Results of activity and tasks for the future

Belarus’ National Academy of Sciences hosts International Scientific-Practical Conference — 20 Years of the Commonwealth

By Dmitry Petrovsky

Belarus’ Prime Minister, Mikhail Myasnikovich, read a greeting letter on behalf of the Head of State, addressing the scientific forum. He noted that, over the past five years, more advanced integration associations have taken shape within the CIS, originating from the Commonwealth. These enable each of the eleven member states to choose a proper format of integration, in addition to bestowing certain advantages and obligations. Without any supranational authorities and almost without a budget for development, quite a few procedures have been set up to aid decision implementation. The CIS is well known globally, while many useful joint projects are being implemented.

The conference gathered official representatives from CIS member states, heads of Commonwealth bodies, prominent public and political figures and scientists. They joined representatives of business and financial circles to analyse the situation within the post-Soviet space in the smallest detail. Economic interaction was studied, while a special sub-section was devoted to co-operation in the field of science and innovative development. The humanitarian sphere also came under focus, as did legal issues of collaboration.

On the eve of the conference, an analytical report was prepared: Results of CIS Activity Over the Past 20 Years and Tasks for the Future. The report showed, as conference participants agreed, that the Commonwealth has played a key historical role worldwide and regionally, politically and economically. It greatly contributed to solving the most complicated problems following the USSR’s collapse, while assisting sovereign states in establishing themselves. The CIS has aided the preservation and further development of historically established ties within the post-Soviet space while supporting trade-economic relations under market conditions. Constant political dialogue and multi-sided interaction in almost all spheres have been established.

The Commonwealth has endured a tough journey, having to keep expectations realistic while searching for the best forms of co-operation and adapting its institutions and mechanisms to the needs of multilateral interaction. It now boasts a working system of charter and branch bodies, in addition to basic organisations within different spheres of interaction. The Inter-Parliamentary Assembly has been established and an inventory of legislation has been conducted, producing the Single Register for CIS Legal Acts. Necessary procedures have been developed to oversee its working while its mechanism of election and referenda observation has been refined. Multi-format and multi-level co-operation have been established, presupposing flexibility and the ability of member states to reach consensus. In 2007, the CIS Further Development Concept was adopted, becoming an important stage in the organisation’s development.

It was stressed during the forum that, over the two decades of its existence, the Commonwealth has become a unique regional interstate organisation, jointly solving shared problems relating to trade, security, politics, humanitarian co-operation and migration. Meanwhile, ties have been carefully nurtured between CIS members. Proposals voiced during the conference have been included into its final document, to become a guide for the future improvement of CIS mechanisms.

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