Statement on the status of the chairmanship of the Republic of Belarus in the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2013

    on the status of the chairmanship of the Republic of Belarus
    in the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2013

    The Republic of Belarus is holding the chairmanship in the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2013.

    The concept of chairmanship of the Republic of Belarus in the CIS and the plan to implement it are aimed at empowering the Commonwealth to improve the living standards in the CIS and enhancing the authority of the Organization.

    The chairmanship is not complete yet. However, it is possible to draw preliminary results of our joint work.

    More than 70 events held under the motto “Integration for the Benefit of People” helped strengthen good neighborliness, promote economic cooperation, raise the accessibility of environmentally-friendly “green” technologies, foster humanitarian interaction.

    The efforts to promote good neighborliness gave a new impetus to inter-regional and cross-border cooperation in the Commonwealth. The cooperation in the prevention of crime, terrorism, illicit drug trade and human trafficking as well as in the prevention and mitigation of emergencies is increasingly vibrant.

    Special attention attached by the Republic of Belarus and other member states of the Commonwealth to economic cooperation facilitated the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement, gave a new lease of life to the Interstate Innovative Cooperation Program, streamlined negotiations on the agreement regarding the zone of free trade in services.

    It is worth saying that a considerable progress was made in the formation of the common agrarian market of the Commonwealth of Independent States, further cooperation between economic operators of the Commonwealth’s member states. It was made possible thanks to holding the Forum of Business People, the Belarusian industrial Forum, a number of conferences, exhibitions and fairs in the Republic of Belarus.

    While taking measures to raise the accessibility of environmentally-friendly “green” technologies, the Republic of Belarus tries to use the innovation potential of the Commonwealth to facilitate further technical upgrade and modernization of the CIS member states’ economy based on “green” economy knowledge, vigorous use of renewable energy, local raw materials.

    The signing of the agreement on cooperation in environmental protection initiated by the Republic of Belarus was a landmark event in the Year of Ecological Culture and Environmental Protection. During Belarus’ chairmanship the CIS carried out about 40 ecological events.

    As far as the promotion of cultural dialogue is concerned, during Belarus’ chairmanship the CIS continued to build a common information and educational platform of the Commonwealth.

    The 8th CIS Forum of Creative and Academic Intellectuals held in Minsk helped determine promising avenues for developing border, ecological, cultural, educational and scientific cooperation of the CIS member states and specified the horizons of future cooperation between the Commonwealth and other international organizations, including UNESCO. The campaign “Mogilev – the 2013 CIS Capital of Culture” was dedicated to the enhancement of cultural cooperation.

    The Belarusian side has taken steps to raise the prestige of the Commonwealth. In order to enhance the authority of the CIS inside and beyond the Organization it is deemed necessary to concentrate efforts on broader use of information and communication technologies, including social networks and multimedia technologies.

    The efforts to enhance cooperation between the CIS member states in sport, tourism, healthcare, youth and veterans’ organizations bore fruit.

    Given the common Victory in the great Patriotic War is an unfading factor of imperishable bonds between generations, further strengthening of friendship and good neighborliness in the Commonwealth, special attention is drawn to joint preparations for the events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

    The Republic of Belarus calls for the solidarity of the CIS member states in defending the interests of the CIS partners in the international arena, including the United Nations.

    We are interested in further strengthening of the Commonwealth, maximizing its creative potential, improving cooperation mechanisms in all areas. We believe it is essential to use the competitive edge of the CIS countries in such industries as energy, transport, agriculture, extraction and processing of mineral resources.

    It is necessary to focus on the creation of conditions for all-round cooperation in the innovative sector, free movement of goods and services. These conditions are set to promote integration of the CIS members in the global economy and the international trade network.

    The Republic of Belarus is optimistic about the future of the Commonwealth. The CIS member states are facing challenging and high-minded common tasks: to create a competitive economy, raise the living standards of the citizens of our countries and enhance their security. We are convinced that the member states will keep expanding all-round cooperation with a view to promoting their sustainable development.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko

    President of the Republic of Belarus,
    Chairman of the Heads of State Council
    of the Commonwealth of Independent States

    Minsk, 25 October 2013