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Statement by Mr.Alexander Mikhnevich, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, at PSI High Level Political Meeting, Warsaw, May 28, 2013

Dear Ambassador Millar,
Dear Colleagues,

In July 2013 Belarus will mark the 20th anniversary of accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear State. Having voluntarily renounced the right to possess nuclear arms we didn’t limit our contribution to international security and arms control.

In the years past, we undertook considerable efforts to prevent the proliferation of WMD, their means of delivery and related materials.

PSI and UNSC Resolution 1540 have many things in common. Both of them are comprehensive instruments to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery and effective mechanisms for preventing them from falling into the hands of non-State actors and terrorist organizations.

To implement the 1540 Resolution Belarus has developed effective legislation, as well as built up necessary capacities and capabilities to counter WMD proliferation.

For example, in 2012 in cooperation with the OSCE, the 1540 Committee and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Belarus developed a national framework document, or “roadmap”, for additional measures relating to the implementation of resolution 1540 with an emphasis on export controls and control of biological materials. In the long term, we plan to extend scope of this document to the issues of physical protection, accounting for, reporting, control of and safeguarding of nuclear and chemical materials.

Dear colleagues,

We are certain that co-operation between international and regional organizations on the issue of non-proliferation and export controls will facilitate the more effective implementation of resolution 1540 and is completely along with other resolutions and PSI targets.

A practical example of such co-operation is the seminar in this area that was held in Minsk in January 2013 for CIS member States where we have a presidency this year. The seminar was organized by the CIS Executive Committee, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, 1540 Committee and the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre.

In our view, the seminar laid the groundwork for continued co-operation between the CIS member States on the implementation of resolution 1540, both on a bilateral basis and at the regional level, and was, in its own way, a jumping-off point for deeper co-ordination and further joint actions between the OSCE, the CIS and the United Nations in this area.

Belarus is ready to continue the constructive co-operation, both with international organizations and with individual countries among other things, by carrying out a peer-to-peer review of the resolution’s implementation. We are currently studying the possibility of organizing such an event with interested countries.

In conclusion, I should like to express our appreciation to the role the Polish government plays in promoting disarmament and countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and extend our congratulation with regard to the excellent organization of this PSI meeting.

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