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Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus V.Makei pays a working visit to Switzerland (first day agenda)

19 April 2021


On April 19, 2021 within the framework of a working visit to the Swiss Confederation the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Vladimir Makei, held negotiations with the heads of a number of international organizations.

At the meeting with the WHO Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the sides underlined a long-term and programmatic nature of cooperation between Belarus and WHO in a wide range of areas.

The Minister informed the interlocutor about Belarus' approaches to combating the COVID-19 pandemic, the progress of the vaccination campaign, the launch of the production of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine and plans for the production of a Belarus-produced vaccine. V.Makei thanked T.A. Ghebreyesus for the support provided by WHO to the country in connection with the pandemic, noting the targeted supplies to Belarus of individual protective equipment, test systems and other relevant medical equipment. The Minister expressed the support of the Belarusian side to the efforts of the Director General to strengthen the role of WHO in ensuring a coordinated response of the international community to potential health emergencies, in particular, his initiative to develop a Convention on Pandemic Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies.

T.A.Ghebreyesus, for his part, confirmed the Organization's readiness to continue providing Belarus with technical and consulting assistance in the fight against COVID-19, including in the process of establishing vaccine production. It was emphasized that WHO is interested in strengthening the national capacity of Belarus in the production of vaccines, as well as in the possibility of joint use of final products in the future.

During the meeting with the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Daren Tang, the Belarusian side handed over an instrument of Belarus joining the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs.

An agreement was reached on the completion by WIPO in 2021 of a study on the development of innovation environment centers in Belarus and the participation of Belarusian industrial enterprises in international chains of formation of innovative products.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, V.Makei, also met with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.

The Minister emphasized the strategic adherence of Belarus to the fundamental principles of international law, enshrined in the UN Charter, and international agreements of the state in the field of Human Rights. V.Makei informed the interlocutor about the national context of the search for a national balance of interests in the closely intersecting spheres of national security, sustainable development and Human Rights. The High Commissioner was presented with the assessments of the situation after the 2020 presidential elections and the long-term plans of the country's leadership to improve the political system through constitutional reform.

High Commissioner M.Bachelet outlined the approaches of her Office on cooperation with Belarus and called on the Government of Belarus to use the expertise of the OHCHR in order to develop the political system in the area of Human Rights.

The Minister expressed regret in connection with the politicization of the High Commissioner's mandate in the light of the latest decisions of the UN Human Rights Council and stressed that Belarus would never agree to interference in its’ internal affairs by a third state or an international structure.

The first day of the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus to Geneva ended with a meeting with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer.

The interlocutors noted the intensification of bilateral cooperation after the visit of the President of the ICRC to Minsk in November 2017 and his meeting with the President of the Republic of Belarus and expressed readiness to explore the possibility of expanding humanitarian cooperation in the near future, including the provision of assistance to the Belarusian Red Cross Society.

The parties reached an agreement on joint promotion of the initiative of the President of the ICRC to combat the threat of cyber attacks on health systems under the CIS Presidency of Belarus in 2021.

V.Makei informed the President of the ICRC about the situation in Belarus, stressing that the Belarusian state has never and will never pose any kind of threat to neighboring countries or the region on general.

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