Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly01.10.2021 г.
BY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS
76TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
September 27, 2021
Ladies and gentlemen,
Exactly two decades ago the United Nations and its Leader would receive the Nobel Peace Prize. At the reception ceremony the former Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that “We are entering the third millennium through gates of fire”.
Unfortunately, the fire has not been put out fully.
We have already for several decades now seen protracted and unprecedented level of global turbulence and unpredictability.
This is a logical outcome of the fact that our planet has been functioning outside the system and obligations outlined in the universal principles of international law and the UN Charter.
Today the world is being governed by economic egotism, political ambitions, blackmail, imperial habits, crises, conflicts and orchestrated chaos.
The continuous attempts of certain countries to impose artificial templates of social and economic development on sovereign states, barbarous policy of sanctions against undesirable governments, economic terrorism and return of the world to the elements of bloc confrontation – this all has very little in common with the just and harmonious world order that we all have been striving to build for several decades. This is a clear sign of an obsessive, abnormal desire to stoke confrontation spots around the world.
The blatant interference by the political players – self-proclaimed oracles – in internal affairs of other sovereign states has become a norm in international coexistence of nations.
Negative trend in global security has been consistently growing including through hybrid wars, malicious and criminal use of modern information technologies, which fuel extremism and terrorism, as well as fake news. Today with the help of electronic gadgets you can undermine the domestic peace and harmony in any state and also remove its leadership from power.
Moreover, for more than a year and a half, the world has been held hostage by the COVID-19 pandemic. It claimed the lives of millions of people, led to irreversible social and economic losses, and exposed many negative global processes.
We fully support the ongoing process of strengthening the World Health Organization in response to health emergencies.
At the same time, we note the absolute importance of preventing the politicization of this topic, including the study of the causes of the origin of the coronavirus.
Over the past years, Belarus has been constantly focusing the attention of the world community on the need for a new global dialogue on security. This question is not only ripe, it is already overripe!
This format of communication is designed to solve the main thing — to create a new effectively functioning, truly fair international order.
We call on the great powers to start such a dialogue, to realize their responsibility for the fate of the planet and to fulfill the civilizational mission entrusted to them.
It is also important to think about the economic component of the new order.
Unfortunately, economic globalization is not working in the best interests of all people on the planet. In this regard, we see a huge potential of regional integration processes for the global economy. We call this approach “integration of integrations”.
In May this year, Belarus, in partnership with Barbados and UNCTAD, held a high-level online meeting on the use of interregional integration in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The leaders of the main regional economic organizations strongly supported the idea of strengthening such interregional cooperation.
2021 is marked by an important date in the history of Belarus and fraternal states — the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. The atrocities of the Nazis led to the death of millions of people around the world. During the wartime, a third of the population of Belarus died in the struggle against the fascist invaders and their accomplices, who committed genocide against our people.
Unfortunately, today we are witnessing dangerous tendencies to give distorted moral and legal assessments of the outcome of the Second World War, to equalize the rights of victims and executioners, liberators and aggressors, and to question the decisions of the Nuremberg Tribunal.
We have consistently and firmly stood against any attempt to whitewash the Nazis and justify their heinous crimes. That is why this year Belarus adopted a new law that criminalizes the rehabilitation of Nazism. A criminal case on the facts of the genocide of the Belarusian people during the Great Patriotic War was opened as well.
As a founding country of the United Nations, Belarus will seek to resolve this issue in the international arena in order to recall the basic principles of the establishment of our Organization.
By the way, some criminals — those who committed atrocities against the Belarusian people, and whose hands are in the blood, — still live quietly in some neighboring countries. Moreover, they are honored as heroes there.
Despite the annual universal calls within these walls for strengthening security, multilateralism, solidarity and mutual assistance, the world today has reached the highest degree of confrontation.
Not by its own will Belarus was also involved into the abyss of this geopolitical war.
For more than a year, our country has continued to be the target of warlike pressure from the collective West. And all this is only because Belarus failed to implement the scenario of another polished to perfection color revolution, timed to the presidential election. Today a large-scale hybrid war has been launched against Belarus in all directions.
