Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has opened the 1st meeting of the Contact Group on Belarus, together with representative of the Belarusian democratic opposition Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. The meeting focused on the priorities of the newly-established group on co-operation between the Council of Europe and the Belarussian democratic forces and civil society.
The aim of the Contact Group is to provide the Organisation’s support and expertise to strengthen Belarusian democratic society in line with Council of Europe core values and according to the activities for human rights, rule of law, and democracy. It was set up by a decision of the Committee of Ministers to hold regular exchanges of views with representatives of the Belarusian democratic forces and civil society.
“The Council of Europe stands on principle with the Belarus’ democratic forces and civil society. I am pleased that this Group is now established. This is a ground-breaking decision: no other international organisation has created an institutional relationship of this kind”, underlined the Secretary General.