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Journal of International Law an International Relations
 

Belarusian Journal of International Law and International Relations 1999 — N 4

Summaries 


International Law

Human Rights

Towards the Criteria of Restrictions of Freedom of Opinion and Expression in International Law and Legislation in the Republic of Belarus — Natalya Dovnar

The European Court as a Real Mechanism of Human Rights’ Protection — Alla Shirmont

International Criminal Law

On Some Problems of Improving of Legal Connections of the CIS Countries to Combat Organised Crime — Hamlet Yeguiazaryan

The International Mechanism of Legal Control of the Observance of States Cooperation Agreements Against Illicit Drug Trafficking — Igor Tarasov

International Private Law

Some Aspects of Legal Regulation of Foreign Investments in the Republic of Belarus — Tatiana Alexakhina

Stages of Development of Representation Theory in Commercial Relations — Elena Babkina

Legal Consequences of Violation of International Sale Contract: General Characteristic on the Basis of the 1980 Vienna Convention — Andrey Zharsky

International Relations

Integration: a United Europe or a Community of Free European Regions? — Ludmila Khukhlyndina, Dmitry Khodakov

Some Aspects of the FRG Foreign Policy at the Contemporary Stage — Alexandr Sharapo

Formation of a Single Political Space of Germany in the early 90s — Vladislav Froltsov

Belarusian-German Cooperation in the 1990s in Alleviating the Consequences of the Chernobyl Disaster — Andrey Rusakovich

The Current State of the Northern Ireland Conflict (1997—1999) — Pavel Potapeyko

New Paradigm of the UNHCR Activities and Issues of Organising the Self-Administration in Refugees’ Communities — Andrey Goiko

Information Activity of the United Nations Office in the Republic of Belarus: Forms and Directions — Andrey Selivanov

International Economic Relations

On the Economic Union of New Independent States: Prerequisites and Prospects of Establishing — Nikolay Shumsky

The Consequences of the Euro Introduction for Russia and the Republic of Belarus — Maxim Kapustin

Entrepreneurship Aims in Eastern Europe — Pavel Shipuk

The Prospects of State Administration Institutions Development  — Igor Filkevich

The Methodological Principles of Developing the Integrated Model of FDI as a Form of Foreign Business Activity of a Firm — Pavel Trapeznikov


English Summaries


"Towards the Criteria of Restrictions of Freedom of Opinion and Expression in International Law and Legislation in the Republic of Belarus" (Natalya Dovnar)

The article deals with the issue of guarantees of one of fundamental human rights — a right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Assuming that complete fixation of freedom of opinion and expression and guarantees of its provision depends directly on the restrictions that can be imposed on this inalienable right, the author comes to the following conclusions. The world community has developed a certain model of restrictions that allows to preserve the essence and content of freedom of opinion and expression and contribute to creation, distribution and exchange of information, participation of an individual in social and national life according to the interests of society, social groups and individuals.

This model presupposes that realization of freedom of opinion and expression should take place in correlation with protection of other rights and freedoms. The legislator should determine valuable essence of rights that are to be protected or restricted and balance them, giving concrete expression to the volume of their authority, imposing restrictions in order to protect other rights and freedoms. It is the value approach towards human rights and freedoms that shows direction in determining the limits of law. Besides, restrictions should be envisaged only by law, should have clear formulations and a clear range of implementation.

Since the Republic of Belarus recognizes the priority of universally recognized principles of International Law (Art. 8 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus), the author believes that it is desirable to use the described model in law-making, while noting that the principle of restriction of freedom of opinion and expression is applied not only to the members of communication process but also to the right of the state to restrict arbitrarily individual rights.

The criteria  fixed in international law for the restriction of such fundamental individual rights as freedom of opinion and expression should have their reflection in the information policy of the state. The author believes that today all legislation concerning information requires thorough analysis, new content and bringing in accordance with international standards.

Firstly, one should eliminate contradictions existing in articles 23 and 34 (part 3) of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus. The right to the use of information should be restricted only by law. Legislation process also requires perfecting: legislative acts should be correlated and mutually coordinated, logical and consistent. The systematization of the legal base of the institute of freedom of opinion and expression, could reveal and eliminate lacunae in legal regulation of freedom of opinion and expression, supplement flexibly the new volume to the norms. The author considers that legislator should not forget the language of the legal norm; it should be clear, simple, laconic, logically coherent and consistent and take into account special terms but he neutral in style.

The continuous process of re-evaluation of moral and ethic concepts that dominated in the society for many years definitely requires modification of legislation. In order to define correctly the value notions of certain rights and freedoms or moral categories, one should survey the opinions of specialists in many branches of science. Then, there will be more chances to establish clear legal criteria of restrictions on freedom of opinion and expression and not allow them to go beyond their limits.

The author concludes that it is necessary to adopt the concept and the programme of implementation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and, primarily, the right to freedom of information, the constituent part of which should be regulation of social relations in case of spreading harmful and illegal information.


"The European Court as a Real Mechanism of Human Rights’ Protection" (Alla Shirmont)

The article is devoted to the European system of human rights protection that was reorganized of the basis of Protocol 11 from 11/05/94 for the 1950 European Convention on human rights protection.

Human rights protection is one of the main objectives not only of states but also of the whole world community. International and regional organizations have done much to fix human rights and freedoms in international agreements, conventions and also to develop mechanisms of control for their implementation. One of the most effective mechanisms of control is one applied by the Council of Europe.

Today, the mechanism of control established on the basis of the 1950 European Convention on human rights and basic freedoms protection is the most efficient one in the sphere of human rights protection, compared with other procedures in the given sphere envisaged by international treaties and pacts both of universal and regional nature. Extensive practice and experience of consideration of appeals prove its efficiency beyond any doubt. The rulings of the European Court on human rights influenced positively the legal and socio-political systems of the Council of Europe member-states.

However, even this system had some drawbacks. Therefore, in 1998 the European system of human rights protection was reorganised in order to maintain and increase its efficiency.