The sophistication of the authors in inventing beautiful but hypocritical epithets to justify their destructive actions is surprising — these are measures of support for democracy, sectoral restrictions or promoting the well-being of the people and sovereignty of the state.
However, their essence is obvious: the West still cannot accept the choice of the majority of Belarusians, because this choice of Belarusian voters upset the plans of individual strategists. The blitzkrieg on the change of power in Belarus did not work. Moreover, the West very quickly lost the street with its outside-organized protest sentiments. The calculation was not justified. Belarus continues to develop consistently and successfully and to follow its own chosen path.
Today, the Belarusian people are united in choosing a strategic course towards building a strong, sovereign and prosperous state. This is the objective of the inclusive constitutional reform, which is being completed in Belarus and involves all segments of the country's population.
In order to further demonize Belarus, present it as a source of tension in the region and justify its destructive actions against our state, the West has fabricated a conflict with refugees on the western borders of Belarus, forgetting about their own international obligations both with regards to our country and with regards to countries of origin of the refugees.
Today, millions of refugees are trying to get from all over the world to well-fed Europe in order to escape hunger and disasters created by the same Europe and the West as a whole in certain countries and regions.
But, as it turned out, no one is waiting for them in Europe. It has already reached the point that refugees in neighboring Poland, the Baltic states, are not only deliberately beaten up, but killed, and then their corps are secretly dragged across the border to Belarusian territory at night. These are no longer isolated cases, but have become the norm of behavior for our western neighbors.
Isn’t it the height of cynicism and blasphemy from the side of human rights protectors who consider themselves to be at a higher level of civilization and try to teach others how they should live!
The issue of refugees is indeed becoming more and more relevant again and this time due to the irresponsible policy of the collective West itself. Afghanistan is a clear confirmation of this.
And in this context, it is not worth shifting responsibility with a sick head on healthy, accusing Belarus of waging a hybrid war against the European Union, as the leaders of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and some other countries lied about it from this high rostrum. It is clear to anyone: 10-million Belarus objectively could not wage not only a “hybrid war”, but it could not wage any kind of war with the 500-million EU, even if we had the muscles of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Since April this year, we have been proposing to the European Union to hold consultations on the issue of illegal migration, but there has been no reaction. Moreover, in contravention of previously concluded agreements, the European Union stopped its funding of all projects related to the fight against illegal migration. If your invitation for a dialogue is responded by the construction of an “iron curtain” from barbed wire, then it is clear that all the blame should fall on these disastrous builders.
We have always practiced and will continue to practice the policy of good neighborliness, which is based on the simple wisdom: “Neighbors are given to us from God!”.
Belarus has always been and remains committed to mutually beneficial cooperation with all states – even with those with whom we have strong disagreements. However, we will build our relations on the principles of respect and equality, without blackmail and preconditions.
Belarus has always been at the forefront of efforts to combat human trafficking, both nationally and internationally. This year Belarus will initiate in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly in broad co-sponsorship with like-minded states the traditional resolution “Improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons”. This resolution is the key element in a wide spectrum of collective international efforts to promote world stability.
We call on the states to co-sponsor the Belarusian resolution and support its adoption. We welcome the holding of a high-level meeting at the UN in November this year on the topic of combating trafficking in persons.
Ladies and gentlemen!
One cannot ignore another topic that has already set the teeth on edge because of the speculations around it – the topic of human rights. It would seem to be a positive agenda for everyone. But today human rights issues are not just a dangerous toy in the hands of inept and short-sighted politicians, it has become a real weapon against unwanted and disobedient countries. Democracy, cut out to the patterns of the collective West, imposed off the mark in various countries of the world, did not benefit anyone, but, on the contrary, disseminates chaos and instability.
The already mentioned Afghanistan is a fresh example of such thoughtless policy on the part of several so-called “strongholds of democracy”, but the consequences of this policy today fall on the shoulders of the entire world community. Even a democrat like French President Emmanuel Macron had to admit just last month that it is impossible to impose democracy from the outside, including with the help of weapons.
