Thank you, Madam President,
We welcome this Urgent Debate, which provides an important opportunity to draw the Council’s attention to, and act with resolve on, the current situation in Belarus.
The United Kingdom does not accept the results of the fraudulent Presidential election in Belarus.
We condemn the excessive use of force by the authorities against peaceful protestors, the targeting and detention of journalists and the expulsion of opposition figures. We continue to call on the Government of Belarus to respect the rights of freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and freedom of expression for all, including for journalists and media workers.
We have called for an independent OSCE investigation into the fraudulent election processes, and related human rights violations.
The UK also supports imposing sanctions against those responsible. We are working with our international partners to hold the Belarusian authorities to account.
The UK is doubling its financial support to independent media, human rights organisations, and community groups in Belarus, with an extra £1.5m for project work over the next two years.
The authorities in Belarus must enter into a constructive dialogue with the opposition and people of Belarus. It is vital that the Belarusian people are heard and can determine their country’s future.