Belarusian Journal of International Law and International Relations 1999 — N 2

Summaries 


International Law

International Treaties Law

Interpretation Peculiarities of International Human Rights Treaties — Latif Guseinov

International Law and Domestic Law

Fair Trial: International Experience and Belarusian Legislation — Ludmila Zaitseva

Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes

The Stockholm CSCE/OSCE 'Package' on Peaceful Settlement of Disputes (December, 1992) — Yury Yasnosokirsky

International Ecological Law

On the Role and Position of the United Nations in the System of International Environmental Co-operation — Yury Marchenko

International Criminal Law

Permanent International Criminal Court — Igor Fisenko

Comparative Law

Special Protection of the Labour Rights of Underage Persons in the legislation of the Belarus, Russia and the Legal Instruments of the EU — Anatoly Voitik

International Relations

The International Relations in the Eastern and Central Europe in the XVI Century in the Interpretation of Polish Historical Studies — Valery Bobyshev, Oleg Yanovski

The Brest Peace Treaty of 1918 and Belarus — Alexandr Tikhomirov

Russian Fascist Party in Manchuria — Nadezhda Ablova

The Belarusian SSR in the International Arena (1945—1990) — Vladimir Snapkovski

State Migration Policy of Belarus and Its Influence on Modern Diaspora (the 90s) — Galina Sergeyeva

Some Aspects of the Activity of the Belarusian Foundation “Mutual Understanding  and Reconciliation” in 1993—1997 — Andrey Rusakovich

Modern Criteria for States Entry into European Organizations — Elena Dostanko

UNHCR Activities on International Protection of Refugee Children’s Rights — Yury Morgun

The Centre for UN Studies Activities in the Republic of Belarus — Andrey Selivanov

Belarus — Russia Relation ship: Problems and Prospects (The Round-Table Discussion) — Felix Pribytkovski

Documents and Materials

Belarus — Russia Relationship Problems and Prospects (The Round-Table Discussion)

International Economic Relations

Five Decades of Social Market Economy in Germany: the Instructive Lessons of the Past and the Contemporary Situation — Boris Sorvirov


FULL ISSUE 

 


English Summaries


“Interpretation Peculiarities of International Human Rights Treaties” (Latif Guseinov)

The present paper is based on the idea that international human rights treaties have a specific character and therefore should not be regarded on an equal footing with other international conventions which are essentially predicated on reciprocity and bilateralism.  Human rights treaties create not merely subjective, reciprocal rights for the States concerned, rather objective obligations aimed at protecting and maintaining non-mutual benefits, but the universally recognised and positivised value — fundamental human rights and freedoms. The specific character of international human rights conventions manifests itself, inter alia, in the interpretation of their substantive provisions. The author seeks to argue that the process of interpretation of human rights treaties is to certain extent different from the legal regime of interpretation provided for in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties; the former should be essentially guided by the effective protection of the individual rights to be safeguarded. Having duly analysed the relevant case — law of international supervisory bodies, in particular, that of the European Commission of Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights, the author comes to the conclusion that in interpreting these treaties, an evolutive and dynamic interpretation should be preferred to a static and historical one. The basic principle here is that human rights must always be interpreted and applied in the light of current circumstances. The dynamic interpretation allows for better adaptation of human rights protection to the changing social conditions. Interpreted in such a way the particular human rights gain an autonomous meaning which is independent of municipal legal systems and also of travaux prйparatoires of the treaties they are enshrined in. The application of the dynamic interpretation may in some cases exceed the initial will of Contracting Parties and become divorced from the their consent.


“Fair Trial: International Experience and Belarusian Legislation” (Ludmila Zaitseva)

The right to fair trial is a generally recognized international legal norm which directly concerns human rights. It is embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 10), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (p. 1, art. 14) and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (p. 1, art. 6). This principle is indissolubly connected with the right to effective restoration of violated rights and the recognition of the fact that the most adequate body able to provide such restoration is the court. Court protection provision and access to justice is valid only when the judicial body is actually capable of effective restoring of the violated right. In this connection the international community has elaborated and fixed in legal norms the mandatory forms of court procedure named the basic guarantees, which satisfy the notions of just court examination, first of all on criminal cases.

In the opinion of the European Court on Human Rights one of the main elements of fair trial is its implementation on the basis of complete equality of the starting points for prosecution and defence which in procedure law is called the adversary principle.

Taking into consideration its importance for the protection of citizens’ rights, the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus  fixed this principle in Article 115 in the following way: "justice is realized on the adversary principle and equality of the sides in the process". But this principle is still absent from the Criminal and Procedure Code. Besides, the adversary nature of the process envisions separation of main functions in litigation. Or, more correctly, separation of the settlement of the case pertaining to court from the functions of prosecution and defence and the impossibility of empowering one body or one person with them.