The attempts of individual, as they are often referred to, developed countries to monopolize the right of authorship on democracy, arbitrarily determine the degree of democracy of other countries and, depending on this, to put offensive labels on sovereign states are frankly reminiscent of the methods of the Nazis, who also divided the world into those who should rule, and those who should be slaves.
Unilateral restrictive measures continue to be another favorite technique of Western states. Without delving into the essence of the processes taking place in this or that country, irresponsible politicians, due, probably, to a lack of imagination, automatically grab the sharpened axe of sanctions, which is always at the ready, if they do not like something.
The harmfulness of such a policy has been known for a long time: the use of unilateral restrictions grossly violates international law and causes irreparable harm to the entire system of international relations, increases the potential for conflict and hostility in interstate relations.
Belarus expresses solidarity with other countries that have been oppressed by the sanctions policy. We support the brotherly people of Cuba, who have been in an unjust economic blockade for so many years by the voluntarist will of one state.
It is quite obvious that ordinary citizens become the main victims of unilateral sanctions measures.
Restrictions in the field of trade, currency, banking and transport sectors negatively affect the well-being of people, negatively affect the development of private initiative, reduce educational opportunities, and pose a threat to food security.
Unilateral sectoral sanctions against the largest exporting states of vital raw materials used in agriculture, including potash fertilizers, not only create a shortage of these valuable products in the world market, significantly inflating prices, but also pose a direct threat to ordinary people in vulnerable countries, primarily in the regions of Africa, Asia and other parts of the world. It was enough just to listen to the representatives of countries of all continents who delivered statements these days in the General Assembly Hall.
Already today about one billion people are starving in the world, and because of the shortsightedness of a handful of states that apply unilateral economic restrictions against entire sectors of the economy engaged in food, many hundreds of millions of people may still be left without food.
The practice of arbitrary financial and economic sanctions as an instrument of political pressure must be eradicated forever. And this should also be one of the areas of UN activity.
The United Nations has a key role to play in addressing the challenges and threats that we all face.
At the same time, the real concern is that the UN often becomes a “theater stage” for the performance of individual states, rather than a platform for joint action.
The UN is heading further on commercializing its agenda and becoming more and more semblance of Western politics. The UN is thinking more and more like the West trampling on the important principles of solidarity and multilateralism.
In the context of the UN slogan “leave no one behind” Belarus believes it is vital to preserve consensus and to take into account views of every state.
I would also like to note another worrying trend. Recently, under the noble pretext of increasing the effectiveness of the work of the UN General Assembly, we can see the destructive actions of some states focused on arbitrary interpretation and review of the work and established practices of this body.
The deliberate work on the so-called “advancement of the voices of civil society” in the General Assembly is not an exception. We consider these actions as an attempt to give non-governmental organizations (which, by the way, were created and supported by some interested countries) a status that is identical to sovereign UN Member States.
This is categorically unacceptable. I would like to recall the existence of the key principle of the UN work: “One state — one vote.”
We also oppose to the erosion of the sovereignty of the UN Member States and the creation of puppet participants in the form of non-governmental organizations that will be able to drown the views of independent states. The uncontrolled flooding of the UN system with the opinion of NGOs will not only prevent their voices from being taken into account or even heard, but will also make it harder to achieve consensus, which has already become harder and harder in the General Assembly with every passing year. The participation of civil society in the work of the UN should be based on already existing procedures.
In one of his statements, Martin Luther King pointed out an important wisdom that is relevant today more than ever: We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
Today, the world needs solidarity more than ever before as well as mutual assistance and mobilization of collective efforts to overcome all these disagreements.
In order not to be fools and not to plunge the world into the chaos of another war, which will be the last in the history of mankind, we call on everyone to demonstrate their wisdom. Wisdom and courage to sacrifice their ambitions in order to justify the hopes that 76 years ago the delegates of the San Francisco Conference placed on us, wishing to build a system of stable and predictable international relations.