Belarus is a founder of the United Nations, and the Belarusian delegation alongside other delegations that represented UN’ initial Members, signed the United Nations Charter in San Francisco in October 1945. Admission of Belarus, which at the time was not even an independent state, into the newly born global Organization reflected international community’s recognition of the role played by the people of Belarus in defeating fascism.
Despite a considerably more complex structure of international relations that has been taking shape in the wake of the Cold War’s end, the United Nations still remains a vital place for multilateral diplomatic activity.
Participation in the United Nations and its institutions and specialized agencies enables Belarus to more effectively pursue its foreign policy goals that aim to underpin country’s development, as well as modernize its economy.
From a political perspective, through its efforts at various United Nations’ mechanisms Belarus is keen to lay ground for a benign external context that helps ensure national security, sovereignty, its territorial integrity, and which is also conducive to enhancing the country’s international profile.
In the pursuit of this objective, Belarus relies on a set of tools, with the main being the advancement of its major foreign policy initiatives like recognition of the diversity of ways towards progressive development, establishment of global partnerships, fight against trafficking in persons, and some others. These initiatives seek to bolster global efforts against multiple transnational challenges, as well as to the formation of an equitable world order predicated on UN Charter’s principles and widely-recognized norms of international law.
Given the clearly articulated principled approaches of Belarus to ever-rising forces of globalization, increasing conflict potential and instability in international relations, Belarus sees the need to strengthen the UN’s central role in global affairs as an important priority in its engagement with the United Nations. That is why Belarus takes at the United Nations a vehement stand against unilateral approaches in addressing issues of international peace and security, as well as against efforts that undermine UN Charter-based international law. In the past few years, Belarus has become involved in United Nations peace-keeping operations, thereby making a contribution of its own to the maintenance of international peace and security.
Belarus is striving to contribute to the same goal through its activities related to United Nations reform, above all, with regard to streamlining UN’s principle organs like the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. UN reform must result in empowering the Organization, as well as its institutions and agencies, with adequate capacities to deal effectively with the implementation of UN Charter’s goals and objectives as the UN confronts contemporary challenges both in the realm of international security and the social and economic area.
In economic terms, the Belarusian diplomacy is seeking to make effective use of United Nations immense capacities in support of country’s overall internal development. The United Nations Development Framework (UNDAF) for Belarus for 2011-2015 spells out specific co-operation areas between Belarus and United Nations organizations and agencies. The document foresees that up to US$ 490 million should be mobilized and made available to national recipients. Moreover, some UN institutions and agencies, such, for example, as the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Children’s Fund, in partnership with their Belarusian counterparts, have developed individual programs that specify and enlarge relevant co-operation areas outlined in the UNDAF.
Belarus’ engagement with some other UN specialized organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the European Economic Commission, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development also helps the country fulfill its economic and developmental priorities. Specifically, Belarus has received around US$ 3,5 million of IMF credits in 2009-2010 to support the country’s balance of payments. As for co-operation with the World Bank, in the course of 2012 the latter is supposed to implement five projects in Belarus worth US$ 400 million, which address, among others, such issues as industrial and social infrastructure, energy efficiency, and the environment.
With the view to utilizing UN capacities for national humanitarian and social purposes, Belarus works in a proactive manner with a number of relevant United Nations specialized organizations and institutions, like the International Labor Organization, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, as well as with some others.