Statement by Sergei Martynov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, at the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (New York, September 28, 2007)
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Belarus firmly supports the decision to devote this ministerial meeting to the practical measures aimed at the strengthening of the action capacity of NAM. In fact it was a prevailing theme during the discussion at the last year Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Havana. We do believe that this meeting presents a proper occasion to take stock of how the Movement lives up to its commitments undertaken last year in Havana.
We welcome the Report presented by the President which takes stock of the NAM activities since the Havana Summit. I think that all the Participating States must be proud of the Presidency, which, with such skills and distinction has been steering the Non-Aligned ship through the turbulent waters of world politics.
In Havana we agreed to oppose the tendency to equate reform of the United Nations with greater empowerment of the Security Council and reiterated our concern over the continuing encroachment by the Security Council on the functions and powers of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.
However, let’s not forget that currently we have seven Non-Aligned Movement members represented on the Security Council. Nearly half of the entire membership. Surely we can and we should raise our concerns and defend our position on these issues in the Security Council. Why not to organize monthly briefings of the Security Council members on the activities of the Council for other countries of the NAM? It would bring about fruitful discussions on how to better promote the position of the NAM in the Council.
One more potentially beneficial aspect of our future common work is the ongoing process of the revitalization of the United Nations General Assembly. I believe that like Belarus, many other countries of the NAM are not fully satisfied with the resolution adopted on this issue at the final stage of the 61st session of the General Assembly. It means that all the questions related to the role and authority of the General Assembly contained in the final document of the Havana Summit keep their relevance today.
If we really want to see the Assembly as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the United Nations the Movement should keep its pace in working out and promoting workable well-grounded ideas in this regard. Significant work has been already done. Many interesting proposals were put forward on behalf of the NAM and not included into the resolutions solely to achieve consensus. We don’t think that the Movement should give up these ideas.
We propose to organize annually during the three month transition period a working meeting of the NAM Presidency with the office of the incoming President of the General Assembly. It could be useful not only in terms of exchanging the views but also of crystallizing the priorities and major tasks and bring them to the attention of the General Assembly Presidency before a new session.
This year can be considered as a milestone in the history of NAM. We achieved a remarkable success in defending and promoting the common position of the Non-Aligned Movement on human rights in the UN bodies. We already have an encouraging result in the Human Rights Council. Upon the initiative of the Movement the Council has adopted three important resolutions on various aspects of the international cooperation on human rights. Two of them were adopted by consensus.
In this respect we are very satisfied with the outcome of the recent Tehran Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement on human rights and cultural diversity. We see the Tehran Declaration and Programme of Action of the NAM on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity as an important tool to promote a non-confrontational approach to the consideration of human rights issues at the international arena. A non-confrontational approach of the NAM is in sharp contrast with the confrontational nature of country-specific resolutions and the attempts to unwind the consensus achieved in the HRC. The NAM should not allow them to come about. We must remember that the NAM came into being fifty years ago as a protest against confrontation, as a global response to the global confrontation. The Movement should not allow confrontation to creep anew into the organs and bodies of the United Nations, including in the area of protection of human rights. It is a very important topic and we must insist on solving the human rights problems only through the mutually respectful dialogue and cooperation within the Human Rights Council and its working mechanisms.
Belarus supports the strengthening of cooperation between the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77 and China within the Joint Coordinating Committee. This cooperation can play a crucial role in defending justified interests of developing countries and countries with economies in transition in the process of reform of the operational activities of the UN system for development based on the improving of the system-wide coherence. Otherwise there is a risk to get a completely new model of the operational activities (so called “Delivering as one”) at the country level which would be imposed without our consent and be directed exclusively to put international assistance for development under control of donor countries only.
As a matter of principle we should protect together with the Group of 77 the international economic relations in general and especially the international trade from the practice of unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against sovereign countries.