25 March 2006, Gdynia, Poland – Declaration on elections in Belarus approved by Standing Committee [Press Release]
President Pierre Lellouche and the Members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Standing Committee during a meeting in Gdynia, Poland, approved a declaration which strongly condemns the unacceptable way in which the presidential elections in Belarus have been conducted. Below is the full text of the declaration.
DECLARATION on BELARUS
Proposed by the President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. Pierre Lellouche (France) and approved by the Standing Committee at its meeting held in Gdynia, Poland on Saturday 25 March 2006
The President and the Members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Standing Committee(*) strongly condemn the unacceptable way in which the Presidential election in Belarus have been conducted. The electoral process was marked by a sharp increase in human rights violations and abuses against opposition candidates and their supporters, including numerous cases of detention, ill-treatment and beatings, as well as the shutting down of independent media and aggression against non-governmental organizations. As international observer missions, including that of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, have reported, the electoral process failed to meet international standards and norms to which Belarus is formally committed. The election of Mr. Lukashenko as president is therefore illegitimate.
The NATO PA Standing Committee also vigorously condemns the actions of the Belarus administration, police and intelligence and security services in their treatment of those opposed to the Lukashenko regime. And it urges the authorities in Belarus to respect Euro-Atlantic democratic standards to which they have committed in joining the Partnership for Peace, and the commitments and standards of the OSCE.
The NATO PA Standing Committee supports the demand to hold a new, free and democratic election.
The NATO PA Standing Committee unanimously applauds the intention of the European Union and the United States to impose new sanctions on the government of Belarus.
NATO PA members urge all NATO and partner governments to consider what further actions can be taken, including, where appropriate, the use of strict individual sanctions and travel bans against the representatives of the Belarusian regime to impress on the authorities in Belarus their deep concern.
NATO parliamentarians also urge Russia to join the efforts of the international community in condemning the undemocratic conduct of the Belarusian government in order to put pressure on the Lukashenko regime to open up its society to reform.
The NATO PA Standing Committee calls upon NATO and partner governments to actively support the democratic forces and promote the development of civil society in Belarus.
(*) The Standing Committee is the NATO PA governing body comprising the Heads of national delegations, the President, the Vice Presidents, the Treasurer and the Secretary General. The NATO PA is independent from NATO itself.