bodies. In particular, it was the development of a human rights training curriculum, capacity-building in the area of justice, and awareness raising on the rule of law and human rights.

Photos by Andrei Pokumeiko

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