CONCLUDING MEMORANDUM OF CONSULTATIVE MEETING OF LEADERS OF BELARUSIAN POLITICAL AND CIVIC ORGANISATIONS AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE RADA OF THE BELARUSIAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC IN EXILE
ON MEASURES TO SAFEGUARD THE INDEPENDENCE OF BELARUS
We, the undersigned representatives of political and civic organisations of Belarus, meeting on 3rd November 2012 in Vilnius under the aegis of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic (hereinafter “BNR Rada”) in Exile and acting in accord and full co-operation with the President and Governing Council of the BNR Rada in Exile:
- recognising the risks arising from the gradual loss by the state structures of the Republic of Belarus – as they are turned into instruments for the exercise of personal power by Alexander Lukashenka – of the hallmarks of the Belarusian national statehood and their functionality as the Belarusian national sovereignty guarantor;
- convinced that the Belarusian people itself, as the sole bearer and the principal guarantor of the sovereignty of Belarus as well as of the Belarusian people’s national-cultural future, must be able freely to express its political will;
- and with a view to preserving and fully restoring the sovereignty to the Belarusian people in our national homeland as an objective that shall unite the political community in Belarus as well as Belarusians all over the world,
have agreed and hereby undertake to work together to achieve the following objectives:
- To restore to the people of Belarus a mechanism to enable them to make free and informed decisions about their political future, which will serve as a guarantee of Belarusian national sovereignty. To attain this end, the authoritarian regime will have to be dismantled. Measures shall be implemented at the earliest opportunity to prevent a repeat of authoritarian rule and abuse of power.
- To gain the broadest possible recognition by the international community that neither Alexander Lukashenka nor the state authorities under his control possess democratic legitimacy, and cannot therefore constitute legally competent representatives to act on behalf of Belarus, in particular in matters pertaining to their entering into obligations under treaties and agreements that may limit or encumber the sovereignty of the state, or relating to the sale of state property. Such treaties, agreements and sales shall not be binding on a future democratic Belarusian state, and shall be subject to review and possible revision or annulment.
- To co-ordinate the efforts of civic and political organisations, both within Belarus and among Belarusians living abroad. This co-ordination has a vital role to play, both in countering official propaganda that aims to destroy Belarusian national awareness, and in increasing the understanding within Belarusian society of the importance of the existence of a sovereign national Belarusian state.
- To strengthen co-ordinated pressure from the political community and civil society in Belarus and from outside in order to achieve a reduction of fear within the society of Belarus: first and foremost to secure the release and rehabilitation of political prisoners, an end to political repressions, dismantling of the machinery of repression, freedom for the mass media, and finally the holding of free elections. Fulfilment of these conditions will enable Belarus to emerge from a state of international self-isolation; it will open up opportunities for the growth of prosperity and the reinforcement of the sovereignty of Belarus through proper engagement in the system of international relations.
- To seek guarantees from the countries of the European Union, the United States of America, and the Russian Federation for the inviolability of Belarusian national sovereignty, for non-recognition of the international legal force of any decisions endangering the sovereign status of Belarus, which have already been made or could be made in the future on its behalf by the authoritarian state authorities, as well as for the denial of legitimacy with respect to any rights and privileges detrimental to Belarus’s sovereignty which may be claimed or demanded from Belarus by the Russian Federation on the basis of the “zone of special interests” doctrine.
- To draw up an agreed upon joint package of top-priority political, economic and legal measures designed to safeguard Belarusian sovereignty from the risks that may arise during the period of crisis and transition following the collapse of the authoritarian regime. These measures shall include the areas of energy and food supply, cultural and information policy, administrative governability during the period of transition to democracy, and the fight against corruption and organised crime. The parties to this agreement shall to strive to gain the maximum possible international support for securing those objectives.
- The undersigned representatives from civil and political organisations in Belarus hereby confirm their recognition of the role of the BNR Rada as per its Statute, as a non-partisan institution of Belarusian historical statehood that is above politics. They shall seek to co-ordinate their endeavours for achieving the common objectives listed above with the BNR Rada, and will be able to count on its assistance and support whenever necessary. They will assist the BNR Rada in activities aimed at the fulfilment of its historical mandate.
- The undersigned representatives from civil and political organisations in Belarus further recognise the BNR Rada as the reserve political repository for the tradition of Belarusian independent statehood, until such time as conditions permit the BNR Rada to relinquish its historical mandate as specified in its Statute, i.e. the election of a democratic state authority in free elections, with a guarantee of state independence. The President and members of the BNR Rada’s Governing Council hereby affirm the commitment of the Rada to the fulfilment of its statutory mandate. Until its mandate is fulfilled, the BNR Rada may also perform other functions, to which it may be properly called by the Belarusian political community and society.
The Belarusian political and civic organisations here represented and the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile intend to work towards ensuring the co-ordination of the political and information activities of all Belarusian communities throughout the world, as well as to encourage appropriate linking of the resources of their organisations and institutions at all levels, within Belarus as well as with foreign contacts, for the implementation of such joint and/or co-ordinated measures aimed at safeguarding national independence in the conditions of the authoritarian regime’s self-isolation, crisis and eventual dismantlement in Belarus.
[Signatories from the organisations, in the alphabetic order, as of the time of signing in Vilnius on the 3rd November 2012:]
Uladzimier Baradač, “Council for National Revival” Organising Committee
Alexander Dabravolski, “United Civic Party”
Mikalaj Dziemidzienka, “Young Front”
Alaksej Janukevich, “BPF Party”
Volha Karač, Civic Campaign “Our Home”
Uladzimier Kolas, “Council (Rada) of Belarusian Intelligentsia”
Alaksandr Milinkievič, The “Movement for Freedom”
Stanislaw Shushkevich, “Belarusian Social-Democratic Hramada Party”
Vincuk Viačorka, “Belarusan Ruch”
[Signatories from the organisations, in the alphabetic order, joined as of the time of publication on the 12th November 2012:]
Uladzimier Niaklajeŭ, “Tell the Truth” Campaign
Zianon Paźniak, “BPF Conservative-Christian Party”
Vitaĺ Rymašeŭski, “Belarusian Christian Democracy Party” Organising Committee
Viachaslau Siuchyk, Solidarity Movement “Together”
For the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile:
President of the BNR Rada in Exile.