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Statement of Belarusian representative within session of the UN First Committee Subj.: "Conventional arms control at the regional and sub-regional levels"

Mr. Chairman,

Conventional arms control has not outdated today, but, vice versa, is accumulating greater magnitude at the regional and sub-regional levels.

Proliferation of conventional arms in different regions and absence of effective control and verification mechanisms are sources of threat to global security and stability. The growth of tension in a region, uncontrolled transfer of arms and weaponries can develop into an armed conflict capable of spilling over to other regions.

Mr. Chairman,

The Republic of Belarus believes that confidence-building measures (CBM) provide one of the key elements of conventional arms control at the regional and sub-regional levels.

The main goal of confidence-building measures in the sphere of conventional arms control focuses on the strengthening of regional security as an active constituent of international security, as well as lowering the risk of rise of armed conflicts. Development of CBM objectively promotes lowering the risk of misunderstanding or wrong assessment of military activities, prevention of military confrontation, lowering the risk of a sudden attack and an outbreak of war as a result of a military incident.

By creating of a regional climate that facilitates lowering of importance of a military element, CBM can contribute to the process of balanced arms reduction and disarmament, as well as more effective functioning of a verification regime.

We welcome the countries that have concluded appropriate bilateral and multilateral agreements on CBM in the military and political sphere, and urge other states to support the initiatives aimed at achieving agreements on CBM in the sphere of conventional arms control at the regional and sub-regional levels.

We believe that the most optimal approach by creating and further developing CBM in the military and political sphere is based on flexibility in realization of common interests in the sphere of regional security and arms control. States inalienable right on an adequate security level must be guaranteed, understanding that none of the states or a group of states-parties to CBM agreements will strive for acquiring advantages over the other party at any stage of CBM implementation and development.

As a result of the active cooperation with the neighboring countries Belarus has completed setting up of the belt of good-neighborliness along its borders. The agreements on complimentary confidence- and security-building measures were concluded in 2004 with Latvia and Poland. We consider these agreements as a real contribution to the consolidation of the regional and European security systems.

Mr. Chairman,

By bringing an example of a regional agreement on conventional arms control, we would like to note again the role and importance of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty that is a key element of the European security.

The Republic of Belarus was an active participant in the negotiations process on adaptation of the CFE Treaty to the new geopolitical conditions in Europe, and was the first member-state to have ratified the CFE Treaty Adaptation Agreement in 2000.

The adopted CFE Treaty symbolizes a transfer from the old relations in Europe of the Cold war times characterized with a block confrontation to a new stage based on cooperation and trust. The adaptation of the Treaty made it possible for new states to join it.

The Republic of Belarus stands for acceleration of entering into force of the adopted CFE Treaty and its accession by new members. We believe this will promote finalization of the formation of a new European security architecture, strengthen trust and increase transparency on the territory from Vancouver to Vladivostok, as well as serve as a good stimulus and example for states in other parts of the world. In this connection we urge the other states-parties to the CFE Treaty that have not ratified the CFE Treaty Adaptation Agreement to do it as soon as possible.

We also support the idea on considering the issues of development of initiatives that can serve as a basis for regional agreements on regional arms control at the Conference on Disarmament.

Stressing the consistency of its policy in the sphere of international security and arms control, the Republic of Belarus once again becomes a co-sponsor of the draft resolution Conventional arms control at the regional and sub-regional levels.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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