The European Youth Forum and the Belarusian National Youth Council “RADA” condemn the exclusion and the human rights’ violations against civil society in Belarus
On 18th July 2017, Belarus presented its voluntary national review (VNR) on its implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum. “RADA” and other independent and democratic civil society organisations were excluded throughout the VNR process.
Given that human rights are cross-cutting throughout the 2030 Agenda, as well as the need for continued transparent and active civil society and stakeholder engagement in its implementation and follow-up process, the European Youth Forum and “RADA” express deep concern over the Belarusian government’s failure to meet this obligation.
The European Youth Forum and its members have also repeatedly condemned the ongoing attacks on the fundamentals of democracy, as demonstrated through violations of constitutional rights of young people and other citizens to freedom of association, freedom of choice and self-definition taking place in Belarus (in 2006 2016; 2017 (2) ). The European Youth Forum and “RADA” call again on the government of Belarus to urgently make the right to freedom of association a reality, to recognise “RADA” and ensure meaningful participation of civil society organisations in the implementation and review process of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Youth Forum and “RADA” also urge international institutions to ensure full and fair inclusion of Belarusian non-governmental youth organisations in dialogue regarding youth and beyond.