Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Sergei Aleinik at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly

Must read

Mr. President,

This lofty podium has for decades served for discussions about how to make life on our planet both safer and better.

Unfortunately, the discussion over the last decade has not translated into concrete positive action on the ground.

As a result, global politics has been getting only worse. This trend, has had an adverse effect on all other spheres of international relations.

And how does the United Nations fit into these developments?

Is it just a podium for discussion?

This is precisely how many see the Organization’s role.

Therefore, it should hardly come as a surprise that the United Nations has often been accused of inaction and inability to stop the growing global chaos, prevent the three-dimensional crisis in the areas of security, food, energy that has already swept the world!

To be sure, accusations like these are not entirely fair.

The UN is all of us!

The Organization could go only as far as its Member States would allow it to go.

On the one hand, it is a correct logic. On the other hand, it is a logic of dangerous determinism.

It implies that the United Nations is a hostage to some external forces, meaning that the UN would be able to effectively fulfill its mandate only when positive changes occur in the external environment. Seemingly, we have heard something along these lines before, haven’t we?

The League of Nations on the eve of the Second World War found itself very much in the same position.

A century ago, discussions about the threats of that time were in abundant supply on the shores of the Lake of Geneva.

The discussions, however, had no effect and the world was inexorably sliding into an abyss.

As for the League of Nations, it was consigned into oblivion due to  its uselessness.

The United Nations may suffer the same fate were it to remain a passive onlooker.

We are convinced that the vast majority of Member States do not want things to come to that.

If so, then the United Nations should not wait, but act!

The Organization must strive for results that will provoke positive changes in external factors, will bring peace, stability and sustainable development to the world.!

It is an uphill undertaking in the current context of “poisonous” global politics.

However, if we as Member States or a sane Global Majority help our Organisation, the UN will be up to the task.

The famous American diplomat George Kennan, in his effort to evaluate Soviet Russia’s relations with the West, wrote a century ago: “Some degree of conflict and antagonism is present in every international relationship, therefore some measure of compromise is necessary everywhere, if political societies are to live together on the same planet”.

Let us take this piece of wisdom as guidance and, despite the high degree of antagonism inherent in the current international system, seek compromise and agreement everywhere.

And let us act in the framework of the United Nations.

We see the need for several major steps.

First, it is necessary to stop ostracism as a practice in the UN.

The practice goes against the Organization’s very essence!

After all, according to the UN Charter, all its Members are equal!

So, let us treat each other with respect and equality!

No one should stoop to insults and disrespectful language, for instance, by using the word “regime” in relation to Member States’ legitimate authorities.

Likewise, some countries should abandon their attempts to limit the scope for participation in the UN’s activities for any other Member.

This behavior goes in direct violation of the United Nations Charter. Moreover, what the entire history of multilateral diplomacy teaches us is that positive outcomes are possible only through inclusiveness and cooperation.

Second, individual Member States must cease their attempts to turn the United Nations and its affiliated organizations into their foreign policy tool.

Making the Organization a politicized entity only serves to discredit it in the eyes of ordinary people across the globe.

After all, the UN was founded for the purpose of cooperation in the interests of people rather than for the settling of inter-state scores.

I firmly believe that bilateral problems should not be brought to international organizations.

Third, we can and must work successfully in the United Nations on common problems.

And let us approach them in accordance with the logic of moving “from something simple to something complex”.

The last set of challenges, of course, includes security ones – let’s call them the “first-tier” issues.

It is precisely these issues that constitute the most dangerous, I’d even say explosive, “bone of contention” in global politics.

The remaining areas – the matters falling under the “second tier”, such as combating climate change, transnational crime, pandemics and diseases – that are solvable.

All countries suffer equally from their negative implications.

All are equally interested in finding effective responses to such challenges.

So, let us step up our work in this direction!

Ordinary people worldwide are waiting for the results!

I would like to provide a very telling example of how it is possible to work together successfully even in the face of sharp political differences.

At the 32nd session of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention, held in Vienna last May, the Republic of Belarus sponsored a draft resolution on taking action against trafficking in persons in supply chains.