The current criminal legislation of Belarus empowers the court with the functions not characteristic of justice which is indicative of the prosecutive bias in its activity. To this belong, in particular, serving of the copy of the indictment and its pronoucement in court, the obligatory first interrogation of the parties to the proceedings and referring the case for additional examination.

Not only does the procurator have some preferential rights in the proceedings compared with the defence but he also exercises the supervision of legality which is contrary to the principle of justice and equality of the sides and does not agree with international and European standards. The withdrawal of the authority not usual for the court and the procurator will help to eliminate the prosecutive bias in court proceedings and to create the due conditions for competition. This would permit the court to realize its main duty of providing the fair trial proceedings and observation of the rights of the parties.

Since the citizens’ right to fair trial is one of the inalienable natural human rights, it must have a constitutional status. That is why it should be fixed in the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and also in the Criminal and Procedure Code so as to bring national legislation as close as possible to international legal standards.


“The Stockholm CSCE/OSCE 'Package' on Peaceful Settlement of Disputes (December, 1992)” (Yury Yasnosokirsky)

The article "The Stockholm CSCE/OSCE 'Package' on Peaceful Settlement of Disputes (December, 1992)" is devoted to the problem of evolution and shaping of the system of peaceful settlement of disputes in the framework of OSCE. The grounding documents which regulate these issues remain those adopted during the Stockholm session of the Council of Ministers of the organization in December 1992: the Convention on Settlement and Arbitration in OSCE, the Statements on the OSCE Settlement Commission and Statements on Directive Settlement. Together they comprise the so-called "Stockholm package". The article reveals the positions of different states which took part in developing these documents.

At present the Committee on the OSCE security model is developing the European Security Charter. The discussion also touches upon the issues of peaceful settlement of disputes which will make a special chapter in the final variant of the Charter. The problem of activization of the Arbitration and Settlement Court of the OSCE has been acquiring special importance.

While the mechanism of peaceful settlement of disputes within the OSCE is imperfect, it still could be applied alongside with other possibilities of the organization in settlement of conflicts, in particular, in stopping the blood shedding in Yugoslavia and in promoting the post-conflict reconstruction in that part of the world. It is still more important  since these developments take place in the zone of direct responsibility of the OSCE and its members.


“On the Role and Position of the United Nations in the System of International Environmental Co-operation” (Yury Marchenko)

The article "On the Role and Position of the United Nations in the System of International Environmental Co-operation" discusses the environmental activities of the United Nations and its role in the emerging global environmental governance. The primary focus is on the furtherance of international environmental law.

As early as in the 1960s several United Nations specialised agencies were forced to address various environmental issues, such as oil pollution from ships, conservation of fisheries, and the impact of pollutants on human health. However, it was the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972 that developed a comprehensive and systematic approach to dealing with environmental problems in the framework of the UN system. The conference resulted, inter alia, in the adoption of the Declaration on the Human Environment. In the article the text of the Declaration is discussed briefly. It is emphasised that the Stockholm declaration provided the impetus for the rapid development of international environmental law. 

The most remarkable outcome of the Stockholm Conference was the establishment of the United Nations Environmental Programme. Formally, UNEP is a subsidiary organ rather than a specialised agency.  UNEP’s role is to catalyse and co-ordinate the actions of other institutions while the implementation of environmental programmes is undertaked  by the UN as a whole.

Notwithstanding the limited scope of powers and modest budget, UNEP has achieved impressive results, especially in the sphere of collection and dissemination of environmental information. This kind of activities is carried out by UNEP in the framework of the Earthwatch Programme. The principal element of Earthwatch is the Global Environmental Monitoring System, which covers various monitoring networks sponsored by UNEP and other institutions.

Also, UNEP became the forum for development of international environmental law. UNEP has contributed towards initiation, negotiation and implementation of the most important environmental treaties. Amongst the most significant accomplishments is the conclusion of the 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. Initially, UNEP prompted intensive scientific discussion on the problem of ozone depletion. Then, it managed to channel political will towards the adoption of a binding instrument. As a result, the Vienna convention was signed with surprising speed. Moreover, only two years later the convention was supplemented with the detailed Montreal Protocol.

Besides UNEP, other UN organs and agencies have also impinged the development of international environmental law. For instance, UNESCO has elaborated the 1971 Ramsar Convention on the Wetlands of International Importance and the 1972 Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The International Maritime Organisation has drafted the bulk of treaties concerning protection of maritime environment.

Not only do the organs and organisations of the UN system participate in the creation of international treaties, they also adopt their own decisions that form so-called ‘soft-law’. In comparison with traditional treaty making process, non-binding resolutions and declarations allow the states to reach a consensus on standards and objectives more speedily.

The final chapter of the article concentrates on the results of the Conference on the Environment and Development, held in Rio in 1992. In particular, the non-binding Rio declaration is analysed. This remarkable instrument is centred on the concept of sustainable development, which was initially developed by the Brundtland  commission in its celebrated report Our common future.

