MINSK, 1 December (BelTA) – The House of Representatives' Standing Committees on Health, Physical Culture, Family and Youth Policy, on Labor and Social Issues, on International Affairs, as well as the Council of the Republic's Standing Committees on Education, Science, Culture and Social Development, on International Affairs and National Security have passed a joint statement in connection with by the illegal decision of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to suspend Belarus' membership in the IPC, BelTA has learned.
“The decision of the International Paralympic Committee to suspend the membership of the Paralympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus in this organization is unfair and discriminatory towards our country. Once again we declare that sport should stay out of politics, and athletes should not be subjected to pressure and political intrigues,” the statement reads.
Sport is about fair competition, MPs noted. “Athletes train their entire lives in order to have the opportunity to show their talent, skills, will and spirit during competitions. The International Paralympic Committee does not only violate fundamental rights and freedoms of the most vulnerable part of society, but also humiliates them, depriving them of the opportunity to represent their country under its flag. Such actions are contrary to the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy. Through the Strategy, the United Nations system reaffirms that the full and complete realization of the human rights of all persons with disabilities is an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. We see another manifestation of the policy of double standards. It further undermines the confidence in the objectivity of the functionaries of this international organization. It will take a lot of time and effort to rebuild its reputation,” the MPs emphasized.
“We, representatives of the Belarusian people, have always declared our openness and readiness for an equal and mutually respectful dialogue. The current situation prompts us to appeal to parliamentarians of all countries: the decision taken by the committee is an inhumane decision against people who get past themselves every day to achieve higher goals. We call for speaking out against the unjustified discriminatory decision of the International Paralympic Committee and revising it without preconditions in order to make sure that the inalienable rights of Belarusian athletes to participate in the international Paralympic movement on the basis of equality, solidarity and integrity, as provided for in the Olympic Charter, are respected,” the statement reads.
On 1 December the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus played host to a meeting of the MPs of the House of Representatives and the members of the Council of the Republic with the leadership of the Belarusian Paralympic Committee. The MPs discussed the situation that arose following the decision of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in Berlin made on 16 November to suspend Belarus' membership in the IPC.