Distinguished Mr Secretary General!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Republic of Belarus became an integral part of the global antiterrorist coalition. Our country has ratified all twelve universal antiterrorist conventions. Supporting the NATO antiterrorist operation in Afghanistan, Belarus provides its territory for the ISAF cargo and personnel transit to Afghanistan.
Belarus considers the development of full-fledged and mutually beneficial cooperation with NATO to be an important part of ensuring both national and Euro-Atlantic security. In this sphere we find it necessary to use all cooperation forms and mechanisms available.
The meetings of the NATO Politico-Military Steering Committee and the Political Committee in the “26 + Belarus” format took place in November 2005. At these meetings a number of issues of bilateral cooperation was reviewed, and the Assessment Document on the participation of the Republic of Belarus in the PfP Planning and Review Process was approved. The achievement of the partnership goals selected within PARP will ensure the operational interoperability of the designated units of the Belarus Armed Forces with the Alliance forces in order to take part in the multinational search-and-rescue, humanitarian and peace-support operations.
The Individual Partnership Programs of Belarus and NATO has been consecutively implemented. In 2005 the number of activities within the framework of national IPP tripled as compared to 1997. Belarus has finalized draft IPP for 2006 – 2007.
Anti-personnel mines stockpile destruction has become yet another important area of the Belarus-NATO cooperation. On November 14, 2005, the Republic of Belarus and NAMSA signed the Implementation Agreement providing for TNT APM stockpiles elimination on the territory of Belarus.
Mr. Secretary General,
I would like to touch upon the issue that was brought up during the latest EAPC Council meetings – Partnership values. We strongly believe that the state’s adherence to the shared values in the security sphere is measured by its practical steps towards joining international legal documents in question and their implementation rather than by the amount of declarations in their support. Any attempts to politicize practical cooperation, including a military one, in such a sensitive sphere as international security and arms control would be counterproductive.
We strongly believe that such issues as conflict prevention and conflict management, fighting terrorism, illegal migration, and drug trafficking, strengthening of the WMD non-proliferation regimes should remain fundamental in the day-to-day work of the EAPC, i. e. in our joint work.
Concluding my remarks, I would like to say that our annual final Ministerial EAPC session would be more substantive if we maintain its traditional format.
Thank you for your attention.