The outcome of the Rio conference brought a mixed reaction from the commentators. On the one hand, dealing with environmental deterioration as the matter of ‘high politics’ this forum was a remarkable historical landmark in the furtherance of global environmental governance. On the other, the conference in Rio exposed tensions between the states in the critical fields: global warming and destruction of tropical forests.  The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change provides a striking illustration. Due to the opposition of the United States, the convention in question lacks any thresholds and deadlines.

In the aftermath of the Earth Summit, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development was established. The creation of the commission is usually considered to be the most important achievement of the Rio conference. However, this event appears to be overestimated. Without power to legislate and implement, CSD appears to be just another inefficient yet ambitious bureaucratic body.


“Permanent International Criminal Court” (Igor Fisenko)

The article "Permanent International Criminal Court" is devoted to the development and adoption of the treaty on permanent International Criminal Court. It also analyzes in detail the general provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted at the diplomatic conference in July 17, 1998, the Court’s organizational principles and its jurisdictional procedures.

The author shows that the complementarity principle, underlying the Court’s organization, runs counter to the concept of international crime being regarded as the crime against humanity, which presupposes the administration of justice by an international legal body on behalf of mankind as a whole.

The article reviews the definition of the Court’s subject competence which is limited to the cases on commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

A thorough analysis is given to the right to apply to the Court which in is available to the countries-parties to the Statute and to the Security Council who may refer the respective request to the Procurator with the submission outlining the situation and the evidence at their disposal. The Procurator of the Court also has the right of starting legal action on his or her own initiative. The author evaluates the mechanism of the access to the Court and, primarily, the mandate of the Procurator to act proprio motu from the point of view of their correspondence to the general concept of the Court and the complementarity principle.

The provision of the prohibition of the repeat court proceedings on one and the same case — ne bis in idem principle — is seen to be very important in regulating the jurisdiction of the Court. Generally speaking, this principle is called upon to regulate the interrelation within the framework of one judicial system not to allow of the repetition of the court action. When transferred into the realm of international justice this principle acquires new significance because it is entitled to regulate a wider range of relations — to prevent repeat proceedings both within the framework of the International Criminal Court itself and national Courts.

The article also reviews in general terms the regulation of the issue of the applicable law and punitive measures.

The analysis of the general provisions of the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court is followed by a general conclusion that the Statute realized the concept of the court with parallel jurisdiction. The states have the options: the Court, extradition to another state or their national court trial. The effectiveness of such a mechanism can be different and it will obviously be low if the state is involved in the crime. Nevertheless, the idea of setting up the Permanent International Criminal Court is thereby given a historic chance.


“Special Protection of the Labour Rights of Underage Persons in the legislation of the Belarus, Russia and the Legal Instruments of the EU” (Anatoly Voitik)

The article "Special Protection of the Labour Rights of Underage Persons in the legislation of the Belarus, Russia and the Legal Instruments of the EU" explores some issues of legal regulation of the work of underage persons in the legislation of Belarus, Russia and the European Union as regards the minimum possible age for employment.

It underlines that absolute majority of states envisage in their legislation a special protection of the given category of workers.

The author analyses international legal norms aimed at protection of rights of underage persons. In particular, he shows the aims of requirements of the Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. These instruments declare the right of a child to have protection from economic exploitation and from these types of labour that could be hazardous for his health, may damage physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development or could present an obstacle to obtaining education.

The author shows that the main factor which determines the content of legal norms extended only to underage persons is the age criterion. It defines the age limit that the employer must not violate while employing teenagers.

The Conventions of International Labour Organization pay great attention to the issues of the minimal possible age for employees. At present, 11 Conventions of ILO regarding minimal possible age for employees have been adopted. Clause 3 of the Article 2 of the ILO Convention N 138 runs as follows: "minimal possible age must not be lower than the age of completing the obligatory school education and, in any case, must not be under 15".

The author analyses the content of the European Social Charter from 18.10.61 (new reading of 03.05.66). The Charter places on the state an obligation to observe the requirements of minimal age of 15 for employees.

The article explores the norms of the European Union which are aimed at the protection of rights of underage persons in labour relations. Directive of the Council of the European Union N 33 "On protection of young people in the sphere of labour" from 22.06.94 defines the categories of young people who can conclude the employment contracts. The author compares the norms of Russian and Belarusian Labour Codes which regulate the employment of underage people and points out several differences in this sphere. The drawback of Russian legislation is that there is no mode for parents’ agreement during hiring of employees over 14. Belarusian Labour Code has a definite stipulation — the agreement must be made in writing.

Having explored the issues of legal protection of underage persons, the author notes that "children labour" concept consists of two aspects: harmful labour for a child and useful labour for a child. He also admits that "children labour" that can not be regarded as socially useful both for children and society is wide-spread in the world; children from 10 to 14 years are exploited. This phenomenon should be fought through the application of legal means.


