În October 7, 2019 the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Andrei Dapkiunas, took part in the general discussion of the Second Committee (economic and financial issues) of the UN General Assembly.
In his speech, the Belarusian diplomat presented a vision of the Committee’s role and tasks in ensuring the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, emphasizing the importance of increasing the practical value of its work.
As A.Dapkiunas noted, international trade, the digital transformation, the widespread use of advantages of new technologies, the creation of partnerships at all levels are powerful global accelerators for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and should become priority areas of the Second Committee.
The representative of Belarus also drew attention to the fact that middle-income countries represent the only significant category of UN Member states that do not have a program document for cooperation with the UN, and called for speeding up the process of elaborating a UN strategy for this group of countries.
The Deputy Foreign Minister informed of Belarus’ efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda, announced plans to host the first forum on achieving the SDGs in the Eurasian Economic Union in Minsk in 2020. A.Dapkiunas called for developing and strengthening cooperation between national institutions and mechanisms responsible for achieving global goals.
On the sidelines of the session, the Deputy Minister met with the Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Achim Steiner. The interlocutors discussed the status and prospects for cooperation between Belarus and UNDP and the implementation of the existing UNDP country program for Belarus.
For reference. The fifth UNDP Country Program for Belarus for the period 2016-2020 is currently operating with a total funding of $ 82 million. The priorities of the program are to strengthen public administration, achieve sustainable economic growth, expand women's participation in the life of the country, ensure public access to a wide range of social services, and promote a healthy lifestyle.
A.Dapkiunas informed of the beginning of the next UNDP country program’s preparation for 2021-2025 and of the first ever consultations involving a wide range of national partners to identify key components of the new program held in Minsk on September 25.
A.Steiner reported a significant reduction in UN funding. In this context, the financial and economic situation in the Organization and the activities of the UNDP country office in Belarus were discussed, including its funding.
The interlocutors discussed international Chernobyl cooperation. A.Dapkiunas informed of the planned tabling by Belarus of a draft resolution on the long-term consequences of the Chernobyl disaster at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. A.Steiner confirmed that UNDP remains the coordinator of the Chernobyl issue at the UN.