MINSK, 14 September (BelTA) - Belarus will gradually work to curb the misuse of sanctions and other violations of international law, Deputy Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FTUB) Vadim Grachev told the media during the international conference “Impact of Global Economic Challenges on Social and Labor Rights", which is underway in Minsk on 13-14 September, BelTA has learned.
The main topic of the forum was the impact of unlawful unilateral sanctions on the economy of Belarus and the lives of ordinary people. Leading law experts, representatives of the government, courts, scientists, MPs, political experts, ambassadors, heads of international trade unions and representatives of the enterprises affected by the sanctions – a total of about 400 people from 15 countries - worked together to develop a consolidated position.
“We set ourselves a task to work out a conclusion based on the results of the discussions. There we were going to point out in legal terms where our Western opponents are wrong, where they violate the norms of international law. Such a resolution has been prepared. The document comprised all the violations starting from the UN Charter to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” said Vadim Grachev.
He dwelt on the essence of the claims: Western countries, as the conference participants believe, have usurped international law and apply sanctions when they want to please their political desires and beliefs. “They thereby substitute for the UN Security Council: only it can apply any sanctions and only under one condition - when there is a threat to global peace. As the UN special rapporteur said at the conference, the use of sanctions has become unprecedentedly widespread. This should be of concern to the entire world community today. It is obvious that sanctions in one way or another lead to the restriction of the human right to work, healthcare, and food,” Vadim Grachev added.
“It is high time to stop this. It is time to put Western politicians in their place and show the whole world community how they violate international law,” the FTUB deputy chairman stressed.
The conclusion, prepared by leading law experts at the conference, will make the basis for the documents which will be sent to international and specialized UN institutions (ILO, UNESCO, WHO), as well as to international courts. “So that those experts and specialists could give an objective assessment of the practice of application of sanctions. In addition, the conference agreed to sign an agreement between the FTUB and the Belarusian Bar Association to further protect the rights and interests of the workers of Belarus in the international arena. We will meet on a regular basis as part of a group of experts to discuss all the revealed violations in order to prepare suits to international courts,” Vadim Grachev explained.
Vadim Grachev noted that Western politicians “still have time to stop, look around and make some important decisions: to lift the sanctions, to apologize to Belarus and the Belarusian people, to repair the damage”. He stressed that the sanctions also hurt the citizens of the countries that imposed them. Such actions undermine the credibility and integrity of the UN.
The forum was initiated by the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus. The idea was supported by the government and the employers' association.