Visiting Belarus visa-free

Statement by His Excellency Mr. Sergei N. Martynov Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus at the Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Non-Aligned Movement (New York, 26 September 2003)

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset allow me to express our highest appraisal of the work carried out by Malaysia in its capacity as Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement. Belarus positively assesses the Kuala-Lumpur Summit decisions aimed at consolidating the Movement. I believe that every Ministerial meeting should be a step forward in our efforts to raise the authority of the NAM.

This month five years ago the Republic of Belarus became a full-fledged Member of the Movement. The primary goal of Belarus’ participation in the NAM is to advance the issues that increase the authority, role and economic well-being of countries seeking to redress the imbalance and injustice in the global community.

I would, therefore, like to share with you some approaches of my country with regard to particular agenda items of the General Assembly in order to verify our positions and make a contribution of our own to forming common approaches of the NAM countries.

Political, economic and cultural diversity of the Movement is an important asset in the global interaction. It also drives us to understand the need for a no-nonsense inter-civilization dialogue. A profound reform of the United Nations is warranted to allow the world free itself from ingrained perceptions of civilizations as divided into «the advanced» and «the lagging behind». It is the UN that must be at the center of a worldwide dialogue to address current global concerns. There is no other healthy, sustainable choice. Making the case, as some do, that a unipolar world brings for the stability is a non-starter.

The history of mankind, as we know it, has been the history of wars. These days, instead of burying away the war as tool of international politics, as would have befitted the 21st century, Casus belli is being extended from the traditional and the sinister into what is presented as «ideologically and politically correct». We are offered to believe that the dogma of yesterday «colonize and rule» should be replaced by «civilize and rule» as the answer to the challenges of today’s world. The war in Iraq and its aftermath should, hopefully, have one benefit: putting it beyond anyone’s doubt that solving problems of individual states by means of enforced implantation of outside order and values is doomed to failure.

Mr. Chairman,

Today it is finally accepted, though through very painful lessons, that terrorism is the plague of the new times. We can only regret that a far-sighted call of Egypt 17 years ago, back in 1986, to rally the international community against the scourge of terrorism was left unheeded. It could have saved the humanity the dreadful losses and problems.

But, in Belarus’ view, the painfully achieved world alliance against terrorism is in danger of being largely futile if its major players fail to understand the true root causes generating terrorism. It is the three «i’s»: injustice, inequality, indifference.

And again it is only through joining efforts in and around the United Nations that further expansion of terrorism can only be prevented.

This brings me immediately into the root causes of the conflict and the bloodshed in the Middle East. The depth of antagonism here attests to the necessity of a comprehensive and just political solution to the numerous contradictions. Belarus is convinced that the «road map» and the relevant UN resolutions are the right strategy to follow to alleviate the suffering of people provided that the conflicting parties genuinely adhere to their implementation.

We closely follow the developments in Africa. The needs of African states demand much more attention of the rest of the world, especially in the context of the recently adopted «New Partnership for Africa’s Development». Belarus announces today that as its own contribution it granted earlier this year unilateral trade preferences to African states. We also call to take advantage of the forthcoming High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development to be held in the framework of the General Assembly to formulate clear positions aimed at narrowing the gap in the development of African states and the rest of the world.

Taking this opportunity I would like to focus the attention of fellow ministers on the Belarusian Center for Technology Transfer that possesses a high innovative potential and could serve the needs of developing countries. Based on the transfer of technologies from Belarus new enterprises were established in a number of countries around the world. Belarusian experts that worked in Africa since 15-20 years proved themselves as highly professional and skillful specialists. Our country is open to and ready for extensive mutually beneficial economic cooperation with all NAM Member States.

Another crucial issue close to the heart and mind of Belarus is irreparable damage to the environment. Everyone present here knows that «Chernobyl» that became a common noun for the gravest technological catastrophe in the history of mankind. We are sincerely grateful to all those who demonstrated their solidarity with the Belarusian people in our efforts to overcome the aftermath of this nuclear accident. We kindly ask the NAM Member States to support the draft resolution on Chernobyl, which will be initiated at the current session of the General Assembly by Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

Dear colleagues,

Belarus is a candidate in the upcoming elections to the ECOSOC. We are the only member of the NAM among the competing four candidates from the Eastern European Group. You will have no doubt who of the four will work in the earnest to advance the interests of NAM in the ECOSOC. I thank those who have already announced their support to the candidature of Belarus. To win the elections, we need the support of all of you. We rely on you to be in a position to advocate your interests in the ECOSOC.

Mr. Chairman,

In conclusion I would like to express my profound conviction that the Chairmanship of Malaysia in the Non-Aligned Movement will serve as an example for other states that will take over this noble and highly responsible post in the future.

Thank you for attention.