Minister Coveney addresses UN Security Council meeting on Belarus
Press release04 September 2020
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, TD, addressed an informal UN Security Council meeting by videoconference today on the human rights situation in Belarus. He conveyed Ireland’s ongoing and deep concerns for restrictions on the right to free assembly, attacks on media freedoms, indiscriminate detentions and the treatment of those detained.
Speaking at the meeting, Minister Coveney said:
“The international community must continue to press the Belarusian authorities to respect fundamental freedoms and insist, unequivocally, on the protection of the Belarusian people’s basic human rights.”
Opposition candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, and UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Anaïs Marin, also briefed those in attendance, while Vice-Chairman of the Viasna Human Rights Center, Valiantsin Stefanovic, and Legal Expert for the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Volha Siakhovich, provided details on the worrying curtailments of human rights and media freedoms on the ground.
The Minister went on to highlight the strong connections between the people of Ireland and the Belarusian people who have worked together for decades to support children affected by the Chernobyl disaster. He commended the spirit and courage of the Belarusian people who continue to stand with resilience in defence of their democratic rights.
Minster Coveney made clear that the future of Belarus is for its people alone to determine, reiterating the call of Ireland and the EU for the authorities to immediately release those unjustly detained and to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Belarusian people.
4 SEPTEMBER 2020
Notes for Editors
The meeting today was a so-called ‘Arria-formula’ (informal) meeting of the Security Council, called by Council member Estonia, and chaired by Estonia’s Foreign Minister, Urmas Reinsalu. Minister Coveney was one of a number of Foreign Ministers participating.