Helsinki Commission Briefing to Explore Ways to Engage with Belarus on Human Rights, Democracy

Jul 17, 2017

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, announced the following briefing: "Engaging Belarus on Human Rights & Democracy". The briefing will take place on July 21, 2017, at 10:30 a.m., in Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room G11. Live Webcast: www.facebook.com/HelsinkiCommission.

The 2017 Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) hosted by Belarus from July 5 to July 9 provided a rare opportunity for parliamentarians from OSCE participating States to learn more about current conditions in Belarus, and to meet Belarusian activists promoting reforms to the country’s democratic governance and human rights practices.

The United Nations (UN), National Democratic Institute (NDI), and International Republican Institute (IRI) are all deeply engaged in work to promote democracy and greater respect for human rights in Belarus, from both in-country (primarily the UN) and outside Belarus (NDI and IRI).

Belarus has shown a willingness to engage with the U.S., EU, and NGOs on human rights in recent years. Past experience has shown some approaches have worked much better than others. This briefing will focus on the best ways to engage Belarus to encourage progress on human rights and democracy after the OSCE PA Annual Session in Minsk.

The following panelists are scheduled to speak:

• Sanaka Samarasinha, United Nations Chief in Belarus;

• Katie Fox, Deputy Director of the Eurasia Department, National Democratic Institute, Washington;

• Stephen Nix, Regional Program Director for Eurasia, International Republican Institute, Washington.

Details are available at the link: https://www.csce.gov/international-impact/press-and-media/press-releases/helsinki-commission-briefing-explore-ways-engage