Journal of International Law an International Relations


Journal of International Law and International Relations 2007 — N 1


International Law

Refugee Law

Improving Law on Refugees of the Republic of Belarus» — Ivan Saleyev

Human Rights

Participation of the BSSR in the Development of Special International Conventions on Women Rights Protection — Elena Syagrovers

International Space Law

The Legal Status of the Geostationary Orbit: Problems and Solutions — Iliya Adamov

International Relations

On the Role of the Department for Citizenship and Migration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus in the Implementation of the International Technical Assistance Project "Strengthening the National Asylum System in the Republic of Belarus" — Sergey Kasinsky, Natalia Sokolovskaya

Poland — Belarus: 15 Years of Interstate Relations — Boleslaw Chmielinski

Scientific and Educational Contacts of the Belarusian Provinces with the Western and Central European Countries in the 18th Century —Andrey Samusik

Towards the Issue of Establishing the Polish Consulate in Minsk in the Mid 1940-s — Late 1960s — Anatoly Vyaliki

A New Command Structure for a Transformed NATO — Yulia Lyashuk

The Policy of the People’s Republic of China in Central Asia in the First Half of the 1990s — Vitaly Borovoy

Documents and Materials

The EU — UNHCR Project «Strenthening Protection Capacity in the Republic of Belarus» (only russian)

International Economic Relations

A Model of Strategic Decision-Making on Belarusian Enterprises Going International — Dmitry Kalinin

Re-examining Neo-liberal Ideas about the Transformation in Post-socialist Countries — Vyacheslav Yarashevich

Vertical Integration of the Company and Theoretical Approaches to its Explanation — Ekaterina Stolyarova


English Summaries

«Improving Law on Refugees of the Republic of Belarus» (Ivan Saleyev)

The article discusses the development of Belarusian legislation on refugees related to the preparation of a new Law in this area. The new bill «On Provision to Foreign Nationals and Stateless Persons of Refugee Status, Subsidiary or Temporary Protection in the Republic of Belarus» is already prepared and is now on consideration with the Parliament. The current Law on Refugees implements mostly article 1 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees that contains the definition of a refugee and relates to the issue who can and who cannot be recognized a refugee. The author of the article draws attention to the need of implementation of other articles of the Convention, as well as of introduction of new provisions in accordance with modern international standards. Specific recommendations with regard to improvement of refugee legislation are given, including the recommendations on the following:

— introduction of subsidiary protection for those persons who are not covered by refugee definition in accordance with the 1951 Convention but who are still in need of international protection;

— facilitation of acquisition of a citizenship;

— issuance of travel documents in accordance with the 1951 Convention specimen;

— legal assistance and assistance of interpreters;

— prohibition of discrimination;

— the right for health services, social security and status with respect to labor legislation;

— certain provisions of the Law contradicting the 1951 Convention;

—  family protection;

— detention;

— confidentiality;

— criteria for assessment of applications;

— the concepts of «safe country of origin», «safe third country»;

— the role of UNHCR, and others.

«Participation of the BSSR in the Development of Special International Conventions on Women Rights Protection» (Elena Syagrovers)

The article explores the contribution of the BSSR to international rule-making process in the sphere of women rights protection. A UN’s full member, the BSSR made a certain contribution to the development of the principle of equality, including gender equality, on the international level. That was the beginning of forming of the institution of women rights protection in the system of international human rights protection. The principle of equality has become one of the basic principles of the United Nations.

Belarusian delegation took an active part in the development of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, making constructive proposals on improving the content of Declaration’ draft. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights became the foundation for further international treaties, which included specific regulations on women’s rights. Besides, a member of the Commission on the Status of Women for a long time, the BSSR participated in developing of the major part of special international treaties, such as Convention on the Political Rights of Women, Convention on the Nationality of Married Women, Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages and other, in the sphere of women’s rights.

Thanks to Belarusian delegation’s efforts in elimination of discrimination in gender equality regulation, the Conventions set universal standards of state authorities attitude towards women. Nowadays these standards are grounds for interpretation of national legislation.

«The Legal Status of the Geostationary Orbit: Problems and Solutions» (Iliya Adamov)

The article focuses on key issues related to the use of geostationary orbit for telecommunication, direct broadcasting by satellite and meteorology.

