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Belarusian People's Congress opens in Minsk

MINSK (BelTA) - The 5th Belarusian People's Congress opens in the Palace of Republic in Minsk on 22 June, BelTA has learned.

Delegates to the national forum will review the social and economic development of Belarus in 2011-2015 and the main points of the draft social and economic development program for 2016-2020. The main objective of the current five-year plan is to improve the quality of life of people through increased economic competitiveness, investments and innovations. In order to achieve the goals the country's development will be based on such priorities as investment, employment, exports, information technology, and youth.

Some 2,500 delegates will attend the event. The forum will bring together representatives of all sectors of the society: blue-collar and rural workers, representatives of the social and cultural sector and mass media, military, entrepreneurs, students, pensioners. Among the delegates to the forum will also be heads of government bodies, companies and organizations, MPs and deputies of local councils, representatives of political parties and public associations.

The Belarusian People's Congress will be attended by about 150 guests, including 100 from abroad.

A total of 2,105 delegates have a university degree. Of them 96 have academic titles. The rest are with a diploma of secondary and vocational education.

State awards have been bestowed upon 569 people, or 22.8% of the delegates. Eight delegates are Heroes of the Soviet Union and Socialist Labor. Two Heroes of Belarus will attend the meeting. 135 more delegates hold titles of honor.

About one third of the participants of the Belarusian People's Congress, i.e. 33.1%, are women. Young people under 31 account for 8% of the total number of the delegates. Delegates aged 31-40 make up 14.8%. The biggest number of the participants of the Congress is people aged 41-50 and 51-60 – 31.1% and 33.9% respectively. Delegates over 60 years old account for 12.2% of the total number.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko will deliver a keynote address on 22 June. The head of state will speak about the results and prospects of social and economic development of the country at the present stage, will outline the problems and suggest solutions. The Belarusian leader will also touch upon the country's foreign policy, the ways of building mutually beneficial partnership relations with different countries and integration unions, with a focus on trade and economic cooperation. It is expected that Alexander Lukashenko will take part in the Belarusian People's Congress on 23 June as well. The President will make concluding remarks at the closing of the forum.

The opening ceremony of the Belarusian People's Congress and the President's speech will be broadcast live by the Belarusian TV channels and the First National Channel of the Belarusian Radio on 22 June. The event will start at 12h00 local time. The concluding remarks of the Belarusian leader at the closing ceremony of the forum will also be aired live from 12h00 to 13h00 on 23 June. Televised versions of the President's speech and the highlights of the 5th Belarusian People's Congress will be broadcast by Belarusian TV channels at 21h00 on 22 and 23 June.