“The International Relations in the Eastern and Central Europe in the XVI Century in the Interpretation of Polish Historical Studies” (Valery Bobyshev, Oleg Yanovski)

The international relations in Eastern and Central Europe in the XVIth century remain some of the most complicated and dramatic in Slavonic history. The geopolitical changes in this region both at the turn of the XVth century and in the end of the 80s of the XXth century determined the heightened interest of the reseachers in the foreign policy of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Moscow state, the Kingdom of Poland and other actors in the events of this historical period as a necessary element for the analysis of the interrelations of the states of this region in the end of the XX century. In contrast to Polish studies, a number of international relations problems in Eastern and Central Europe can be regarded as "blank spots" of Belarusian history studies. In the XIX — XX centuries Polish historical research has elaborated and accumulated sizeable material in this area, acting at the same time as an important factor in shaping national identity. It is possible to trace there both the changes in methodological approach and in the researchers’ evaluation and also in the range of problems studied. The international situation of Poland in the late Middle Ages was most fully described in the XIX — the beginning of the XX centuries in the works of L. Kolanovsky, F. Koneczny, A. Szelagowsky and other authors. The studies of that period researched the evolution of "the Baltic question" (A. Szelagowsky, V. Novodvorsky and others), different aspects of the union of Lublin of 1569 (O. Balzer, St. Kutrzeba et al), the specific events of international relations in Eastern and Central Europe in the XVI century, the policy of separate states (France, the Holy Roman Empire, Vatican etc.) towards the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Rzec Pospolyta. Many Polish historians of the XIXth — the beginning of the XXth century published a great number of documents and other sources and made them available for researches.

This interest of Polish historians persisted also after the Second Rzec Pospolyta was established. The reasons for this were rooted in the Eastern policy of the revived Polish State. The problem of Gdansk acquired new content in Polish historical studies in the framework of the policy of Poland in the Vistula estuary and of the Baltic shore (St. Bodniak, Sz. Askenazy, K. Lepszy et al).

After World War II Polish historians focused on the Western policy of the Kingdom of Poland and Rzec Pospolyta. A separate object of study was presented by the Yagellons policy towards Hungary, Moldavia and the connected issues of the relations with the Osman Empire and the Gabsburgs. Despite this wide range of topics, the eastern direction of the Kingdom of Poland in the XVI century remained beyond Polish researchers’ attention.

The geographical changes in Eastern Europe in the 80s — 90s of the XX century face Polish historians with new relevant challenges in studying the position of Poland in Europe, the character and the lessons of the relations with the neighbours.

Recent studies reflect new approaches and views on the problems of international relations in Eastern and Central Europe in the XVIth century. Polish historians actively debate the contentious issues with historians of other countries.

Resolving contentious issues and liquidation of "blank spots" are only possible within the framework of a running dialogue of researchers, which ought to promote understanding and collaboration among the people, who have been living on the lands of Central and Eastern Europe side by side for many centuries.


“The Brest Peace Treaty of 1918 and Belarus” (Alexandr Tikhomirov)

The article "The Brest Peace Treaty of 1918 and Belarus" sheds light on the situation which took shape in European international relations at the end of World War I on the basis of archives and historical literature. It explores the activities of the top leaders of RKP(b) on withdrawing Soviet Russia from the war in the period of the end 1917—the beginning 1918 and preservation of peaceful relations with Germany and its allies in the period from March to November of 1918. The author notes that the Brest Peace Treaty of 1918 showed groundlessness of the Bolshevik’s plans of rapid victory of the revolution in Europe and became one of the main factors of the Civil War and foreign intervention in Russia. The article makes a conclusion that it was Germany that became the first country which established full diplomatic relations with Soviet Russia. It reflects the attempts of states of the Four-sided Union (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, the Osman Empire) to change military political situation in Europe during signing the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty of 1918 and afterwards in their favour. It also notes that the victories of Antanta on World War I fronts and the fall of monarchy in Germany created the pre-conditions for the annulment of the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty of 1918 and for assuming the offensive actions by the Red Army in the European direction in the period from the end of 1918 to the beginning of 1919. The article analyses the problem of the influence of the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty of 1918 on the process of establishment and development of new independent states in Eastern Europe. It states that the non-recognition of the Brest Peace Treaty of 1918 by the members of Belarusian national movement played a decisive role in the proclamation of Belarusian People’s Republic and its independence from Russia in March of 1918.


“Russian Fascist Party in Manchuria” (Nadezhda Ablova)

The article "Russian Fascist Party in Manchuria" is devoted to the analysis of activities of the Party of Russian fascists in Manchuria during the whole period of its existence (1931—1945). It gives an evaluation of the ideological platform of the party, its organizational and publishing activities; on the basis of the archive files the article shows various forms of anti-Soviet struggle of Russian fascists. The article also gives the characteristics of interrelations of the party and the Japanese administration in Manchudigo and describes the activities of K. Rodzaevsky and his allies within the so-called ‘white emigration’ through White Russian Emigration in Manchuria.


