MINSK, 5 October (BelTA) – Banning Belarus from the UNECE conference violates the principles of international cooperation, Belarusian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Andrei Khudyk said in a statement regarding the exclusion of Belarus from the lists of participating countries in the UNECE Ninth Environment for Europe (EfE) Ministerial Conference, BelTA learned from the press service of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.
The UNECE Ninth Environment for Europe (EfE) Ministerial Conference began its work on 5 October. This is an international forum that brings together, under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, all those involved in the preservation of planet Earth from negative anthropogenic impact and the protection of the environment and mitigation of climate change.
"The conference is set to hold a high-level meeting of representatives of the ministries of education and ministries of environment. I have to admit that all discussions, meetings of expert groups, exchange of best practices will take place without the participation of Belarus as the country has been stricken out from the list of participants. We consider this fact as unfriendly, violating the fundamental principles of international cooperation, the custodian of which is not only the United Nations itself, but also every body and member of the secretariat. Thus, the UNECE uses the policy of isolation in relation to Belarus," the minister said.
In his words, Belarus is by right one of the most progressive countries in the UNECE region in environmental protection. According to him, this is evidenced by high international opinion of its national reports, and also numerous speeches of Belarusian representatives at the platform of the UNECE during discussions of the most complex environmental topics at the regional and global levels.
“Our country conscientiously fulfills its voluntary commitments under the Batumi Initiative on Green Economy for the development of the circular economy and the sustainable use of natural resources. We express our doubts about the UNECE's commitment to the high goals of its establishment and its desire to conduct constructive cooperation and mutually respectful dialogue on environmental protection issues. Belarus declares its non-recognition of the documents that are to be adopted at the UNECE Ninth Environment for Europe (EfE) Ministerial Conference and will oppose their implementation at bilateral and multilateral platforms, as well as their use as a basis for further development of environmental cooperation in the United Nations and other universal and regional international organizations,” Andrei Khudyk said.
Representatives of states of the Eurasian region, international organizations and experts are set to gather in Nicosia (the capital of the Republic of Cyprus) to get stock of 30 years of environmental cooperation in the pan-European region and to outline the prospects through 2030, to discuss further work on the green economy, and to prepare the basis for the application of the principles of a circular economy for sustainable tourism.