The United Nations Security Council high-level Arria-formula meeting on Media Freedom in Belarus

On Friday 22 January at 9.00 EST / 16.00 EET, an informal high-level virtual meeting is organised by UN Security Council members Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, together with additional co-sponsors Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine.



This meeting builds upon an earlier high-level Arria-formula meeting (4 September 2020) on the human rights situation in Belarus. Since the peaceful demonstrations in Belarus following the fraudulent presidential elections on 9 August 2020, we have seen a grim picture of media freedom there. Detentions, imprisonment, torture, as well as death threats are parts of the daily life of journalists in Belarus.

The Charter of the United Nations (article 55) sees “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights” as integral to the “creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations”. An increase in human rights violations has often preceded the eruption of an acute conflict, thus it is necessary for the Security Council to receive timely information on grave violations of human rights.

The UN Security Council resolution 2222 (27 May 2015) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict says that the work of free, independent and impartial media constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society, and thereby can contribute to the protection of civilians.


The debate will be chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia, H.E. Mr Urmas Reinsalu.

The meeting will take place on Friday 22 January 2021 via video conference at 9.00 AM (NYC time, EST). There will be statements by briefers and the UN Security Council members as well as by other UN member states. The meeting will be streamed live and is open to the public via YouTube, Facebook and the homepages of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Permanent Mission of Estonia to the UN . The meeting will be held in English and no simultaneous interpretation is offered.




(Estimated time at 09:30 AM (EDT, New York time)


1. Finland, Foreign Minister, H.E. Mr. Pekka Haavisto (On behalf of the Nordic countries)
2. United Kingdom, Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas, H.E. Ms. Wendy Morton MP
3. Poland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Zbigniew Rau
4. Ireland, Minister of State for European Affairs, H.E. Mr. Thomas Byrne T.D. (525.65 KB, PDF)
5. Latvia, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Edgars Rinkēvičs
6. Lithuania, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Gabrielius Landsbergis
7. Germany, State Minister, H.E. Mr. Niels Annen
8. Ukraine, First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Ms. Emine Dzhaparova
9. Norway, Permanent Representative, H.E. Ms. Mona Juul
10. United States of America, Acting Representative, H.E. Mr. Richard Mills
11. Belgium, Permanent Representative, H.E. Mr. Philippe Kridelka (497.99 KB, PDF)
12. Canada, Permanent Representative, H.E. Mr. Robert Keith Rae
13. France, Deputy Permanent Representative, H.E. Ms. Nathalie Broadhurst Estival
14. Estonia, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Urmas Reinsalu (191.2 KB, PDF)

(Estimated time at 10:20 AM (EDT, New York time)


1. Russian Federation, First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy
2. Mexico, Deputy Permanent Representative, H.E. Ms. Alicia Buenrostro
3. India, Deputy Permanent Representative, H.E. Mr. Nagaraj Naidu Kakanur
4. China, Political Coordinator, Mr. Zhiqiang Sun

(Estimated time at 10:40 AM (EDT, New York time)



1. Romania, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Bogdan Aurescu
2. Slovenia, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Dr. Anže Logar (336.79 KB, PDF)
3. Slovakia, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, H.E. Mr. Ivan Korčok
4. Italy, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Ms. Marina Sereni
5. Czech Republic, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Security and Multilateral Issues, H.E. Martin Povejšil (200.95 KB, PDF)
6. Montenegro, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Ljubomir Mišurović
7. Belarus, Permanent Representative, H.E. Mr. Valentin Rybakov
8. Austria, Permanent Representative, H.E. Mr. Alexander Marschik (265.57 KB, PDF)
9. EU Delegation, Head of the EU Delegation to the UN, H.E. Mr. Olof Skoog (412.28 KB, PDF)
10. Croatia, Permanent Representative, H.E. Mr. Ivan Šimonović (123.63 KB, PDF)
11. Australia, Permanent Representative, H.E. The Hon Mitch Fifield (373.66 KB, PDF)
12. Malta, Permanent Representative, H.E. Ms. Vanessa Frazier
13. Portugal, Deputy Permanent Representative, Mr. Nuno Vaultier Mathias
14. Netherlands, Deputy Permanent Representative, H.E. Mr. Mark Zellenrath
15. Japan, Minister, Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues, Mr. Magosaki Kaoru

(Estimated time at 12:00 PM (EDT, New York time)

Last updated: 27 January 2021

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