Left-wing groups set to hold social forum in Minsk this month

Left-wing pro-democratic forces will hold a social forum in Minsk this month, Valery Ukhnalyow, deputy chairman of the Spravedlivy Mir (Just World) Belarusian Party of the Left, told BelaPAN on Monday.

Participants at the Forum of Left-Wing Pro-democratic Forces for Social Progress will discuss the social policy visions of left-wing political parties and civil society organizations and ways of solving the most pressing social problems for the Belarusians, Mr. Ukhnalyow said.

He said that the date and the venue of the forum would be announced later, after all “organizations issues” were settled.

Mr. Ukhnalyow stressed that plans for the 2015 presidential election would not be under discussion. “We’ll only talk about social issues,” he stressed. “This is a matter of principle for the organizers.”

The First Social Forum was held in Minsk in the summer of 2000. The other two forums took place in Mahilyow. The key purpose of the Third Social Forum, held in March 2009, was to persuade the authorities to begin a dialogue with local NGOs that deal with social matters. The Fourth Social Forum took place in Mahilyow in June 2010 and focused on reform of the public health sector.