The author made an attempt to evaluate the expediency of the alterations introduced by Protocol 11 to the 1950 European Convention into the European mechanisms of control. The article reveals the reasons that have led to the reorganisation of the European system of human rights protection and the establishment of the new European Court on human rights in 1998.

Practice only will show whether the European Court is to become a real mechanism of human rights protection. However, one can definitely say that all conditions for efficient application of European mechanism of control have already been created.


"On Some Problems of Improving of Legal Connections of the CIS Countries to Combat Organised Crime" (Hamlet Yeguiazaryan)

The author exposes the main reasons, which have contributed to the growth of crime, on the basis of the analysis of crime situations and the existing practices of cooperation of law enforcement agencies of the CIS countries in combatting organised crime. The first reason is the "transparency" of the borders between the states which used to be a part of the former USSR. Secondly, criminal space has managed to remain single and develop further. Thirdly, the single law-enforcement system and the single legal system collapsed.

Pertaining to the peculiarity of organised crime at the current stage of the CIS countries’ development, the author notes the extension of its international connections and the transformation of criminal groups from national into international and transnational ones.

Taking these peculiarities into account the author proposes the acceptable ways for the CIS countries to coordinate efforts and cooperate in combatting crime. He believes that the first step to make is to achieve a unified legal base in order to create a single legal space of the CIS countries. In particular, the Inter-state Programme of Concerted Action in Combatting Crime up to 2000 serves this purpose. Another important step in this direction would be, according to the author, further perfecting of organisational and legal foundations for the activities of criminal judiciary agencies of the CIS countries in combatting organised crime. Developing this issue, the article shows which particular inter-state agencies and institutions were established within the framework of the Commonwealth to coordinate joint efforts in combatting crime and to solve the problem of establishing and developing the legal base for such cooperation. As a positive example of such cooperation the article cites the 1993 Minsk convention on legal help and legal relations in civil, family and criminal cases. The author focuses not only on the merits of this inter-state legal instrument but also on its drawbacks and the ways of their elimination, so as to simplify the existing procedure of extradition of criminals to the law-enforcement agencies of the states that have signed this convention.

The next urgent task is seen by the author in the activisation of cooperation in operational search actions. The author urges the CIS countries to speed up joining the main treaties and agreements pertaining to the sphere of criminal law, which have been signed within the framework of the Inter-state Programme.

Emphasizing the outstanding significance of this document the author enlarges on its background, its adoption and the implementation of the planned measures and cites the examples of law-enforcement practice in combatting crime.

Taking into consideration the experience gained in implementing the measures of the Programme, the author indicates the drawbacks and faults which came to notice during the implementation and which are to be taken into proper account and corrected in the designing of the new Programme on Combatting Organised Crime to be in force till 2003. The work at this Programme has already started. Stressing the general significance of model legislation, the author gives a detailed analysis of the draft of the Law "On Combatting Organised Crime" developed by the Interparliamentary Assembly as the most acceptable one for national parliaments of the CIS countries.

The approaches and principles of the solution of the problems of combatting organised crime set forth in the article are generally relevant and are of practical interest for the law-enforcement agencies of the CIS countries.


"The International Mechanism of Legal Control of the Observance of States Cooperation Agreements Against Illicit Drug Trafficking" (Igor Tarasov)

This paper explores the functioning of the international law system devoted to monitor and inspect the implementation of the agreements in international cooperation against illicit drug trafficking. Such system can be created in two ways. Firstly, the already existing international organisations could gain new special functions in order to resist illicit drug traffic. Secondly, new special organisations could be set up to monitor and inspect the observance of the specific international agreements. Currently, the main organisations which have inspection functions are the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the International Narcotic Control Board. Special attention is paid in the paper to the characteristics of the latter.


"Some Aspects of Legal Regulation of Foreign Investments in the Republic of Belarus" (Tatiana Alexakhina)

The article analyses the current state of economy of the Republic of Belarus coming thus to a conclusion that its development and growth could be achieved only by means of attracting massive foreign investment oriented to the development of generating production capital.

The article stresses the necessity of taking the most effective decisions, including those at non-governmental level, that will allow to start and implement quickly the investment process, modernization, technical reequipment of the existing enterprises and construction of new production capacities vitally important for the economy of the Republic of Belarus. The inevitable economic lag of Belarus and loss of competitiveness will lead to the technological catastrophe since one should not only sustain simple reproduction but also master new technologies in order to stay a part of civilized society.

Belarus already has general elements of investment infrastructure. Today the infrastructure of investment serving in the republic is represented by Belarusian banks and their affiliates and also the affiliates and offices of foreign banks. Financial companies, a range of goods exchanges, a transport exchange, a stock exchange and interbank currency exchange, leasing, insurance and audit companies also operate quite actively in the republic. Belarus has close ties with international financial and investment organizations: EBRD, the World Bank agency on investment promotion, MIGA and other organizations. Economic cooperation of Belarusian partners with foreign companies is deepening, international connections go far beyond the direct exchange of commodities and are transferred into production cooperation in its various forms, including enterprises with foreign investments as a vivid example of such cooperaion. At the same time, the Republic of Belarus suffers from acute lack of investment resources for which foreign investments remain a potential source. What is required is a reorganization of the system of coordination of state management dodies with the aim of searching and developing new approaches to the analysis and perfection of mechanisms of attracting direct foreign investments, increase of efficiency of the measures taken, prompt decision-making and responsibility for their realization.

As reality shows, one of the obstacles that keep the influx of foreign investments low is the absence of appropriate regulation of these issues together with the mechanism of its realization. With respect to the critical situation in the economy, the issue of attracting direct investments should be  definitely settled in the near future. The establishment of genuine market and civil economy and perfection of legislation of the Republic of Belarus could contribute to this process.


