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Statement by H.E.Mr. Gennady Nevyglas State Secretary of the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus at the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Plenary Meeting at the level of Heads of State and Government (Istanbul, 29 June 2004)

Distinguished Mr. Secretary-General,

Distinguished Presidents, Heads of Delegations,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

The past decade of our Partnership gave us an opportunity to build together the comprehensive system of security in the Euro-Atlantic area, and to defend our common and most important assets stability, security and universal human values.

Today the nature of risks and challenges, which represent the real threat to the international community, is evolving.

Terrorism in all its manifestations is obviously the main threat to our security and stability. Partnership demonstrated its ability to counter it, but we cannot be satisfied with the results achieved while civilians are still dying in terrorist attacks. The most important goal of our todays meeting is to demonstrate to the international community that all EAPC Member States are determined to continue and intensify effective common efforts to combat this evil. Therefore, the Republic of Belarus declares its support of the Alliances proposal on the development of the Partnership Action Plan against terrorism.

Belarus is ready to share responsibility to maintain peace and international stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area by means of concrete actions and implementing joint decisions. Having in its disposal modern armed forces, the Republic of Belarus for the first time ever adopted national legislation allowing us to participate in peacekeeping operations. The national peacekeeping military contingent will be trained for these purposes through the existing Partnership mechanisms.

Belarus supports international community efforts on Afghanistan reconstruction. We are ready to make our territory available for transit of cargoes and personnel of the International Security Assistance Forces bound for this country. Belarus is also prepared to provide for these purposes a transport aircraft, which is declared by our country in the framework of the Partnership.

Reduction of the threat of weapons of mass destruction proliferation has always been one of the priorities of our countrys foreign policy. In this connection I would like to emphasize that Belarus welcomes and shares the objectives of the Proliferation Security Initiative declared in Krakow. In conformity with our national legislation we are ready to cooperate with the PSI participating states in conducting active measures to counter proliferation of WMD and their delivery systems. We believe that EAPC has a high potential for co-operation in the field of non-proliferation.

With a view to integrate the PSI into the international law, the Republic of Belarus speaks in favour of profound and comprehensive consideration of its implementation mechanisms in the framework of the UN Security Council, as the only universal body with responsibility to adopt enforcement measures for maintaining or restoring international peace and security.

Belarus supports the inclusion of the issue of trafficking in human beings into the EAPC agenda. It is still a serious challenge to our security. At the national level we are taking active measures to fight this scourge. We are convinced that the Partnership in co-operation with other organisations and institutions is capable to spur and increase the effectiveness of our efforts to confront the slavery of the XXI century.

We consider that the initiatives proposed by the Alliance to promote democratic transformation and defence institutions reforms in Partner countries are interesting and promising.

We are convinced that the real strengthening of stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic area could only be achieved through the balanced development of the Partnership mechanisms.

In this regard, Belarus positively assesses the experience gained in terms of bilateral and regional co-operation with neighbouring countries in counteracting todays threats. This year we have reached agreements on bilateral complementary confidence- and security-building measures with Poland and Latvia. In addition to the previously concluded similar bilateral agreements with Ukraine and Lithuania these measures create an important zone of confidence and security for all neighbouring countries. We believe that there is a good basis for the implementation of the Belarus proposals announced at the Prague Summit to enhance the regional Partnership co-operation on the issues of joint protection of the European strategic energy facilities, illegal migration and illicit trade in arms combating, border control.

The conventional arms control remains a vitally important basis and instrument for harmonisation of state-partners national security interests. However, we are seriously concerned about the future of the European conventional weapons control system. Five years ago, here in Istanbul, the crucial decisions on the adaptation of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) were taken. We appeal to all State Parties of the CFE Treaty to implement the Istanbul key commitment that is to ratify the Agreement on Adaptation of CFE Treaty. We are convinced that the forthcoming entry into force of the Adapted CFE Treaty meets security interests of the whole region.

In conclusion, let me express my gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Turkey for hospitality and excellent organisation of the Summit, which, without any doubt, will become a remarkable event in the EAPC history. Belarus welcomes the development of the Partnership for Peace Partnership for our common Security and Stability and believes that the decisions approved yesterday and today will provide a solid foundation for the future common constructive co-operation.

Thank you for your attention.

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