“The Belarusian SSR in the International Arena (1945—1990)” (Vladimir Snapkovski)

The article "The Belarusian SSR in the International Arena (1945—1990)" explores the history of international political activity of the Belarusian SSR in 1944—1990. The stages of this activity are signed out and characterized. The article gives the causes for the constitutional changes in the USSR in 1944 when the union republics regained the right to participate in international relations. The reasons for only Ukraine and Belarus becoming the founding members of the UN are shown.The 45-year-long period of the international activity of the BSSR is divided into 3 stages: 1) 1944—1953 — the Stalin stage; 2) 1954—1985 — period of broadening and activization of international relations; 3) 1985—1991 — the period of Gorbachev reformation, "sovereignization" of the union republics and the dissolution of the USSR.

The main directions of the activity of the BSSR in the international arena are characterized: participation in the UN activity and its agencies and bilateral relations with foreign states in political, economic and cultural fields.

The article analyses the constitutional and legal mechanism of external political and diplomatic activity of the Soviet Union republics. The conclusion is made that the special international legal status of the BSSR prevented it from participating on equal footing in international relations and politics.


“State Migration Policy of Belarus and Its Influence on Modern Diaspora (the 90s)” (Galina Sergeyeva)

The article "State Migration Policy of Belarus and Its Influence on Modern Diaspora (the 90s)" analyses the legal foundation of the formation of national migration policy after independence was declared in Belarus: the Law of the Citizenship of the Republic of Belarus (October 1991, with the amendments of 1993, 1995 and 1998 on granting citizenship to certain categories of countrymen and other persons from the post-Soviet territory), the Law on the Procedure of Departure and Entry in the Republic of Belarus (in force from January 1, 1994), the Constitution of the Republic Belarus (1994), the Law on Refugees (in force from November 1995), the Law on Migrant Workers (1998) etc. Light is shed on the shaping of state regulation mechanism for migration, refugee rights protection and working migration. The state migration office set up under the State Committee for Labour and Social Security in 1993 was later, in January 1997, transformed into the Committee on Migration under the Ministry of Labour. Regional and Minsk city offices are also active. In 1998 a State programme on migration was adopted by the government.

The legal right to free entry to and departure from Belarus by its citizens has been formulated in legislation as one of basic human rights. Its practical realization was determined by two opposite trends: the numerical growth of western diaspora and the reduction of the number of Belarusian countrymen on the post-Soviet territory. The flow of migrants of Belarusian extraction to the US, Israel, Germany, Australia, Canada and Poland was relatively small (more than 40,000 people in 1992—1994) but the immigration from these countries to Belarus is extremely  low. After the collapse of the USSR due to a number of reasons (socio-economic, natural, ethnic etc.) Belarus admitted in 1992—1997 247 thousand people, 162 thousand of them Belarusians (46.6 %), from the territory of the former Soviet Union; whereas 195 thousand people left Belarus, including 15 thousand people in 1995—1997. In 1995—1997 only, when the process of migration decreased, Belarusian national diaspora on the post-Soviet territory was reduced by 28 thousand Belarusians.

The article emphasises that Belarusian diaspora has acquired a new category: emigrants who have retained Belarusian citizenship and also temporary migrant workers including the illegal ones. Taking this into account, Belarus signed international state agreements with a number of countries on regulating migration process (Russia, Lithuania), on resolving the issues of legal and social protection of the citizens of Belarus abroad (Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Slovakia, Cuba); the agreements on mutual employment of their citizens (Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Mongolia). Together with a number of states Belarus has introduced into international treaties the articles on protection of rights of its countrymen (on the possibility of free retaining and development of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity). The analysis of the emigration-immigration flows shows a sizeable brain drain of qualified professionals and the enrichment of the diaspora (especially the western one) by promising, creative migrants of high ability. In connection with the intensive emigration of academic, cultural, entrepreneurial and sports elite — "the golden hands" — (mainly for economic reasons) and the appearance of first political emigrants experts forecast the reduction of working and intellectual potential of the nation and the depletion of national gene fund in near future.

The article suggests real measures for resolving migration issues in collaboration with other countries. It analyses the impact of the visa policy of Belarus and other countries on the feelings of the countrymen abroad and their links with the motherland. The article also notes the positive influence of the recent migration policy of Belarus on the state of the diaspora but so far the state does not provide real sufficient guarantees of legal and social protection for Belarusians, persons of Belarusian extraction on the post-Soviet territory and for the possibility of their return and participation in the work on their native land.