"Stages of Development of Representation Theory in Commercial Relations" (Elena Babkina)

The first part of the article is devoted to the history of development of the concept of "representation". The author compares fundamental provisions of the given theory in various legal systems.

Representation theory arose in the Justinian epoch of Roman law (Vth century). The general authority of representation is given to the procurator (agent in the commission contract), the limited authority of representation concerning selling the property of its holder is given to the institor (enterprise manager). Representation was not treated by Roman law as the execution of a commission or its effect.

The representation theory was first formulated by Hugo Grotius in the XVIth century. However, representation was treated as the effect of a commission.

In the second half of the XIXth century German scientists developed "the separation theory" based on strict division between the commission contract, i. e. the contract between the principal and the agent on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the authority of representation, i. e. the authority that was given to the representative/agent for the contract signing with a third party in favour of the represented person/principal.

In Anglo-Saxon law the representation theory is based on the identity doctrine that treats representation as an effect of commission, the inalienable part of the contract. "Agency" is a general conception that deals with any situation when one person acts in favour of the other.

The author makes an attempt to reveal the concept of commercial representation and to draw attention to the fact that the term has different content depending on the person using it. From the economic point of view there is no difference whether the representative is granted the authority to conclude deals or not, whether he acts on behalf of the principal or in his own name.

From the juridical point of view, however, representation can be defined as a relation, due to which one person (representative) acts legally on behalf of the other person (principal), with legal consequences of such relations arising directly for the principal in case they are performed within the authority given to the representative. The rights and obligations move to the principal in case of the contract.

Further on, the author compares the terms "civil representation" and "commercial representation". Despite the fact that the second derives from the first one, commercial representation has three fundamental distinguishing features:

— the object of civil representation lies in juridical actions only, a commercial representative has the right to perform both juridical and physical actions, or physical only;

— the activities of a civil representative are sporadic and single. A commercial representative enters into long-term relations with the principal and his activities lie in repeated actions of similar nature;

— a commission contract in civil law is theoretically presupposed to be performed gratis, the commercial representation contract in the sphere of enterpreneurship always presupposes compensation.

The statements above allow to assert that commercial representation is a phenomenon in trade law as it includes two forms of legal relations — mediatorship and representation in the narrow juridical sense.


"Legal Consequences of Violation of International Sale Contract: General Characteristic on the Basis of the 1980 Vienna Convention" (Andrey Zharsky)

Consideration of legal consequences of violation of the international sale contract of the commodities regulated by the 1980 Vienna Convention should be performed strictly in correspondence with the conditions of application of that international instrument (Art. 7 of the Convention). In the case of the article it means that consideration of legal consequences of violation of international sale contract using the categories and institutions traditional for our legal doctrine could inadmissibly misrepresent the real content of the Convention norms. Application of typical Soviet and also Belarusian categories in civil law for the interpretation and explanation such as: "civil legal liability", "conditions of liability for civil proceedings", "grounds for exemption from liability", "operating influence measures" is possible, since it takes into account the international character of the Convention and promotes the uniformity in its implementation and keeping good faith in international trade (Art. 7 of the Convention). This approach should be considered as the imperative, basic principle underlying the framework of consideration and application of any provisions of the 1980 Vienna Convention and not confined to the consequences of the contract violation.

The structural arrangement itself of the norms is worth noting during the analysis of the Convention. Articles 2, 3, 4 of Part III deal respectively with the obligations of the seller, the client and provisions containing general obligations of the seller and the client. However, precisely these structural units have special paragraphs concerning legal protection means in case of the contract violation: by the seller (Art. 45—52) and by the client (Art. 61—65). Thus, when defining the legal consequences of the violation of the international sale contract, the Convention focuses not on the obligations of the party in fault though such conclusion can be made from the Convention arrangement but on the injured subject, giving him civil protection means for the satisfaction of his interest.

Articles 45 and 61 are the key ones during the analysis of civil protection means that grant volume of authority for protection in case of the violation of any of its obligations by its counter-agent without identifying specific types of violation using single consolidated approach concerning protection means in case of the contract violation. The possibility of choice of the protection options creates conditions for achievement of the main objective of protection means — to provide the injured party with the conditions of the correct execution of the contact. This is provided by combined application of both the preventive means (contract annulment, execution suspension) and the compensation means which provide reimbursement either in capital or in kind (claim for real execution, substitution of the commodities or elimination of defects, claim for damages, recovery of interest from the sum due).

It should be noted that the Convention norms are aimed also at establishing the necessary balance of rights and obligations of the counter-agents during the contract conclusion. On the one hand, the injured party is awarded with broad authority for protection. On the other, application of certain means may limit or fully exclude the realization of the rest (in this case, the most incompatible right is a right to annul the contract). Besides, the realization conditions of certain protection means are determined which take into account the interests and needs of the failed counter-agent, for e. g. the client should give a note on the description of the defects, on the level of rights and claims of the third party (Art. 39, 43), a possibility for the seller to eliminate the defect within the fulfillment of the obligations (Art. 37, 48) that may also fully exclude or temporarily limit certain protection means of the client. The given balance of rights and obligations of the parties expresses the idea of cooperation, mutual assistance of the partners within the international sale contract that should be objectively inherent in such relations and meets the good faith principle in the international trade.


"Integration: a United Europe or a Community of Free European Regions?" (Ludmila Khukhlyndina, Dmitry Khodakov)

The article deals with the issues of separatist manifestations in European countries. The world in the epoch of technological civilisation is characterised by two trends: on the one hand, there are globalisation processes caused by the scientific and technological revolution, on the other, there is striving for cultural and national distinction and retaining historic heritage and national and regional identity. The disintegration of the East European countries bloc and the Soviet Union was connected to a large extent with this latter trend. At the same time, this disintegration has demonstrated the necessity of collaboration on a qualitatively new basis. The EU experience proves that strengthening of economic relations (which, indeed, was the beginning of the EU) is impossible without certain political forms. Europe actually is in the most favourable position on the world economic arena now; it has a good chance to become the economic leader of the XXI century.

