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Security Council – Meeting in Arria Formula on “Human rights in Belarus”

Statement delivered by Ambassador Stefano Stefanile, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the Security Council – Meeting in Arria Formula on “Human rights in Belarus”. —


Thank you, Mr. President.

First off, allow me to express Italy’s appreciation for this meeting, which allows us to focus on the recent developments in Minsk.

Let me also express our support for the statement made earlier by the Head of the European Union Delegation.

The situation in Belarus continues to be a source of concern. Italy – along with its partners – has condemned the repression against those who have been peacefully voicing their protests after the elections, and has also condemned the detention of activists and the intimidations against journalists.

Together with our EU partners, we have not recognized the outcome of the recent elections due to numerous manipulations and irregularities, before and during the elections.

We once again urge the Government of Belarus to follow a path of dialogue with the opposition forces, to release all political detainees and to work for some form of genuine political transition towards the ultimate objective of free and fair elections.

We are ready, to this end, to support a possible OSCE role, which would guarantee impartiality as well as the respect of Belarus’ independence and sovereignty.

However, any international actor able to help Belarusians to conduct a serious dialogue between each other would be welcomed.

The current crisis in Belarus is first and foremost about Belarus’ citizens and their legitimate aspirations. Anybody willing to paint it as the result of a “geopolitical competition” is simply missing the point or, worse, trying to alter the facts.

We believe that the whole international community share the interest to avoid a violent escalation in the country or a regional destabilization.

Hence, our common objective should be to support the Belarusian people in this plight and facilitate a peaceful resolution through a meaningful dialogue between the Government and all the opposition forces. It is not up to us to say what shape this dialogue should take, as long as it is genuine and inclusive.

This is our renewed appeal to the Belarusian leadership.

I thank you.