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Statement of the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus A.Sychev at the plenary session of the UN General Assembly

Mr. President,

The delegation of the Republic of Belarus attaches great importance to the strengthening and reforming the United Nations. On the eve of its 60th anniversary the relevance of the Organization with respect to the modern realities of international politics and its capacity to play the central role in overcoming global threats and challenges of the 21st century have posed sharper and firmer questions.

Belarus supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General aimed at giving an impetus to the process of improving the Organization activities through the encouragement of dialogue among States on the major aspects of reform.

We expect that after the presentation of the report of the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change broad consultations with Member States on recommendations of transforming the Organization and improving its activities in the area of maintenance of international peace and security will be arranged.

Today, there are no serious doubts on the need to modernize the United Nations in order to deal with its tasks effectively. The doubts are only possible with regard to the inevitability and reasonability for substantial institutional change of the United Nations system, with the exception of enlargement of the Security Council, as well as to the necessity of reconsidering basic principles of the UN activities enshrined in its Charter.

The existing mechanisms of the UN Charter, in particular in the field of maintenance of international peace and security, have proved to be quite viable and the possibilities of their adaptation to the changing international situation have not been exhausted.

The primary element of the position of Belarus on the problem of the UN reform is based on the conviction that the perspectives for reformation of the Organization must not be linked to the belittling of significance and revision of the principles of the UN Charter. This approach is by no means an expression of conservatism but the reflection of the aspiration of our country to promote the enhancement of the integrity of the fundamental foundations of the Organization that is an important prerequisite for peaceful coexistence of States and achievement of fair international order.

Sticking to the mentioned approach Belarus together with other Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement initiated the adoption of the resolution 58/317 entitled Reaffirming the central role of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security and the promotion of international cooperation at 58th session the UN General Assembly. This resolution is a significant instrument for determining the ways to increase efficacy of the United Nations and elaborate guidelines for the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change in the process of preparing the reform proposals.

In the light of the Secretary Generals undertaking efforts on strengthening and democratizing the United Nations we give a general positive assessment of the outcome of deliberations of the Panel of Eminent Persons on United Nations-Civil Society relations. At the same time it is critical to note that broadening of interaction of the United Nations with non-governmental organizations should be organized in such a manner so that not to put into doubt the role of the United Nations as a effective forum of intergovernmental communication.

The delegation of Belarus draws attention to such a promising direction of revitalization of the UN activities and its democratization as the creation of mechanisms to expand the participation of parliamentarians in the activities of the Organization.

At present, the Inter-Parliamentary Union positively contributes to the development of contacts between parliamentarians and the United Nations through the annual parliamentary hearings during the substantive part of the General Assembly session. Other means of enhancing the parliamentary dimension in the UN activities, particularly, in the work of its principal representative organ the General Assembly, may be also developed.

Revitalization of work of the General Assembly is a major aspect of the process of strengthening and reforming the United Nations.

We welcome the steps undertaken by His Excellency Julian Hunte, President of the 58th session of the United Nations General Assembly, in order to stimulate discussion on the revitalization of the functioning of the General Assembly and increase its authority within the United Nations system. Resolutions 58/126 and 58/316 established a good basis for working out further measures to strengthen the status of the General Assembly and creating conditions for effective implementation of its authority under the Charter, during the current session.

The General Assembly is the main representative organ of the United Nations the capacity of which must be fully utilized for the interests of advocating multilateralism in settling international problems.

Advocating the process of revitalization of the General Assembly the Republic of Belarus is warning against its bureaucratization and the increase of unjustified burden on the UN budget as a consequence of reform measures.

We propose to undertake a comprehensive analysis of consequences for the whole UN system from the possible change in the schedule of work of the General Assembly main committees. We share the opinion that any reordering of schedules of work of all six committees is advisable within the traditional period of their functioning from September to December.

Thereupon, we call upon His Excellency Jean Ping, President of the 59th session of the United Nations General Assembly, to concentrate his efforts on solving the priority problems related to the revitalization of one of the principal UN organs he chairs. As a priority Belarus considers the taking of further measures to improve working methods of the General Assembly directed to the optimization and rationalization of the agenda, refraining from the practice of adoption of overlapping and repeating resolutions, cutting down the length of debates on agenda items and making an emphasis on the quality of resolutions.

Belarus backs the measures aimed at strengthening the status of the General Assembly in the UN system as well as reconsidering its current relations with other principal statutory organs. We suppose that the establishment of mechanism of coordination between the presidents of the General Assembly, Security Council and Economic and Social Council in conformity with resolution 58/126 will become the first practical step towards the enhancement of the General Assembly authority in the UN system.

In conclusion allow me to reassure you, Mr. President, of the intention of delegation of Belarus to establish the full-fledged cooperation in evolving positive and generally acceptable decisions to strengthen the Organization and revitalize its General Assembly.

Thank you for your attention.

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