During the bloc opposition the problems of national minorities, the languages, interconfessional relations and economic separatism remained in the background. There was a necessity for Western countries to stay solidary in the face of the threat from the "totalitarian" East. There was also the US interest in the unity of the NATO countries. The disintegration wave which overwhelmed the East European countries did not seem to reach the prosperous West. At the heyday of nationalism and separatism in the former socialist bloc countries the leaders of Western democracies proclaimed the establishment of the United Europe in 1992.

At the same time, even liberalism in political life and relative economic prosperity is no panacea from the driving force of disintegration — nationalism. The article analyses the manifestations of separatism in European countries. The vulnerable points of the EU are the Basque issue in Spain, the Ulster tangle and the problem of Corsica. Till quite recently the main argument in settling debatable points has been resorting to arms. National liberation movements threaten the unity of such old nation-states as Spain, France and Great Britain.

In a number of countries (Scotland, Wales in Great Britain, Flandres in Belgium and Padania in North Italy) separatist movements ever since their emergence have struggled for their objectives by legitimate means.

The movement for developing a Europe of regions is growing too. Many separatist movements have taken up the doctrine of separation of some states of the Union keeping intact the outer borders of the EU (the Scottish Nationalist Party, the League of North, the Flemish bloc). Uneven economic development of certain regions of Western European countries provides fertile ground for the establishment of the club of prosperous regions who do not want to keep "poor" provinces of their states (Flandres in Belgium, Padania in the North of Italy, Scotland, the Land of Basques in Spain).

There is a persistent trend towards the transition of unitary nation-states to the federative system (Belgium, Great Britain, Spain, Italy). The interest has increased for learning local (regional) languages and dialects, for indigenous culture of separate provinces and regions. The EU has adopted a special Charter on languages according to which the states, signatories to the Charter, must provide for the partial use of "regional" languages in court and administration.

The article stresses that the end of the XX century has seen changes in the social basis and ideology of European separatist movements. In the last century the first wave was initiated by the representatives of literary and artistic circles, ethnographers and linguists. After World War II their ranks have grown through doctors, lawyers, engineers and journalists.

The differences in tactical positions do not prevent separatist parties from defending their strategic interests at the international level.


"Some Aspects of the FRG Foreign Policy at the Contemporary Stage" (Alexandr Sharapo)

The article considers the main aspects of the FRG current foreign policy doctrine aimed at the solution of one of the most important problems — gaining a solid position in the conditions of globalism so as "to withstand successfully the growing global completion in economy and foreign policy".

The author focuses especially on the analysis of the Coalition agreement "Breakthrough and Renovation: the German Way into the XXI Century" which sets forth the priorities of the FRG foreign policy at the present stage, such as: inclusion of Germany into the EU, the EU extention owing to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, implementation of joint foreign policy and security in partnership with the US as the main FRG partner outside Europe, reinforcing of the UN and strengthening of the OSCE, etc. The author comes to the conclusion that the range of the foreign policy problems and issues involves practically the whole world and stresses, that while it is possible to speak about some amendments introduced into the Coalition Agreement, the character of the FRG foreign policy doctrine has not suffered cardinal changes.

Special attention is given to the "Eastern" direction of the FRG foreign policy course. Germany wholeheartedly supports the idea of the Central and Eastern Europe and Baltic countries’ joining the EU and NATO. This direction sees the implementation of the TRANSFORM-konzept, aimed at encouraging democratic and market transformations in these countries; it can be noted that the FRG accounts for 50 per cent of the total financial assistance of the developed Western countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

German-Belarusian relations are also regarded in this context, some difficulties in the relations in the political sphere are pointed out, as well as a more favourable situation emerging in economic relations. The article cites the data on formation of the legal and treaty base of Belarus and Germany, on the activities of Belarusian-German Council of economic cooperation, an example of positive interaction between the enterprises and firms of these two states, which doubtlessly contributes to maintaining the inter-state relations at the mutually advantageous level.

The relevance of the topic is determined by the objective necessity of the study of the main directions in the foreign policy doctrine of the FRG as one of the most important  European partners of the Republic of Belarus at the contemporary stage and as one of the states, playing the major role in settling international problems and having "the image of the promoter of the ideas of democracy and social market economy, the peacemaker and the protector".


"Formation of a Single Political Space of Germany in the early 90s" (Vladislav Froltsov)

This article is devoted to the issues of the formation of the political space of Germany in the early nineties.

German unification is one of the most significant events of modern history. However, the complicated and contradictory situation in Eastern Germany not only introduced a number of essential special features into the process of unification but also predetermined the emergence of some new factors in modern social development of the FRG and caused the beginning of the new political situation, conditioned by the integration of two independent political cultures in the federal democratic state.

Meanwhile the process of the creation of the united political institutions by means of rapid absorption of the political space of Eastern Germany by the West German administrative, public and party structures largely overtook a state-legal preparation for the unification and  influenced to a great extent the emergence of external factors objectively promoting the creation of the single country.

The German scheme of the rapid interstate integration, considered by many observers as flawless, since then has indicated the existence of a number of substantial contradictions which are the preconditions for the emergence of absolutely new public situation in Eastern Germany and for further changes in the internal and external politics of the FRG.


"Belarusian-German Cooperation in the 1990s in Alleviating the Consequences of the Chernobyl Disaster" (Andrey Rusakovich)

The article explores the main directions of Belarusian-German cooperation in alleviating the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. The policy and approaches of Belarus and German authorities in cooperation on minimising the nuclear disaster consequences are characterised, the legal treaty base is described, in particular, the main agreement between the governments in this sphere: the Memorandum on Mutual Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of the Federative Republic of Germany on promoting cooperation to alleviate the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident (the Chernobyl aid).