The article concludes that widening of the gap between the living standards of the people in Belarus and many other countries threatens with emigration growth and the reinforcement of the diaspora by creative skilled professionals requires a different level and content of the interaction between the state and society in Belarus and the citizens and countrymen of Belarus abroad.


“Some Aspects of the Activity of the Belarusian Foundation “Mutual Understanding  and Reconciliation” in 1993—1997” (Andrey Rusakovich)

The article makes an attempt to study the 1993—1997 activities of the Belarusian foundation "Mutual Understanding and Reconciliation", set up in accordance with the four-sided agreement between Germany, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine in March, 1993. The provisions of the agreement stipulated the compensation payments by the German side to the persons currently living on the territory of the former USSR, who were persecuted by the nazi regime during World War II. To implement these objectives the foundation "Mutual Understanding and Reconciliation" was established by the decision of the government of Belarus. During four years of its activity the foundation has implemented the main tasks set to it. The activity of the foundation has a great importance for moral and material support of the citizens of Belarus who suffered persecution on the part of the fascist regime and it was an important factor in the relations of Belarus and Germany in the 1990s.


“Modern Criteria for States Entry into European Organizations” (Elena Dostanko)

The article "Modern Criteria for States Entry into European Organizations" reviews basic directions of cooperation of the European structures with the "new democracies" and analyses the decision-taking process. It also singles out the main criteria which define the stage of negotiations on integration of the given states.

The growth of actors of international relations due to the states of Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltic States and the CIS has led to the complication of functioning of European organizations, the decision-taking process and evaluation of political and military forces balance. All structures of European institutional system had to correct their objectives and functions and to adapt them to new conditions. The article points out that the objectives of integration of the Eastern European states and the CIS can be attained through the following: 1) the existing European structures and institutions on the basis of their adaptation to new conditions; 2) the establishment of a new organization at pan-European scale; 3) adopting temporary decisions; 4) developing subregional cooperation, the so-called "small integration".

The article studies the mechanism of integration into European organizations which depends on the level of conformity of the state to the criteria and requirements of these organizations. It shows that the main criteria for admission to European organizations, the EU and EC in particular, are: the establishment and observance of democratic regime, fundamental civil rights and freedoms, fulfillment of obligations by the state when integrating into legal, economic and political system, development and functioning of competitive market economy conforming to the requirements of administrative and legislative structure in the state-owned and private economy sectors.

The procedure of decision consideration in the EU regarding the states of Central, Southern and Eastern Europe (Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Baltic States, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Turkey, Malta) within the framework of decision-taking mechanism started from the conclusion of European agreements on associated membership. The second phrase was submitting applications for entering the EU and their consideration, correction and statement of the European Commission on the given application. The consideration procedure what regards the CIS had two stages: the first stage (until 1994) was taking place on the basis of the Agreement on trade and cooperation signed by the USSR in 1989. The second stage of this procedure presupposed gradual substitution of the given Agreement by bilateral Agreements between the CIS countries and the EU on partnership and cooperation.

The author comes to the conclusion that the agreements on associated membership (European agreements) are the most multilateral compared with other types of agreements concluded by the EU with the third states. In their turn, the agreements on partnership and cooperation (APC) do not have a "preferential nature" in contradistinction to the European Agreements. They do not resolve in full the issues existing in the CIS-parties to the APC — which are related to the trade with the EU states.

The article grounds the proposition that the participation of the Central European States, the Baltic States and the CIS states in European organizations can be considered as the development of international processes and as a way of integration of these states into the European system of international and social economic relations.


”UNHCR Activities on International Protection of Refugee Children’s Rights” (Yury Morgun)

The article "UNHCR Activities on International Protection of Refugee Children’s Rights" throws light on the UNHCR activities regarding provision of rights and protection of the most vulnerable group of refugees — the children.

From the first days, the UNHCR was given the responsibility of international protection of the refugees, who fall under the definition given in the Charter, and giving assistance to the governments in facilitation of the voluntary repatriation of refugees or their integration in the countries of asylum under the aegis of UNHCR. Within the UN Charter, an effective mechanism on international protection to refugees has been created, grounded on a well-defined normative base: the 1951 Convention on the Refugee Status and the 1967 Protocol concerning refugees. The Convention consists of the basic regulations regarding the refugee status and the obligations for the Member-states to cooperate with UNHCR in the implementation of its mandate and observation of international application of the Convention provisions. The Convention and the Protocol are basic international legal acts on protection to refugees in modern international law. The rapidly and sometimes unexpectedly developing world brings up new complex challenges to the international community. Civil wars, ethnic and military conflicts which enveloped many regions of the world have led to mass displacement of people to other countries. In accordance to these changes, the GA has repeatedly expanded the UNHCR mandate of giving assistance to the refugees, who did not meet in full the definition of the Charter, but still caused the concern of the world community: internally displaced persons and refugees — victims of natural disasters.

