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Retrospective, main steps, initiatives and achievements

— 1946-1991

The first major Belarusian initiative was put forward as early as at the 1st session of the UN General Assembly in 1946. At the suggestion of the BSSR delegation, the General Assembly approved the resolution "On the extradition and punishment of war criminals." According to the resolution, the UN Member States were to take the most energetic measures to search for war criminals, arrest them and extradite them to the countries on whose territory they committed their crimes.

The Belarusian delegation proposed to continue the discussion of this topic in 1968. It was Belarus to suggest a resolution on the non-application of the statute of limitations to war crimes and war criminals. This resolution was approved at the 23rd session of the UN General Assembly.

At the 28th session of the UN General Assembly in 1973, on the initiative of the BSSR, a resolution was adopted on the use of scientific and technological progress in the interests of peace and social progress, on the basis of which the corresponding UN declaration and resolutions were subsequently developed concerning the prohibition of the development and production of new types of weapons of mass distruction. 

In the same year the BSSR was elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and successfully performed the duties in the main body of the UN from 1974 to 1975.

Belarus is the initiator of the Chernobyl direction in the activities of the UN and its organizations. In 1990,  the UN General Assembly approved the resolution put forward by Belarus "Strengthening international cooperation and coordination of efforts in studying, mitigating and minimizing the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster." The "Chernobyl" UN Secretariat was created, the work of the UN Inter-Agency Group was organized. Subsequently, the General Assembly confirmed and developed the provisions of this resolution at its regular sessions.

— 1991 - present

Since gaining independence, the Republic of Belarus has significantly expanded both the possibilities of its participation in international multilateral cooperation within the framework of the UN and its contribution to the solution of world problems.

Independent Belarus was the first successor state of the former Soviet Union to renounce the possession of nuclear weapons and completed their withdrawal from its territory in late 1996. Belarus has become a party to all major non-proliferation agreements such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

Belarus has also ratified the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START-1) and the Lisbon Protocol. In 1995, our state signed a Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA. All these efforts of the Republic of Belarus in ensuring international peace and security were positively noted in a number of resolutions of the UN General Assembly.

A major initiative of the Republic of Belarus in the framework of the United Nations in the field of maintaining international peace and security was the proposal of the President of the Republic of Belarus A.G. Lukashenko to create a nuclear-weapon-free space in Central and Eastern Europe. The initiative was submitted for consideration by the world community at the 53rd session of the UN General Assembly and in December 1998 the General Assembly adopted a corresponding resolution.

The Republic of Belarus has always pursued a responsible export control policy. In 1996, our country created a state system for accounting, control and physical protection of nuclear material. The admission of our state to the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2000 is proof of the full compliance of Belarus with internationally recognized export control standards.

Belarus was one of the active supporters of the development and adoption of the UN Program of Action for the Prevention and Eradication of the Illicit Trade of Light Weapons and Small Arms (SALW) in all its aspects and the fight against it. The program was approved at the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade of SALW in all its aspects, which was held in July 2001 in New York.

In 2000, at the 55th session of the UN General Assembly, on the initiative of Belarus, a resolution was adopted “Measures to be taken against racism, political platforms and activities based on doctrines of superiority, based on racial discrimination or ethnic exclusivity and xenophobia, including, features, neo-Nazism ".

Since 2002, the Republic of Belarus has been the developer and coordinator of the draft resolution “Prohibition of the development and production of new types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons: report of the Conference on Disarmament”. The last time this resolution was adopted in the framework of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly (2017).

In 2000, the country's leadership approved the concept of a gradual expansion of the participation of Belarusian citizens in UN peacekeeping operations (PKO). As part of the implementation of this concept, in 2001 in New York, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Republic of Belarus and the UN regarding the participation of our country in the system of UN standby agreements. In November 2003, a corresponding national law was adopted. Since 2010, representatives of Belarus have been participating in UN peacekeeping operations.

Since 2001, Belarus has been conducting constructive interaction with the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, which monitors the fulfillment by the UN member states of their obligations under resolution 1373 (2001) and other UN Security Council resolutions on measures to combat terrorism. At the moment, our country is a party to all existing conventions and protocols on the fight against terrorism, adopted under the auspices of the UN.

Since gaining independence, Belarus has also made a feasible contribution to solving the problems of world development. The Republic of Belarus took an active part in the development of the final program documents of the 1994 UN International Conference on Population and Development, the 1996 UN Conference on Human Settlements, the 19th special session of the UN General Assembly to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the implementation of the 1997 Agenda 21, The 2001 International Conference on Financing for Development, the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, the UN Summits in 2005 and 2010, conference “Rio+20”.

In 1997, at the initiative of the President of Belarus A.G.Lukashenko, the international conference on sustainable development of countries with economies in transition was held in the capital of our country.

In April 2006, in the capital of Belarus, Minsk, the International Conference “Chernobyl 20 Years Later. Strategy for recovery and sustainable development of affected regions”, which outlined the directions for further efforts of the UN agencies in this area.

During the regular sessions of the UN General Assembly, Belarus has traditionally actively participated in the development and promotion of draft resolutions on the integration of states with economies in transition into the world economy.

In 2008, Belarus became one of the initiators of the creation in the UN of a new group of recipient countries of international development assistance - middle income countries. At present, efforts are being made to ensure that this issue is considered by all structures of the UN system, taking into account the special interests and needs of this category of states in external assistance.