Summing up vast factual data, the author described the main directions along which Belarus and Germany cooperated in the 1990s: carrying out joint research of the accident consequences, organising the treatment of the illnesses caused by radioactive effects, delivery of medical equipment and drugs, assistance in training and retraining health care specialists, rehabilitating of the children from the contaminated areas, rendering humanitarian aid to those who suffered from the disaster, etc. The problems which arose in the course of cooperation are also analyzed.

The assistance rendered by Germany in overcoming the consequences of the catastrophe was of great importance for the people of Belarus. With the help of the German side Belarus managed more effective work in alleviating the disaster consequences. Over 40 % of all humanitarian foreign aid came from Germany in the post-disaster years. Belarusian-German cooperation in overcoming the disaster consequences, the activity of German and Belarusian public and charityorganisations and individuals and humanitarian contacts have become an important contribution to the reconciliation process and understanding build-up of the two nations. This cooperation was also important for the development of German-Belarusian relations in the 1990s. Alongside with great political and economic changes in Europe in the 90s, overcoming the Chernobyl disaster was an opportunity for Belarus and Germany to develop joint action. Humanitarian aid and help to the victims in many cases laid the foundation for the development of political, economic, social and cultural links between the two countries. Belarusian-German cooperation in overcoming the Chernobyl disaster consequences is a vivid example of the emergence and realisation of new forms of international cooperatrion.


"The Current State of the Northern Ireland Conflict (1997—1999)" (Pavel Potapeyko)

The sharp escalation of the Northern Ireland conflict beginning with the spring of 1996 as well as the attempts of its settlement attract close attention of the world community. Possible ways out of the conflict formed over the centuries have been searched for nearly thirty years, and not by the United Kingdom only but also by Ireland, the United States, the European Union, the UN and the world community in general.

It must also be noted that the reconciliatory tendency in the relations between the Catholic minority (40 % of population of the province in 1996) and the Protestant majority (respectively, 50 %) communities in Northern Ireland has just emerged and is very fragile. This struggle is a tangled skein of controversial factors and trends covering all spheres of life in Ulster.

With all its peculiarities this conflict has substantially forestalled the post-Cold War conflicts highlighting a number of their typical features. First of all, there is the religious shape of confrontation between otherwise fairly close communities. This reminds of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia where confrontation has also been (and still is) confessional on the surface. We can also consider such features as the protracted character of the conflict, its internationalization (by involvement of world community and non-regional nations such as the USA, for example) and, what is extremely important, the leading role of terror in the situation. It is terrorism that plays the increasingly important part in ethnic, religious and other conflicts of recent years. However, in Ulster it became the most typical feature of the situation as far back as 30 years ago.

The analysis of the demands and interests of different political groups shows that the religious cover of confrontation, seemingly so important, has the real aim of camouflaging social and economic core of the conflict while remaining an important factor in itself. The cautious position of the Roman Catholic church, which, on one hand, doubtlessly supports the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland but, on the other hand, abstains from approving of the radicals and confronting with the United Kingdom is connected with that as well.

1997 was in certain aspects the turning point in the approach of the British government to the problem. The Blair cabinet which won the office under the slogan of changes chose this line in its Ulster policy as well. Anyway, after the victory of the Labour Party the public began to hope that the new government was able to negotiate the peace agreement with the IRA (which, taken alone, would not eradicate roots of the problem however).

The turn towards compomise in the 1990s does not mean rapid and substantial changes, nor the fast dispatch of the problem. Its roots are too deep and its existence is too beneficial for radical groups dominating in both communities evennow. But nevertheless, a number of characteristic elements appeared as a result of the break between the government and Protestant radicals — in particular, general economic improvement in Northern Ireland, growing condemnation of terrorism both in Ulster and in Great Britain, pragmatic realization of the benefits from peace which seems to be more and more real — give evidence that the compromise is possible in principle.

The Stormont Agreement of April 10, 1998, is not, however, a solid peace guarantee for Northern Ireland, let alone the end of confrontation of the communities with its deep and complicated reasons. Even if the steps drawn in the Agreement are put into practice, there will be no guarantee that it would satisfy the extremists from both communities, especially small groups which are not bound by the Agreement and are not going to lay down arms. Ulster needs clear guarantees that any discrimination will not be tolerated, a mechanism of their implementation and visible improvement of economical situation in Northern Ireland. Only then the reasons for the conflict will be eliminated.

Nevertheless the Agreement of April 10, 1998, is an important step forward. It demonstrates the possibility of mutually acceptable solutions and proves that only the road of compromise and only the end of violence, only the ability to hear each other can lead to positive results.


"New Paradigm of the UNHCR Activities and Issues of Organising the Self-Administration in Refugees’ Communities" (Andrey Goiko)

The author analyses main regulations of the UNHCR new paradigm which is called proactive, holistic and oriented towards refugees’ native countries.

The following factors have influenced the reevalution process and revision of the traditional approach:

— industrial states that donate the major part of financial aid to refugees have become more deeply concerned;

— the concept of security itself has changed. Today it includes a wider range of issues: environmental pollution, natural resources exhaustion, rapid population growth, weapons proliferation, drug addiction, organized crime, international terrorism, human rights violation, unemployment, poverty and massive migration flows.

Besides, states began to devote more attention to be "connecting links" between different constituents of the security issue recognizing the necessity of holistic approach to it. The new attitude to the idea of state sovereignty manifested itself in increased attention of the world community to human rights observance and readiness to monitor closely how governments treat their citizens including displaced people within their country. At the same time, the human rights issue is being directly connected with regional and global security.

The key element of the new paradigm is a conception of the responsibility of the state. It means that governments should not only be responsible for the actions that force people to seek asylum in other countries but also create conditions encouraging their returning home.

The new approach is expressed in the following forms.

Firstly, the new paradigm pays attention to the right to repatriate home and new notions — "a right of not to be displaced". These principles require the governments and humanitarian organizations to undertake active measures to prevent, limit and "turn back" the refugees’ flow.

Secondly, in accordance with the principle of states responsibility, the key role in the solution of the refugees’ issue should be taken by the country of origin.

