15 September 2005 - NATO LEGISLATORS TO DISCUSS PROSPECTS OF DEMOCRATISATION IN BELARUS [PRESS COMMUNIQUE]
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly, together with the Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania, is organising a seminar on Belarus in Vilnius, Lithuania, from 23 to 24 September 2005.
Concerned with the ever-increasing deterioration of the situation in Belarus with respect to democratic norms and human rights, the Assembly's Standing Committee, during its last meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia in May 2005, endorsed the initiative by the Lithuanian delegation to organise a seminar in Vilnius, Lithuania, and to address the issues related to the current political, social and security situation and to examine prospects of democratisation of Belarus.
The seminar will also focus on the international dimension of the issue, discussing the relations between Belarus and its neighbours, and examining the role of international organisations.
The seminar is expected to bring together more than 60 participants composed of NATO PA members, members of the Belarus democratic opposition, representatives from international organisations, NGOs, diplomats and political scientists.
The Assembly suspended the Belarussian parliament from participation in its activities in 1997 as a result of the unacceptable actions by the Belarus authorities and the deviation from the established democratic principles. Mr. Pierre Lellouche, the President of the NATO PA, has called the current regime in this country "an anachronism in Europe", and condemned the recent decision of the authorities to imprison three prominent opposition figures Andrei Klimov, Pavel Sevyarenets and Nikolai Statkevic. The President of the Assembly urged the international community to "redouble its efforts to support those in Belarus who are seeking the democratic freedoms".