Initially, the Western countries, for political reasons, took a negative stance vis-à-vis Belarus’ draft resolution.

Nevertheless, having after all joined the negotiations, they grasped the initiative’s importance and began working towards a positive outcome.

As a result, the resolution was adopted by consensus and all interested parties started implementing it.

Let’s apply this approach to all other “second tier” challenges!

In particular, we look forward to having the same constructive work during this session on Belarus’ biennial resolution entitled “Improving the Coordination of Efforts against Trafficking in Persons”.

Yet, where common sense is needed utmost is in finding ways to address the global food crisis.

We proceed from the fact that there is enough food for everyone in the world.

At the same time, millions of people around the world are starving.

This “contradiction” resulted from unilateral illegal sanctions that Western states imposed, in violation of the UN Charter, against some countries they disliked or in order to gain an advantage in a competitive economic struggle.

The sanctions, in turn, constrained exports of fertilizers and food to developing countries that needed them most.

Therefore, the global food crisis is a man-made, not a systemic one. If that is the case, it is easy to resolve, because it only requires removing the illegal barriers.

The countries that erected them should do away with them!

This logic holds true not just to global food security, but also in relation to all areas of international life.

The unilateral coercive measures imposed by the West directly or indirectly against virtually all states in the rest of the world must be lifted immediately!

This is what both common sense and common interests of all people around the world urgently demand!

We are convinced that progress in tackling the “second-tier” global problems at the United Nations will be conducive to forging an environment of mutual trust for joint and effective work on a number of security issues.

What we are witnessing in this latter area is a “power shift” from the West to the Rest of the World.

Similar “shifts” in history were often accompanied by wars.

Yet, it is in our power to steer the process in a peaceful direction.

The best way to do that is to expand the category of permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

The Council does not reflect today’s geopolitical realities.

Three of its five permanent members are from the West.

They are not interested in changing the status quo in the world.

As a result, the Council is not fulfilling its functions in the maintenance of international peace and security.

Only a more representative and democratic body will be able to cope with the challenge.

Therefore, the expansion of the permanent membership through the inclusion of some large developing nations from Asia, Africa and Latin America is the imperative of our time.

It is hearting to see that China and Russia support this kind of the Council reform, as they have repeatedly stated.

We urge the Security Council’s other three permanent members to recognize the new realities and to agree to reflect them in a renewed organ.

Mr. President,

Back in 2017, the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko came up with the idea to “launch” a global security dialogue.

The initiative represented an attempt to prevent global politics from spiraling downward.

Unfortunately, some key “players” refused to heed this reasonable call.

As a consequence, the security architecture in Europe has seriously stumbled.

But, it is never too late to do what is right.

Provided we all are keen to make life on the planet safer and better – as has been constantly stated from this rostrum – we have no choice other than engaging in dialogue and negotiating with each other.

The Head of the Belarusian state invariably emphasizes the importance of organizing such a dialogue in the spirit of San Francisco.

Indeed, the San Francisco conference gave life to our Organization and a hope to the whole world for a better future.

We need the same hope today!

We are convinced that the United Nations is the platform where this initiative should be implemented.

We view the international conference on the topic “Eurasian Security: Reality and Prospects”, which Belarus will hold in Minsk in October 26-27, as a contribution to a global dialogue.

Mr. President,

Belarus cannot but speak about the conflict in a neighboring country – Ukraine.

It is truly unbearable for us to see the suffering of the kindred people.

Unfortunately, Ukraine and its people have become a bargaining chip in the “Great Game” played by the West in its quest for preserving global hegemony.

Clearly, by ratcheting up arms supplies to the country, the West has set itself for the task of carrying on the war at the cost of the last Ukrainian.

Do Ukrainians need a war of attrition?

We believe they do not! Belarus, for its part, has always stood for peace in Ukraine and has undertaken all necessary measures to seek this end.

As the President of Belarus has pointed out, we still stand ready to do everything in our power.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Source: ©

More articles

Latest article