Thirdly, the UNHCR and its partners are extending the range of activities in the countries of origin.

The author pays special attention to the 1997 Amsterdam Treaty on the European Union that became a turning point in the refugees’ protection issue. Its realization will create a real opportunity to find a reasonable balance between the lawful interests of states and refugees. The judicial measures in the spheres of harmonization of social aid to the people that seek asylum and of temporary protection to refugees should be especially stressed. Cultural, historical and language peculiarities also play an important role in the treaty.

The author believes that the most productive form of activities that allows to solve the issues above is stimulation of organising self-administration in the refugees’ community.

This programme can be implemented in three stages:

1) refugees’ rehabilitation and adaptation period;

2) formation of basic units of self-administration structure;

3) social and legal provision of the community activities.

Further on the author proceeds to review each stage.

Adaptation is usually regarded as a process of the interrelation of an individual or a group of individuals with social environment during which the refugee adapts to the norms and values dominating in his/her new society. During this process, it is important not only to evaluate the level of readiness of an individual to the adaptation process but also to trace the development in its dynamics. A special socio-psychological study should be carried out for the successful realization of this objective. The following points are cleared up during the study: the most probable routes of refugee migration, causes of departure from the country, legality of displacement, the existence of persecution, list of organizations to which refugees appealed for assistance, presence of relatives in the country of asylum, in their country and abroad; religious confession, the level of observation of cultural tradition; health condition and quality of food, clothes and footwear.

The author gives an example of the results of social psychological study carried out with Afghan refugees in 1998—1999.

This information allows to evaluate initial adaptation conditions and recurrent studies show general dynamics of the whole process. There also appears a possibility to connect the aid projects, to increase mutual trust and informal relations between the people involved in the project and the refugees. The second step is connected with the formation of structural divisions necessary for organising self-administration of the refugees’ community.

The experience of European countries, Germany in particular, showed that the process of world outlook transformation goes at various speed in different families of refugees depending on their age and the length of residence in the country. As a rule, young people have no such emotions and attachment to the places of their childhood that their parents have and they develop the stereotype of rejecting their parents’ values. In fact, they find themselves at the meeting point of cultures. Children in the second and third generation experience even more complex processes. Therefore, working with refugees one should take into consideration not only the age of the individual but also the level of his/her attachment to the traditional world outlook. The form and the content of activities direction should correspond strictly to the group interest.

Refugees’ adaptation to new conditions in determined as a rule by contacts with local population.

Firstly, contacts in production play an important role; secondly, contacts at the place of residence; and, at last, those at leisure organization are also essential. Working parents and schoolchildren have greater adaptation ability. Unemployed refugee women are in the hardest situation. In fact, study and work are the most effective ways of adaptation to new conditions of life.

The most important connecting link between all community members is the native language, Therefore, the second step of self-administration organization of refugees’ community presupposes such effective direction as educational programmes. They are implemented as a complex of measures aimed at the study of the language, history, culture, ethnography and religion of the native land. It would help the community to form traditional cultural sphere in future that would encourage repatriation. As soon as the refugee leaves his/her flat, he/she hears another language and faces a different society. Certainly, educational programmes should also include the study of the language and customs of the country of residence.

Working with refugees, one should bear in mind that children are the most dependent and vulnerable group that requires special attention and assistance. Therefore, educational programmes aimed at getting the necessary knowledge in the sphere of refugees’ human rights are essential. This knowledge will become the legal base of self-administration of the future community.

Routine community life is darkened by acute shortage of information about the events taking place in their motherland. As a rule, information ties within the community are also weak. The intensive use of information technologies, periodicals, radio and television with the participation of refugees will contribute to the organization process of the community self-administration.

The third step is directly connected with the beginning of the community self-administration programmes. Fruitful results of most supporting programmes are determined by the interrelation level with local authorities. Activities correlation between different structures that are directly or indirectly connected with refugees’ issues on international, national and regional levels is very important. The life of a community as a independent formation is determined by its leaders. Communication with the locals depends greatly on them. Their educational level and experience determine to a great extent the transformation process of phobias that are caused by the differences in socio-cultural spaces into a positive interrelation model. The process of leadership formation in the community should be controlled, as many examples are known of involvement of refugees into crime such as drug trafficking, human trade or terrorism.


"Information Activity of the United Nations Office in the Republic of Belarus: Forms and Directions" (Andrey Selivanov)

The Department of Public Information (DPI) was created by the General Assembly Resolution 13(I) of 13 February 1946. Information centres and services (as structural subdivisions of DPI) were first established at the Offices in countries. The first 10 Centres were created in 1946—1948 in Washington, Copenhagen, Deli, London, Paris, Geneva, Rio-de-Janeiro, Mexico, Prague and Moscow. There were 69 Offices in the network of UN Information Centres in 1998: 24 — in Africa, 13 — in America, 17 — in Asia and Oceania and 15 — in Europe. Besides, UN Offices in 8 countries have information services integrated in their structures.

The UN Information Centre in Moscow, created in 1948, was the only information agency in the former Soviet Union. Byelorussia was in the sphere of the Centre’s activity till 1992. Starting September 1992 the information service (DPI structure) began its work in the UN Office in Belarus. This service coordinates information activities within the UN agencies in the Republic. In addition, the UN agencies (e. g. UNDP, UNICEF) prepare and spread information about their activity.

There are some major directions in the information activity of the UN Office in Belarus: cooperation with the mass-media; publishing activity; public campaigns; activities in educational sphere.

1. Cooperation with mass-media

 The UN Office in the Republic of Belarus grants great attention to cooperarion with the mass-media. The Office invites representatives of Belarusian mass-media to participate in press-conferences, presentations (e. g. Belarusian National Human Development Report), meetings with the Office’s staff etc. The mass-media regularly publish interviews with the UN Representative-Coordinator in Belarus. Newspapers devoted articles to the visits of the UN Secretaty-General B. Ghali, Under-Secretaries-General J. Eliasson, P. Hansen, S. de Mello, Regional Director of UNDP/Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS A. Kruiderink.