Extremely complicated objectives for UNHCR arose in the spring of 1999 in connection with the new outburst of the conflict in Kosovo.

Mr. Kofi Annan, the UN General Secretary has repeatedly noted in his speeches and publications "UNHCR has an immense task connected with meeting of refugees" needs in the sphere of reintegration and rehabilitation. At the same time, apprehension grows that we might have to cut down the rate of vital operations of the office due to shortage of financial resources and sometimes to stop them altogether.

Provision of the rights of the child is one of modern global issues. The future of mankind depends to a great extent on its solution. Modern system of international protection of the right of the child as an integral part of the system of protection of civil rights has taken shape within the UN framework during the last decades. Protection of the rights of the child in some most important directives was placed on a range of specialized UN agencies. International protection of the rights of the refugee children was placed on UNHCR.

Children comprise more than a half of any group of refugees. Refugee children are exposed to the utmost danger in the conditions of unstability and unprecedented calamities and conflicts which become a characteristic feature of modern era.

UNHCR activities for providing protection and assistance to refugee children is the most important integral part of its mandate. In order to provide the refugee children with a higher level of protection and care, UNHCR approved the instrument "UNHCR policy in respect of refugee children".

This direction is a logical step in the progress of UNHCR activities in the interest of refugee children. Over several years, the Executive Committee of the Higher Commissioner programme passed a number of resolutions and decisions concerning the issues of the refugee children. In 1998 the UNHCR recommendations in respect of refugee children were published. They contain the international norms concerning assistance and protection for refugee children, basic provisions of the resolutions of the Executive Committee and technical recommendations of the UNHCR working group in respect of refugee children. The main idea of "the Recommendations" is that refugee children require special protection and assistance. The UN Convention on the rights of the child fixed the standards regarding the rights of all children including refugee children. UNHCR aims to solve the issues of refugee children in family and community context. In order to improve life standards of refugee children community, UNHCR tries to provide the effective observance of the provisions, presented in the following instruments: "Policy of the High Commissioner in respect of refugee women" and "UNHCR recommendations on protection of refugee women". The policy of the High Commissioner in respect of the children and women can be considered as a single one. The most principal aim of "The recommendations" is to provide the refugee children with necessary protection and care. "The recommendations" combine a conceptual look at the rights of the child and a programme of UNHCR activities aimed at providing protection and care to refugee children.

The international treaty which fixes the majority of norms in respect to children is the Convention on children’s rights of 1989. Though the Convention is not a treaty on refugees, it also extends to refugee children, since all rights should be guaranteed in respect of the persons under 18 without discrimination.

The significance of the Convention on children’s rights lies in the establishment of all-embracing norms. The instrument embraces almost every aspect of a child’s life: from the rights to health protection and education to social and political rights.

UNHCR constantly uses the Convention on the rights of the child in its activities considering these rights as principles and the Convention as a normative base for the activities.

Despite the fact that the Convention on the rights of the child grants the children personal rights, it also underlines the significance of interconnections. The happiness of a child and the possibility of realization of its rights depend on his family and the Community as a whole. The Convention recognizes the importance of a family as a "basic society unit" and the rights of the child are considered against the context of the rights and responsibility of the parents. Also the importance of community is always recognized. The best way of giving assistance to refugee children is to help their families, and the best way to help the family is to give assistance to the whole community. This idea is fixed in the instrument "UNHCR policy in respect of refugee children". UNHCR policies, as a rule, are aimed at giving assistance to the family. It makes it possible for the family to protect and care for its children and also to give assistance to the community which provides protection to children by supporting their family.

UNHCR applies the norms of the Convention on the rights of the child in all aspects of its activities and underlines the significance of the "the rights triangle"; it follows the principle of maintenance of the best interests, protection from discrimination and a right to participation.

The Convention on the rights of the child, "UNHCR policy in respect of children refugees", "UNHCR recommendations in respect of refugee children" can not be considered only as legal instruments. They also reflect moral position and practical guidance in the gallant cause—maintenance of happiness of refugee children. Their issues — "the issue of refugees and humanitarian issues — are essentially transnational not only because they are connected with the trans-border migration, but also because, being human, we are responsible for people’s security globally. The turn of the XX century confronts us with the problem of setting up a universal system of people’s protection based on the indissoluble link of people’s compassion and solidarity. We trust that the day will come when people in any part of the planet will be able to live safely in the country and community" (High Commissioner for Refugees Ms. Sadako Ogata).