Since the term «orbit» implies the trajectory of a certain body, the author proposes to use the definition the «orbit of the geostationary satellite» (OGS) instead of the «geostationary orbit».

A brief review of the discussion on the legal status and use of the OGS is given, including the analysis of the Bogota declaration, problems of the «paper satellites» and the «ghost satellites».

The author believes that the states interested in the use of the OGS are nowadays faced with the task of balancing the effective use of the OGS with the proper protection of the interests of the developing countries. International space law should not only govern access to the OGS, but also ensure fair allocation of the benefits resulting from its exploitation among the international community.

In the nearest future, the «overcrowding» of the OGS will require the adoption of new rules to govern the use of frequency resource of the OGS. It is the conviction of this author, however, that there is no need to amend the Space Treaty of 1967.

The article contains certain proposals regarding the measures to be taken by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to resolve the issues related to the use of OGS.

«On the Role of the Department for Citizenship and Migration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus in the Implementation of the International Technical Assistance Project "Strengthening the National Asylum System in the Republic of Belarus"» (Sergey Kasinsky, Natalia Sokolovskaya)"

The implementation of the International Technical Assistance Project «Strengthening the National Asylum System in the Republic of Belarus», financed by the European Commission together with the UNHCR, began in 2005. The Department for Citizenship and Migration, which was responsible for the coordination of this Project, was able to involve all the partners in the active participation in the Project: representatives of state establishments and public organizations, academic community and the mass media. At the same time the cooperation and productive joint work with the UNHCR Office in the Republic of Belarus had a particular significance in the implementation of the Project.

A range of issues of strengthening the National Asylum System of the Republic of Belarus has been solved in the course of the Project's implementation. In particular a new Draft Law «On Provision to Foreign Nationals and Stateless Persons of Refugee Status, Subsidiary or Temporary Protection in the Republic of Belarus» was developed and submitted for the Parliament, a new automatized system for registration of foreign citizens and stateless persons, who applied for refugee status and were recognized as refugees in the republic of Belarus, called «Refugees» has been developed and launched, information campaign for explanation of refugee problems for local population has been held, the work on the creation of a Temporary Accommodation Center for Asylum Seekers in the City of Gomel is in the final stage.

«Poland — Belarus: 15 Years of Interstate Relations» (Boleslaw Chmielinski)

The two peoples living in the neighbourhood, has a thousand-year long rich history record but its current state is unique and has no analogues for opportunities and challenges of Polish-Belarusian cooperation both at the state and community level. These 15 years have brought new experience, new directions and forms of interaction. Hundreds of state establishments and NGOs, thousands of enterprises and companies, millions of individuals — Belarusian and Polish both have been dealing with each other directly, without intermediaries. At the same time new unprecedented problems havу arisen as well as difficulties and controversy in Belarusian-Polish relations, which sometimes impede cooperation and which have to be coped with.

The author explores the main developments in the relations between the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Belarus. These developments started to shape in the early 1990s and gained identity and content as Poland gradually moved towards the West. The broad empirical background and its analysis lead the author to conclude that the Polish-Belarusian relations in 1991—2006 had a controversial character. On the one hand, the legal foundation of the bilateral relations was laid down and over 70 international, intergovernmental and interdepartmental treaties were signed. The agreements between the governments and particular ministries embrace practically all spheres of interaction. On the other hand, diplomatic and political relations have increasingly been acquiring negative ideological shades and have been affected by geopolitical factors adverse for Belarusian-Polish relations. Unfriendly invectives of Polish authorities and some official mass media addressed to Belarusian authorities aggravated the moral and political climate in the relations with the neighbouring country and its people.

Such development of the bilateral relations was opposed by a number of political parties and NGOs, by many figures from Polish intellectuals, business and the common people. Various associations such as the Association «Poland — Belarus», Association of Cooperation «Poland — the East», the Belarusian Social and Cultural Society, the Slavonic Culture Centre and other foundations expanded social relations with the organizations and establishments of Belarus, enhanced cooperation along various directions; they promoted the idea of good neighbourly relations as the Polish state policy imperative in Polish public life.

Basing on the data analysed, the author was the first to make an attempt to classify the periods in the Polish policy towards the Republic of Belarus during the first 15 years of the Belarusian independence.