Information service circulates messages of the Secretary-General, which are fully or partially brought to the attention of the general public. The mass-media give a wide coverage to the UN Dates and Events.

The UN Office actively cooperates with the Belarusian radio stations and television. Jointly they produce programs about the United Nations, the projects of Organisation, the problems, which it helps to solve worldwide and in Belarus.

2. Publishing activity

A great part of the big work of the Office and its information service is publishing activity.

From the moment of creation the Office regularly issues the UN Bulletin. Together with the Bulletin information the service publishes weekly digests, the bulletins "Weekahead at the United Nations" and "Weekahead at the UN System in Belarus", which announce the planned events of the UN on the whole and the UN agencies in Belarus.

The United Nations Office in Belarus publishes National Human Development Reports, human rights publications, other statistical and popular editions and provides financial support in publishing books.

Some publications were highly appreciated in the National Contests «Book Art» and were awarded with the first and second diplomas.

3. Public campaigns

Drawing the attention of Belarusian public to the world’s problems and the internal problems of the Republic, which are the target of the United Nations activities, is the aim of the public campaigns of the UN Office in Belarus.

Constitutions on human rights, cooperation with the libraries, exhibitions, sociological research studies are some of the activities in this sphere.

4. Activities in educational sphere

The United Nations Office in Belarus gives special importance to the educational issues on human rights. Representatives of the UN agencies lecture to the students of the Belarusian State University and other institutions. Thus, BSU is the main university — partner of the UN Office. These activities are but a small part of educational activity.

Therefore, the analysis of major events allows to draw a conclusion that information activities of the UN system in the Republic of Belarus give the opportunity to the public to get involved in various actions, to expand their knowledge on the United Nations and the most important problems that are solved by the Organisation. The UN conducts wide activities in the Republic Belarus. The analysis of the activities shows, that the Organisation helps our state to successfully solve different internal problems and more actively integrate into the world community.


"On the Economic Union of New Independent States: Prerequisites and Prospects of Establishing" (Nikolay Shumsky)

The article considers the formation of the legal basis for economic cooperation of new post-soviet states in the conditions of their state sovereignty emergence and the attempts to implement the market changes of their economy and society.

The paper analyses in detail the Treaty on the Economic Union signed by the CIS countries, its objectives and tasks and also the planned implementation stages towards establishing a free trade zone and a customs and payments unions.

The prospects of economic integration of the CIS member states on the market basis are discussed as well as the factors and circumstances affecting the dynamics of these processes.

On the basis of the analysis of social and economic problems and the experience of the relations of the states within the framework of the CIS the author draws conclusions and makes suggestions on developing economic cooperation of the CIS countries.


"The Consequences of the Euro Introduction for Russia and the Republic of Belarus" (Maxim Kapustin)

Russia

The EU is the main trade partner of Russia, accounting for 40 % of Russian external trade and foreign investments and even bigger part of its external debts. In this connection the introduction of the euro directly influences Russian economic interests, at least, in six main directions.

1. The euro redenomination of all Russian external assets and liabilities given in western European currencies, including external state debt, other liabilities guaranteed by the state, the property, the stock capital of Russian (joint) enterprises and also other securities, deposits, other instruments that are the property of Russian legal entities and individuals functioning in the euro zone has already taken start.

2. The revision of contractual currency conditions between Russia and euro zone countries is imminent. Till now their major part has been signed in dollars, especially in raw materials delivery.

3. The conversion of all assets and liabilities in the hard currencies present in Russia into the euro lies ahead, most of them being international partners investments into joint ventures, foreign securities in Russian financial circulation, deposits etc.

4. Obviously, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation will have to adjust its currency reserves basket in these conditions. It will also have to decide whether the euro would take only the sum total part of the currencies to be substituted or the main part. The Government of Russia will also have to solve the issue of admitting the euro to the internal currency market and the conditions of such admission.

5. Saving on gold and currency reserves of ECS can lead to partial gold sale by the central banks of the EMU countries that can drag the gold market price down. Consequently, the possibilities of such sale should be carefully monitored with the aim to optimize the price conditions of gold sales for Russia.

6. Since the special feature of Russia lies in the possession of big sums of foreign currencies by population to be substituted by the euro, their stock-jobbing exchange can be expected and so can the arbitrariness of banks to follow. In order to avoid it one should order in advance in ECB the sum in the euro banknotes necessary for the exchange.

The euro could play another role for Russia: to become its instrument of de-dollarization of Russian economy if everything is done professionally.

On April 21, 1998 the EU Commission prepared for the first session of the Cooperation committee "Russia — the EU" a special analytical document "The Document of General Directorate II of the EU Commission" that contains some suggestions concerning the degree to which Russian authorities could consider the adjustment of dollar as a money equivalent in the Russian economy towards a more balanced approach that could imply tying the Russian rouble to the currency basket with the euro leading role.

Dollarization of Russia came to be historically since up to 2/3 of its external debt and transfers one estimated in dollars; the dollar market is the most capacious for private borrowing; contracts on raw materials export are mainly made in dollars.

From the very beginning such dollarization came into contradiction not only with national interests, but also with the nature of external economic relations of the country; now it contradicts also the leading trends of the world’s currency situation. The dollar is gradually abandoned in the world and its hypertrophy in the world currency system leads to instability for its holders, since:

— the share of the dollar in servicing 43 % of the world economy turnover does not correspond at all to the real share of the USA in GDP (20 %) and the world trade turnover (15 %). This is why it is steadily decreasing for objective reasons.

— the US share in the external trade of Russia does not exceed 5 %, which means that the rouble is tied up for its two thirds to the economically most distant currency and to the economy of the country with which the economy of Russia has only minimal connections. This contradicts the economic criteria of voluntary joining a currency zone by any country and makes dollarization rather a psychological than an economically justified phenomenon, i. e. objectively puts the formation of the rouble exchange rate on the basis not of real economic comparisons but of speculative expectations.