— Recent initiatives

Being a firm adherent of the principles laid down in the UN Charter, proceeding from the postulate of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, the Republic of Belarus respects the choice of the peoples of the systems of state administration and the socio-political structure. Our state believes that any people who do not pose a threat to international security and whose government is working to develop their own nation should have the right to freely enjoy all the benefits of international cooperation without restrictions, sanctions and preconditions.

In this regard, from the rostrum of the 2005 UN Summit, the President of the Republic of Belarus proposed to recognize the diversity of ways of progressive development as a value of human civilization.

This initiative harmoniously complements the efforts of the Republic of Belarus and most of the UN member states to build a more just world order and strengthen international law. Belarus' initiative was enshrined in a number of documents adopted under the auspices of the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Another initiative put forward by the Head of the Belarusian State at the 2005 UN Summit was an appeal to the international community to take effective measures in the fight against human trafficking. In development of this topic, during the 60th session of the UN General Assembly (2005), Belarus came up with a proposal to create a Global Partnership against Slavery and Human Trafficking in the 21st Century under the UN auspices in order to unite efforts of states, international organizations, civil society and the private sector in the fight against the modern slave trade.

According to various international organizations studies, in the middle of the last decade, the problem of human trafficking began to take on more and more threatening proportions. Against this background, the successful national policy of Belarus on combating trafficking in persons, the effectiveness of which is recognized by the international community, gave our country the moral right to make proposals to enhance cooperation in this area and at the international level.

As a result, since 2006, the UN General Assembly has regularly adopted a resolution initiated by Belarus on improving coordination of actions in the fight against human trafficking. In July 2010, on the Belarusian initiative, the General Assembly approved the Global Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings. In addition, Belarus came up with a proposal to create in New York and in the UN offices in Vienna and Geneva a Group of Friends United in the Fight against Human Trafficking, which currently includes 21 states.

Thus, in recent years, international cooperation in the fight against human trafficking at the global level has become more and more organized, which directly affects the growth of its effectiveness, including in most of the interested states.

An important feature of the modern system of international relations is the fact that, along with classical diplomacy within the UN, its specialized agencies or regional interstate associations, new formations are actively being formed - partnerships, consisting not only of states, but also international organizations, representatives of civil society and private sector. The main task of such partnerships at the global level is to generate actions by the entire international community aimed at resolving any specific functional problem of modern civilization.

Belarus considers the formation of partnerships as an important tool designed to institutionalize the emerging new forms of international cooperation with a narrow specialization and a wider membership than just states. The development of global partnerships and their active use in the UN arsenal is one of the priority areas of attention of the Republic of Belarus. We are actively working in the framework of the UN and other international organizations with stakeholders to implement the idea of partnerships, primarily in such areas as global development, energy, human trafficking, youth.

Solving energy supply issues, diversifying energy supplies, improving the energy efficiency of national economies is the most important task for the Republic of Belarus and for the vast majority of countries in the world, the solution of which ensures the political sovereignty of the state, its economic security, as well as prospects for sustainable development. In modern conditions, characterized by crisis phenomena in the economy, an increase in the negative pressure of environmental factors and climate change, the intensification of international political tension and rivalry for energy resources, the issue of access of countries with economies in transition and developing countries to energy resources and, above all, to modern technologies in the energy sector get special importance.

In this regard, the Republic of Belarus is promoting in the international arena a proposal to create a global mechanism for increasing the availability of modern technologies for the use of new and renewable energy sources. On the initiative of Belarus, in June 2009 the UN General Assembly held a debate on the topic of energy, which demonstrated a high interest in the problem as a whole. At this stage, Belarus, together with other partner states, are actively promoting efforts to ensure greater centralization of the decision-making process in this area through the relevant resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly, as well as UN agencies. This trend, of course, meets the goals of the majority of the UN members interested in ensuring their energy security, including through obtaining greater opportunities for using renewable energy.

An analysis of the crisis phenomena in the world economy and development processes of a significant number of states shows that their current influence and prospects of genesis have a direct negative impact on the situation of young people. The marginalization of the younger generation, primarily in developing countries, through the growth of unemployment, exclusion from political life, lack of opportunities for self-realization leads to catastrophic consequences in the form of growth among young people of radical, anti-social and anarchic sentiments. This trend poses an immediate threat to the sustainable development of the entire civilization.

That is why, and taking into account the fact that the youth policy implemented in the Republic of Belarus is yielding serious results, our diplomacy is actively promoting youth issues. During the 65th anniversary session of the General Assembly in 2010, Belarus put forward an initiative on the need to promote the prosperity of future generations. Its essence lies in the creation of a new global partnership to protect the interests of young people and to solve problems that are characteristic of the younger generation in many countries. Currently, Belarus's efforts are aimed at organizing thematic debates of the UN General Assembly, as well as making the mandates of UN organizations and agencies more youth-oriented.

The topic of Chernobyl remains internationally relevant, in conjunction with other urgent issues for the UN, such as sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, health care, environmental security, humanitarian cooperation.

In 2021, Belarus took an active part in the preparation and holding of a special commemorative meeting of the General Assembly on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, as well as other commemorative events at the UN headquarters with the participation of the Secretary General.

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