Key approaches rather narrow

Belarus expresses concern at ECOSOC session in Geneva over politicisation of WTO accession process
By Valery Mikhalyuk

The substantive session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), held in Geneva, was attended by a Belarusian delegation headed by the Permanent Representative of Belarus to the UN Office and other international organisations in Geneva, Mikhail Khvostov.

In his speech at the high-level meeting, on July 3rd, Mr. Khvostov noted that the ECOSOC should take the lead in co-ordinating international efforts to implement the decisions of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development ‘Rio+20’. Mr. Khvostov also stressed the connection between the global economic crisis and imperfections in the modern system of international financial institutions, and made some suggestions for reform.

“As regards dialogue between the ECOSOC and international financial and trade institutions, Belarus believes that international financial organisations, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, bear some responsibility for the global economic crisis, both in terms of their inability to foresee and forestall it, and in terms of misguided policy. First of all, we mean certain politicisation of their approach towards co-operation with many countries, including Belarus. Their actions should be primarily aimed at achieving sustainable development in the world economy,” said Mr. Khvostov.

“In their co-operation with partner countries, financial and economic organisations should take into account, as much as possible, their real priorities in socio-economic interaction,” underlined the Belarusian representative.

He praised the prompt adoption of the new World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy for Belarus for 2014-2017 (fiscal years) by which the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development will allocate $380m and the International Finance Corporation will provide $140m for projects in Belarus. “The adoption of the partnership strategy creates a favourable basis for fruitful and mutually beneficial collaboration with the World Bank Group,” noted Mr. Khvostov.

“At the same time, we cannot but express concern over the ‘calibrated’ approach towards our country. We believe that its presence in the Partnership Strategy may have a negative impact on the development of co-operation with the World Bank Group, as it introduces some elements of uncertainty into the Bank’s policy towards our country, making it dependent upon the often opportunistic decisions of other countries,” announced the representative of Belarus. 

The head of the Belarusian delegation also expressed concern regarding the existence of unilateral coercive measures in the system of international trade-economic relations and the politicisation of the WTO accession process.

Belarus welcomed the UN Secretary General’s report on Science, Technology and Innovation, and the Potential of Culture for Promoting Sustainable Development and Achieving Millennium Development Goals, stressing the practical nature of his conclusions and recommendations.
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