The first stage (1991—1996) was the time of mutual learning about the states and their elites, formation of the international legal basis of the bilateral relations. The second stage (1996—2004) was the time of the vigorous march of Poland to NATO and the EU, the disappointment of the Polish ruling authorities by the policy of Belarus, the time of cooling and even aggravation of official relations. The third stage (since 2004) has been the time after the process of integration of Poland into European structures was completed. This stage saw the Polish authorities continuing the policy of critical dialogue with Belarus from the point of view of a EU member. At the same time, the national pragmatism motives gained ground in Polish policy, which involved signing a number of new intergovernmental agreements and a marked growth of trade turnover between the two

«Scientific and Educational Contacts of the Belarusian Provinces with the Western and Central European Countries in the 18th Century» (Andrey Samusik)

The article is dedicated to the problem of the definition of the main directions in the relations between the national system of education and the European model of pedagogy. The analysis of Belarusian and foreign historiography within the field of the research is presented. The study specially focuses on the role and importance of the international contacts in the sphere of education in the process of upbringing and training the ruling elite of the Great Duchy of Lithuania. Real examples of European tutors’ work and their consideration to their pupils are presented. The author brought to light the specific character of the trips of magnates’ children abroad and of the Polish gentry from the Rzecz Pospolita to European countries (the timetable, their preferences in studies, meetings with famous people). While studying the contacts of the native educational establishments with the European scientific and educational centers, the author defined the main trends of their close co-operation (invitation of European teachers to work in Belarus, the training periods of the best pupils abroad, the purchase of educational and scientific equipment in Europe). The researcher underlined the transformation of international contacts in the sphere of education due to the influence of the Enlightment. The activities of the Educational commission and of the Association of educational books are considered, as well as their influence on the work of the Head school in Vilno, the Royal academy of medicine in Grodno, the Knights’ school in Niesvizsh. The reasons of the transformation of Polotsk into the Jesuits’ world centre are identified. The general results of international scientific and educational contacts for socio-cultural development in Belarus are shown.

«Towards the Issue of Establishing the Polish Consulate in Minsk in the Mid 1940-s — Late 1960s» (Anatoly Vyaliki)

Giving Belarus the right to exercise independent foreign political activity (March 1944) opened the prospects of establishing direct diplomatic relations, of developing bilateral interstate relations with the closest western neighbour — the Republic of Poland. One of the first steps in this direction might have been opening of consulates: that of the Polish Republic in Belarus, and of the Belarusian Republic in Poland. The Polish government, taking this into consideration, repeatedly urged the quick and expedient opening of the Polish consulate in Minsk. It was prompted side hoped to carry out cultural and educational by the common border and the greatest member of Poles living in the Soviet Union. The Polish prompted work among Belarusian Poles to expand and further bilateral economic and cultural relations between the countries. But the Soviet Union government on getting involved into the Cold War  isolated the country from the influence of the West, including the national democracies, Poland among them. For this reason the Centre limited the development of the relations between the USSR and Poland and did not allow to open the Polish consulate in Minsk in the mid-1940s — late 1960s in spite of repeated proposals of the Polish side.

«A New Command Structure for a Transformed NATO» (Yulia Lyashuk)

The article deals with two issues: the modernisation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) command structure and the NATO Response Force (NRF) creation.

The author underlines that the European security has not been improved after the end of the conflict between the East and the West. Today the Alliance faces new threats such as international terrorism, extremism, transnational criminality, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction which are completely different from the «threat of the communism» of the XX century.

In the article attention is also paid to the issues of the London Declaration and the Combined Joint Task Forces concept. They are considered to be the steps towards the transformation of the NATO Allied Forces command and the NRF creation.

The author supposes that the examined changes are the key elements of the inner NATO transformation and the important processes of Alliance’s transformation on the whole.

The author believes that the intrinsic wish of the USA to professionally enact the world policeman’s role underlies the NRF creation.. Another ambition — the prove the NATO’s viability in a changed international security climate — also contributed to the concept.

In the end, the author comes to a conclusion that the modernisation of the Alliance’s Allied Forces command structure and the NATO Response Force fully operational readiness shows the new NATO approach towards security issues. This implies that NATO is gradually extending its powers beyond its traditional (Euroatlantic) region. This fact reflects an evident aspiration of the NATO leadership to act on the global level instead of a regional one.

