Belarus to withdraw from Aarhus Convention

    Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has signed Decree No. 247 “On the withdrawal of the Republic of Belarus from the international treaty” to discontinue the country's membership in the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) as of 25 June 1998.

    Despite the progress achieved in fulfilling the international commitments in the relevant area, in October 2021 Belarus faced a biased and discriminatory attitude and pressure from the governing bodies of the convention.

    Under these circumstances, Belarus cannot continue being a full-fledged party to this convention. Article 21 of this international document provides that any party has the right to withdraw from the convention.

    This decision does not mean that the government will discontinue its work to improve communication with the population in the field of environmental policy. Further work to ensure the realization of the rights of individuals (their associations) to receive information, participate in the decision-making process and get access to justice on environmental matters will be continued within the framework of the national legislation of Belarus.