“The Centre for UN Studies Activities in the Republic of Belarus” (Andrey Selivanov)

The article "The Centre for UN Studies Activities in the Republic of Belarus" is devoted to informational aspects of UN system activities in the Republic of Belarus. The article begins by giving a brief description of public information activities of the UN Office in the Republic of Belarus and the National Library of Belarus (it has been a UN depository library since December 1954) — they are considered the two sources of information about the UN. Afterwards the logic of the idea of the creation of the "Centre for UN Studies" is elaborated and the activities of the Centre in 1998—beginning of 1999 are introduced to the reader. The "Centre for the UN Studies" is a joint project of the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Belarusian State University. The main objectives of the Centre’s activities aim at increasing public awareness about the United Nations, promotion of human rights, refugee law, humanitarian law. The article presents the information about the major events that were organized by the Centre: conferences, workshops, round tables; it illustrates big work with the students: the contest of students’ works ("The UN and the Modern World", "Human Rights", "Refugee Issues"), implementation of special academic courses, distribution of the literature (more than 1000 students got the necessary editions), and other interesting forms of activities. A number of wide-scale actions ("The Universal Declaration of Human Rights to every house", distribution of the literature to the libraries etc.) and lectures drew the attention of the general public of the Republic to the activities of the Centre. With the support of the Centre, the library of the Belarusian State University was granted a status of a UN depository library in December 1998. Summarizing the major achievements of the Centre during 1998— beginning of 1999, it should be mentioned that the Centre has played an important role in fitting the information gap about the UN.


“Belarus — Russia Relation ship: Problems and Prospects (The Round-Table Discussion)” (Felix Pribytkovski)

The author presents main opinions of academics and politologists from Russia and Belarus and the current condition of Belarusian-Russian relations and their future with a special emphasis on both the differences in the approaches towards the modes of solutions of the problems of the Union of Russia and Belarus and the unity of views on a range of aspects. The participants of the discussion agree concerning the significance of the Union for the fortunes of the people from both states, the necessity of active development of economic, political and cultural conclusions. The article stresses that all steps taken for the realization of these objectives should strictly correspond to the norms and principles of international law and the interests of both states, at the same time without violating their sovereignty and integrity. A positive evaluation is given to the instruments adopted during the presidents’ summit in December 1998.

At the same time the majority of the participants of the round table discussion expressed their cautious attitude regarding the pace and terms of the implementation of the plan of establishing the Union state and also their concern in respect of the countries’ future status in a number of international organizations. A great interest was caused by the discussion regarding ethnic and linguistic identity of both peoples.


“Five Decades of Social Market Economy in Germany: the Instructive Lessons of the Past and the Contemporary Situation” (Boris Sorvirov)

The article "Five Decades of Social Market Economy in Germany: the Instructive Lessons of the Past and the Contemporary Situation" gives theoretical consideration to the ideas underlying the model of social market economy of Germany and to the necessity to use them in the transformation of the economic system of Belarus. The interest in the German experience is very high and German economic success is well-known. Alongside with the economic efficiency, this experience includes successful settlement of social problems. Though the task is not as simple as it might seem. Every successful experience is liable to be idealized, for the evaluation criterion is based on current achievements.

At the same time, raising the issue of the republic’s economy learning something and gaining and borrowing some experience in this transition period towards market economy is quite relevant: the coincidence of the problems is striking and the lessons drawn from their resolving are very instructive.

This is not the case with the general evaluation of the ideas of "Orgnungliberalismus" which underlay the economic policy of the FRG and made up its ideology. The Orgnungliberalismus concept itself suffered changes and development and was not without inherent contradictions. That is why German economists, while adhering to this ideology, divide in their evaluation: some preferring a greater "liberalism" others — a greater "order".

The article stresses that the market which came into being in the FRG in the post-war period, was very heterogeneous and the state determined its character and functioning conditions to a great extent. Already in the 50s a great area of economy was beyond the zone of the market price mechanism and the law on competition did not cover it. For various social and political reasons the state exercised a regulating influence on several branches of economy and practiced various kinds of selective regulating. Thus a free market did not rule absolutely in the FRG; there appeared the state mechanism of market regulation with a wide range of regulating instruments which obviously went far beyond the scope accepted by the Freiburg School. Still, when the market obeyed "the economic order", the state obeyed the market. A guarded attitude to the state persisted which played a positive role by preventing a potential revival of the state monopolistic capitalism.

The article expresses an opinion that the German model of social market economy is of greater practical interest for Belarus compared with the American one where the elements of liberalism or market forces have more scope to play, because the legal and ethical rules characteristic of the organized market are more developed in the FRG than in the USA.

A pronounced area of German experience of the last decades is social economic policy at the enterprise level. The article notes the importance of this experience mainly from the side of planning at the enterprise level and in the area of the employees’ participation in management and property deals.

The German experience offers a lot to learn for Belarus. But the social market model can not be transplanted completely into the republic (as it has been done in the former GDR). As the same time the concept itself, the main propositions modified to suit specific Belarusian requirements, may well be realized in the Republic of Belarus.


Found a typo? Please select it and press Ctrl + Enter.

Network

  • (029) 3222740
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
© 2019 Международное общественное объединение «Развитие». All Rights Reserved.