The 57th session of the UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD) opened at the UN headquarters, which will last until 21 February, 2019. Belarusian delegation is headed by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Andrei Dapkiunas, who is on a visit to New York.
Commission for Social Development (CSocD) is a subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which deals with poverty reduction, social inequality and the promotion of international policy on building social justice for the most vulnerable groups of society. Belarus is a member of CSocD for 2016-2020, and member of ECOSOC for 2018-2020.
During the opening ceremony of the CSocD session, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Belarus to the UN, Valentin Rybakov, delivered a statement in his capacity as Vice-President of ECOSOC.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus A.Dapkiunas was invited as keynote speaker of the high-level discussion on the priority theme of the current session of CSocD «Addressing inequalities and challenges to social inclusion through fiscal, wage and social protection policies».
In his speech, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs presented experience of Belarus in overcoming inequality in the context of achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs). Belarusian diplomat informed about the results of the first National Forum on Sustainable Development held in Minsk on January 24 this year, among the recommendations of which ‒ the need to focus on regional development to ensure equality and standards of living for the population.
As an important way in overcoming inequality A.Dapkiunas named the necessity of organizing joint work in the UN on forecasting of social changes as a result of technological progress and response to social changes, primary, in the interests of vulnerable members of the society.
Also in his speech at the session of CSocD the Deputy Head of the Foreign Ministry of Belarus emphasized the problem of increasing the level of internal inequality in the group of middle-income countries (to which Belarus belongs).
A.Dapkiunas stressed that in order to improve the effectiveness of middle-income countries in overcoming internal inequalities, it is necessary to establish an exchange of experience, strengthen coordination as well as better and more focused support for that group of countries from the United Nations development system, international financial institutions and regional organizations.
On the same day, Deputy Minister took part in the organised by the Permanent Mission of Belarus to the UN and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism round table discussion on the impact of new and emerging technologies on international efforts to combat terrorism.
The event was also attended by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism, Vladimir Voronkov, the Executive Director of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, Michèle Coninsx, the United Nations Chief Information Technology Officer, Atefeh Riazi, the Coordinator of the United Nations ISIL/Al Qaeda/ Taliban Monitoring Team, Edmund Fitton-Brown, invited experts, and representatives of the UN Member States.
A.Dapkiunas stressed on the consecutive Belarus' efforts to strengthen international cooperation to counter terrorism. In particular, the Belarusian diplomat recalled the regional conference “Preventing and combating terrorism in the digital age” that was hosted in Belarus in autumn of last year, and announced the holding this fall of a new landmark event together with the United Nations – International Conference “The impact of new and emerging technologies on international counter-terrorism efforts”.
Deputy head of the Belarusian Foreign Minister drew attention to the enormous potential of new and emerging technologies for the fight against terrorism, as well as to the potential threat that may arise if these technologies come into terrorists’ hands.
Round table participants confirmed the essential efforts of Belarus to strengthen international cooperation in countering terrorism, as well as its contribution to the maintenance of international security and stability.