«The Policy of the People’s Republic of China in Central Asia in the First Half of the 1990s» (Vitaly Borovoy)

The aim of this article is to analyze the new opportunities and challenges that China faced in Central Asia after the demise of the Soviet Union in the first half of the 1990-s. The first part of the article is devoted to the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the newly independent states, development of bilateral economic ties and most important trends in this sphere. The second part deal with the main factors, that had strong impact upon Chinese policy in the region in the first half of the 1990-s, with special attention paid to uncertainties and instability in the region, which to a considerable extent determined Chinese attitude to Central Asia by the mid-1990s. At this stage, China’s main goal was to create favorable conditions for development of trade links between some Chinese provinces and Central Asia. Realisation of the limited nature of Chinese ambitions and instability in the region were the main reasons why Beijing began to pay much more attention to multilateral forms of cooperation with Central Asia in the late 1990-s.

«A Model of Strategic Decision-Making on Belarusian Enterprises Going International» (Dmitry Kalinin)

With international competition escalating rapidly both technological and management modernization of Belarusian enterprises is becoming very urgent. It is the question of economic internationalization of the most competitive Belarusian enterprises, primarily. They have to build up their own commodity distribution network within the next few years. They have to take active steps towards promoting not only selling but some of the production to the territory of the target markets, so as to secure a strong position there and realize a really aggressive export strategy.

The article considers the influence of the profitability and capital intensity of the operations moved abroad on the choice of the international forms of the Belarusian companies’ penetration to the external markets. It also presents a model of making strategic decisions on choosing institutional forms of such penetration. Recommendations are given on optimization of the investments of Belarusian enterprises to establish their own commodity distribution network. The author also suggests optimal institutional forms of marketing and assembly operations to be moved abroad by Belarusian enterprises, which take into account both the strategic aims Belarusian industry follows and the factor of weak investments supply.

«Re-examining Neo-liberal Ideas about the Transformation in Post-socialist Countries» (Vyacheslav Yarashevich)

The article discusses neo-liberal views about the post-socialist transformation predominant in the West. General goals and principles of neo-liberal reforms are derived and assessed from the analysis of the English-language sources. In particular, it is noted that despite the formal argument about the supremacy of democratisation during the transformation, in reality neo-liberalism focused on economic issues. This could be determined by concerns about the socio-economic fundamentals of the social order which had to be established through reforms — the capitalist «democracy». In essence, neo-liberalism implied complete overhaul of the social structures institutionalised in the socialist period, notably, reducing the role of the working class and other non-proprietary groups, and boosting the role of proprietors. It was the latter who were considered the main winners from the transformation, whereas state sector workers had either to become proprietors themselves, or to prepare to long-term deterioration of their material situation. Taking into account that such a political economy situation could lead to electoral distress and reform rejection, neo-liberalism pointed at the importance of creating a special political system — «competitive democracy» — which would allow to contain popular protest through active parliamentarism and mass media. Radicalism of reforms was also put forward as one of the most important conditions for their success, and numerous practical failures of neo-liberalism were explained by reform inconsistency. Nevertheless, the available data suggested that a more valid reason here was the absence of sufficient public support and clear external stimuli, as well as unfavourable initial conditions. Most likely, it was these factors which underlay contrasting reform results in countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe and the Baltics on the one hand, and CIS states on the other hand. In turn, the political economy choice of the Belarusian authorities turned out to be not only pragmatic in relation to initial conditions and external stimuli, but also democratic, as rejecting neo-liberal «shock therapy» in the mid-1990s fully met the preferences of most people of the country.

«Vertical Integration of the Company and Theoretical Approaches to its Explanation» (Ekaterina Stolyarova)

The article considers the concept of the vertical integration and analyses the theoretical approaches to its explanation from the point of view of manufacturing costs, transactions costs, the life cycle of the industry, market power of the firm, and the way of changing of the company’s competitive position in the industry. The analysis allows to point out the shortcomings of every approach and limitations of their use in the conditions of the globalization of the world economy, high competition and development of information technologies.

This research takes into consideration the evolution of the definition of «vertical integration» and theoretical approaches to its explanation.

The article examines the examples from American auto industry, that passed the way from the full vertical integration in the period of its rise in the 1920s years to the present disintegration.

This publication was prepared in the framework of EU AENEAS — UNHCR project “Strengthening the Protection Capacity in the Republic of Belarus” 


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