As a result, the rouble repeatedly turned out to be undervalued in respect to the dollar, even when there was no crisis, which led to the loss of a portion of the national wealth of Russia during the commodity exchange and to the depreciation of the real value of its assets acquired by foreign investors through capital investments in its economy and through privatization. This way, non-residents’ incomes in purchasing Russian short-dated public bonds turned out to be much higher than the treasury notes of other states.

According to the experts estimates, the new currency — the euro — brings to nought some formerly unique advantages of the dollar, namely:

1) many European traders turn to the euro as a currency of contracts even in trading raw materials to save on overhead expenses and currency risks;

2) the integrated capital market that substituted previously disintegrated small markets of the states of the euro zone will eventually become more capacious and liquid than the American market;

3) the countries of the euro zone make up a 30 % vote bloc within the IMF against 18 % of the USA; it is important, considering the specific relations between the IMF and Russia.

The Republic of Belarus

There is every reason to believe that the influence of the euro on the financial sector of the CIS member-states will be significant and diversified. This problem must be attended to both on macro- and microeconomic levels. On the west from Belarus a single currency zone is rapidly being formed whose potential is not lower than that of the American one. In future, both the state and commercial banks will have the opportunity to borrow foreign capital on more profitable conditions and domestic investors will have a wider array of instruments for placing their finances. On the other hand, the issue of the impact of the dollar probable devaluation on the Belarusian economy after the adoption of the euro will require special consideration due to strong connection of the monetary stock in Belarus to the US dollar.

Subjects of Economy

Despite the fact that the share of Western European currencies in external trade contracts signed by our subjects of economy generally does not exceed 10 %, the transition to the euro will affect the interests of many Belarusian enterprises, mostly exporters.

The process of conversion itself of the national currencies into the euro will not create big problems: certain changes in payments with their partners from the EU, the accounts due and payable in Western banks will be calculated in the euro. However, other issues may arise, first of all of legal nature, for e. g. concerning the contracts signed with European partners. In this case, the principle of liabilities’ succession will operate; but it is necessary to use the formulations that clearly regulate transition to the euro today already. The fundamental law called upon to settle these issues is Article 3 "The EU regulations on the adoption of the euro". It defines the following basis for prolongation of long-term contracts:

— automatic conversion of national currencies into the euro during the prolongation of the long-term contracts concerning deliveries of products (operations, services);

— the key clauses of contracts remain unchanged;

— transition to the single European currency is not a condition for the contract annulment.

It should be noted that this article has a declarative nature and does not contain the mechanism of solution of the problems given above.

In any case, Belarusian enterprises will have to check all their contracts that indicate foreign currency.

Banking system

In particular, the National Bank will need to settle the following issues:

— the definition of the mechanism of the euro right of entry  to the quotation in domestic currency and fund markets of the Republic of Belarus;

— the analysis of the future policy of the euro as a currency of external borrowing;

— the place of the euro in the system of international payments of the country and in the structure of national currency reserves in particular;

— certain regulations  for the subjects of economy concerning the euro use in private commercial practice;

— the exchange of some part of foreign currency cash circulating in the country into the euro (a system of effective protection of its legal holders both from unnecessary rush, because there exists a possibility of escaping from Western European money, and from possible voluntarism of certain commercial banks during this exchange);

— the establishment of direct contacts with the ECB and EUCB.

The introduction of a single currency in Europe will lead to serious changes in the system of international trade payments, correspondent relations and currency trade. The forthcoming rise of competition at the European market of financial services already forces the banks of Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria and some other countries of the EU to join actively in the struggle for customers in the CIS countries. On the other hand, Belarusian banks should think in advance who will be their strategic partner in the EMU countries. The earlier such negotiations take place, the higher is the possibility of more favourable conditions of cooperation.

The euro has already started its clearing circulation, therefore every Belarusian bank must already choose its European partner bank where it can open its correspondent account in the euro.


"Entrepreneurship Aims in Eastern Europe" (Pavel Shipuk)

The article analyses the motives for the foreign capital presence in the countries of Eastern Europe and outlines typical strategies of internationalisation and forms of foreign business activities depending on the degree of the domestic market openness of East European countries.


"The Prospects of State Administration Institutions Development" (Igor Filkevich)

The article concentrates on the research of the strategy of reforming the system of Government regulation and supervision of international economic activities. The author gives the background and the program of reorganisation of the existing system which has been proven not efficient enough in supporting the national economy in the sphere of international economic relations. As a significant part of restructuring the author proposes and proves the necessity of establishing of the Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade and Ministry of Integration.


"The Methodological Principles of Developing the Integrated Model of FDI as a Form of Foreign Business Activity of a Firm" (Pavel Trapeznikov)

The object of the study is the FDI process that reveals itself in a variety of different types. The subject of the study is the combination of social and economic relations in FDI realisation that is reflected in the system of microeconomic, macroeconomic, international, empirical and behavioural hypotheses of modern economics. The goal of this study is to develop the conceptual integrated model of FDI on the basis of comparative analysis of modern theories of FDI and application of methodological principles and approaches of foreign and domestic economic theory. This model should facilitate the formation of reliable scientific knowledge of social and economic phenomenon defined as foreign direct investment.

The methodological principles are as follows: dialectic method, the general scientific principles of the unity of historical and logical, the method of scientific abstraction, analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction, the method of comparative economics, mathematical economics, system analysis, modelling, case study, the principle of verification and falsification.

The study proves that FDI process, as an integrated and multifaceted phenomenon, is to be defined by the system of interconnected micro- and macroeconomic categories; it substantiates succession and genesis of FDI theories; and determines, that the study of FDI process is impossible through its simplification to a single-level system of hypothesis; it defines and substantiates the conceptual integrated multifaceted model of FDI.

 
 
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