Posted: 26.03.2024 17:01:34

Belarus is entering a new historical stage of development

The parliamentarians of the outgoing convocation demonstrated reliability and dedication to the people, as stated by the President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, at a meeting with deputies of the House of Representatives and members of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus of the seventh convocation


The Head of State stressed that deputies of the House of Representatives and members of the Council of the Republic of the seventh convocation succeeded as politicians and proved in practice that they deserved the high title of people’s representatives. In his speech, Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded about a number of challenges that the country had faced in recent years. This includes the pandemic, which changed the usual living conditions and the conduct of the economy in the blink of an eye; as well as the political events of 2020, when homegrown extremists encroached on the foundations of the Belarusian statehood with the help of their Western foreign sponsors.  
“In those difficult days, most parliamentarians experienced monstrous psychological pressure from all sorts of radical extremists,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasised. “They tried to intimidate deputies, senators, their family members and relatives, and sometimes directly threatened them with physical violence. The goal of the instigators of the coup d’état was clear — to sow confusion and discord within state bodies. As you know, their plans failed completely.” 
Another problem faced in recent years is the geopolitical rift. 
“It is a large-scale systemic crisis, the symptoms of which are obvious to all of us, happening not only in the military and political spheres, but also in the economic and humanitarian ones,” the President stated. “The policy of sanctions is increasingly taking the place of diplomacy. Moreover, these are the sanctions for destruction.”  
Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that against the background of the events that are currently taking place in many neighbouring countries, Belarus lives a relatively normal, full-fledged life.
“We have significantly strengthened our Armed Forces. Our economy is growing, people work and receive their salary. There is peace and order on the city streets. The state fulfils its social obligations. Most importantly, our citizens feel safe and do not fear for the lives of their families. Parliamentarians also made a worthy contribution to the common cause,” the Head of State pointed out.

On legislative activity

The work of the National Assembly of the seventh convocation resulted in the adoption of 364 laws, 11 of which were initiated by deputies of the House of Representatives and one — by the Council of the Republic.
According to the Head of State, the introduction of amendments and additions to the Basic Law of the country has marked a new stage of state legal construction. 
“By voting in a referendum for the proposed changes, our citizens consolidated a strong state based on national traditions of people’s power, ideals of peace, humanism and social justice as a model of development for Belarus,” the President noted.
The updated Constitution was literally created by the people and for the people, the Belarusian leader stressed. According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the adopted constitutional innovations in terms of the redistribution of powers between the President, Parliament, Government, local government bodies and self-governing bodies are aimed at ensuring that all branches of government work effectively, fully perform their functions, independently make decisions and, most importantly, are responsible for their implementation. 
The President stressed that the adoption of amendments to the Constitution required bringing about 90 laws into line with it. This responsible and painstaking work lasted almost two years.
The Head of State made a special mention of the adopted new law On Foundations of Civil Society. Its provisions aim to fully unlock the potential of constructive civic engagement. The law On Amendments to Laws on the Activities of Political Parties and Other Public Associations, in turn, allows the activities of only those political organisations that strictly follow the constitutional requirements.
“In the context of the hybrid war unleashed against our country, most of the adopted laws are related to ensuring national security. In response to the escalated military threat around Belarus, you have introduced amendments to the legislation designed to strengthen the defence potential of Belarus,” the Head of State emphasised. 
Thus, the law On People’s Militia was adopted, as well as the necessary legal prerequisites for the development of military and technical co-operation within the Union State of Russia and Belarus, and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) were created.


On social priorities

“The approach, in which the state not only takes upon itself the solution of all problems of its citizens but creates conditions for a person to solve their problems independently, has become a guideline in the Parliament’s work with the population. I think this is the most correct approach. Assistance to socially vulnerable categories has been and will remain one of the priorities of our policy, and Belarus will invariably remain a welfare state,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. 
The President recognised the great work on the part of parliamentarians in providing targeted support to the most vulnerable categories of Belarusian citizens who sought help — families with many children, lonely old people, the disabled, and orphans.
In addition, deputies and senators participated in solving issues of concern to citizens, held thousands of personal receptions, direct phone lines, and meetings with labour teams. Many of the citizens’ appeals became the subject of discussion when preparing draft laws and other regulatory legal acts, the Head of State noted.
The President positively assessed public discussion of draft laws as an effective institution of interaction with people, which made it possible to establish feedback with the population, and to take into account reasonable suggestions made by citizens when coming to a decision. 
The President directed parliamentarians to respond promptly and decisively to high-profile issues raised on the ground, “It is necessary to stay ahead of the increased social demand for openness from the government and citizens’ involvement in decision-making.” 

On international activities

The Head of State drew attention to the fact that the parliamentarians of the outgoing convocation had significantly expanded international contacts by strengthening positions in co-operation with counterparts from Russia and other EAEU countries, as well as by establishing contacts with parliamentarians from Latin American, Far Eastern and African regions. 
According to the President, the parliamentarians’ activities were aimed at defending national interests, promoting a peaceful, unifying agenda and reinforcing the image of Belarus as a reliable and, most importantly, predictable state.  
“Despite all the efforts, the collective West failed to isolate Belarus in the international arena. Moreover, the country’s international positions have even strengthened,” the Head of State emphasised. “This is confirmed by the election of Belarusian MPs to the governing bodies of the UN parliamentary dimension — the Inter-Parliamentary Union.” 
Aleksandr Lukashenko highlighted the active dialogue between the legislative bodies of Belarus and Russia.
The President took note of the organisation of annual forums of Belarusian and Russian regions, which are held under the auspices of the parliaments. The forums make a significant contribution to solving economic problems of the two states. Over the past 10 years, almost 600 co-operation agreements and commercial contracts worth nearly $6.5bn have been concluded at such forums.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also drew attention to the traditionally constructive partnership with the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly. At the invitation of the National Assembly, Minsk hosted a visiting meeting of the CSTO PA Council in May 2023. 
“Efforts were stepped up to develop contacts with parliamentary organisations of the countries pursuing an independent foreign policy and respecting the right of other nations to an independent path of development. The proposals to create parliamentary dimensions of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) and BRICS are timely and, I think, promising,” the Head of State underlined.
According to the President, it is noteworthy that the level of co-operation with the Chinese Parliament has increased to reach the high-level Inter-Parliamentary Committee.
“The majority of the world’s population lives in the countries, which are our friends. Their economies account for a significant part of the world’s gross domestic product. They are huge markets for our products and technologies,” 
Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out. 
For the first time, the Parliament has formed a delegation to liaise with a new international structure — the Non-Aligned Movement Parliamentary Network, established in 2021.
The President carried out his constitutional mission and presented a number of deputies of the House of Representatives and members of the Council of the Republic with well-deserved state awards, which were conferred on them for fruitful state and public activities, considerable personal contribution to the development of legislation and parliamentarism.

Based on materials of and