Wednesday, 13 October 2021 16:42

UN office says eager to continue working with Minsk even despite recent claims

Minsk [Belarus], October 13 (ANI/Sputnik): The UN office in Belarus said on Wednesday it was in contact with Minsk in connection with its claims to the legal aid program and was focused on continuing to work with the republic.

In late September, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said that some UN representatives in the republic had used the organization’s funds, which were allocated for people with disabilities, to support the protesters. The Belarusian Permanent Mission to the UN and other international organizations in Geneva said on Tuesday that the UN office in Belarus had illegally used the organization’s funds to pay for the services of lawyers for 23 Belarusians who had participated in last year’s opposition protests.

"The United Nations Office of the Resident Coordinator in Belarus is aware of reports and existing concerns of the Government of Belarus in connection with a legal aid programme benefiting certain vulnerable groups of persons. The UN is in communication with the Government of Belarus on this issue," the UN Office in Belarus said in a statement.

"The UN Resident Coordinator and the UN Country Team, including all UN agencies, funds and programmes working in Belarus are focused on continuing our work with and for Belarus and we look forward to further collaboration with Belarusian authorities and civil society partners, including in the area of sustainable development and human rights," it says. (ANI/Sputnik)