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Disarmament and international security

Conference on Disarmament 

The UN Conference on Disarmament, established in 1979, is the main multilateral negotiating platform for the drafting and negotiating of international treaties in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation.

The following issues are on the agenda of the Conference:

  • ·         the cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament;
  • ·         prevention of nuclear war;
  • ·         prevention of an arms race in space;
  • ·         the conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of  use of nuclear weapons;
  • ·        new types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons, including radiological weapons;
  • ·        comprehensive program on disarmament;
  • ·        transparency in armaments.

Belarus is a member of the Conference since 1996.

 

In 2010, our country presided over the Conference on Disarmament. Also, Belarus has traditionally acted as the coordinator of the activities of the Conference to consider the issues of the prohibition of the development of new types of weapons of mass destruction, the general program of disarmament and transparency in armaments.

In 2017, as a friend of the Chair of the “Way Ahead” Working Group the Permanent Representative of Belarus to the UN Office in Geneva Yury Ambrazevich coordinated relevant thematic discussions.

In 2018, Belarus was elected coordinator of one of the five subsidiary bodies of the Conference. Under chairmanship by the Permanent Representative of Belarus to the UN Office in Geneva Yury Ambrazevich the Conference addressed the issues of prohibition of development of new types of weapons of mass destruction, general program of disarmament and transparency in armaments, new challenges and threats. The final report was adopted by the Conference by consensus.

International mechanisms on disarmament, international security and arms control

Belarus pursues a consistent policy in the field of international security, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, disarmament and arms control.

Our country is the first state that voluntarily renounced the possession of nuclear weapons left after the collapse of the USSR.

As a non-nuclear state, Belarus became a member of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT Treaty) in 1993.

In 1995, Belarus signed the Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), acceded to conventions under the auspices of the IAEA on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and on Nuclear Safety.

The withdrawal of nuclear weapons from its territory was completed by Belarus in 1996.


Since 1992, the party to the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty), our country has withdrawn from its territory 584 medium-range and shorter-range missiles, to be destroyed at the landfills of the former USSR.

Belarus ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on 13 May 2000 and stands for its early entry into force.

Belarus takes an active part in the work of other specialized forums on disarmament and international security issues.

Our country is a party to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BWC).

Belarus has adopted the necessary legislative acts for the implementation of this Convention, as well as established a national contact point for the implementation of the BWC (Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology).

Belarus fully shares the humanitarian principles of protecting civilians from the impact of specific types of conventional weapons, as well as combatants, from inflicting suffering on them, which are excessive in relation to achieving a legitimate military goal.

Therefore Belarus is a party to the Convention on the Prohibition or Restriction of the Use of Specific Weapons that May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (the “Inhumane Weapons” Convention/ CCW) and all Protocols thereto.

In 2011-2012 Belarus was the chairman of the 5th Conference of the States Parties to the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War to the CCW (Protocol V to the CCW).

In 2018, under the chairmanship of the Permanent Representative of Belarus at the UN office in Geneva Yury Ambrazevich, who was elected vice-chairman, the final report of the 12th Conference of the Parties to Protocol V to the CCW was adopted.

In September 2003, the Republic of Belarus acceded to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (Ottawa Convention, OTW). The most important obligation under this convention is the destruction of existing stocks.

Belarus possessed the world's seventh arsenal of anti-personnel mines. The complete destruction of existing reserves was completed in 2017. In total, more than 295,000 mines with TNT filling and more than 3.3 million PFM-1 mines were destroyed.

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