Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Statement – United Nations Security Council: Arria-formula meeting on Belarus

New York, 08/10/2021 - 21:21, UNIQUE ID: 211008_44
Statements on behalf of the EU

8 October 2021, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union delivered by EEAS Deputy Secretary-General Enrique Mora at the UN Security Council Arria-formula meeting on the situation in Belarus

Mr. President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. Let me first thank the Estonian Presidency for organizing this meeting on the situation in Belarus. It is the third time in the last year that Belarus is discussed in this format. The situation continues to worsen and most certainly deserves the attention of the United Nations Security Council.

Over the last year, the ruthless repression following the elections on 9 August 2020 has continued and reached an unprecedented level. More than 35,000 people have been sentenced and detained, the regimes continues its systematic effort to silence all remaining independent voices in the country: independent press, human rights defenders and civil society at large. Prominent representatives of the opposition to Lukashenko – Babaryka and Kaliesnikava for example – have been sentenced to long prison sentences in political trials conducted behind closed doors. There are now more than 720 political prisoners in the country, a number that continues to increase. There is evidence of widespread use of torture and systematic human rights violations in prisons and detention facilities. It is clear that the regime is a threat to its own citizens.

Increasingly, Lukashenko’s regime is also a threat to international peace and security. The forced landing of a Ryan Air flight between two EU capitals on 24 May 2021 in order to arrest a journalist and his companion was a flagrant breach of international norms, jeopardizing international civil aviation safety. It was also an act that extended the terror of the regime beyond the borders of Belarus.  The state-run instrumentalisation of migrants is another example of Lukashenko’s blatant disregard of international norms. Vulnerable persons are transported to the EU borders under false pretence in order to put pressure on the EU’s external borders. The exploitation of the migrants’ vulnerable situation for political motives is a serious violation of their human rights.

 

Mr. President,

The EU has reacted firmly to the illegal actions of Lukashenko’s regime. We have repeatedly highlighted that dialogue with democratic forces leading to fair and free elections is the only possible solution to the Belarusian crisis. There has been no response from the  Belarusian authorities other than further repression.  In consultation with international partners, the EU has imposed robust sanctions on Lukashenko’s regime as a response to the violations of human rights and international norms. We continue to provide strong support to the civil society in Belarus, and we take part in the efforts to ensure accountability for the crimes committed by the Belarusian regime.

Mr. President,

I thank you again for bringing the situation in Belarus to the attention of the United Nations Security Council. The EU will continue to stand firm against the Lukashenko regime’s human rights violations in Belarus and the unlawful actions directed against its citizens and its neighbours.  

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