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Address by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Sergei Martynov at the High-level Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly at its 65 session

Distinguished Mr. President,
Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

Yesterday and earlier today, many opinions were voiced from this high rostrum, including those related to such important questions as who is to blame and what is the major obstacle which besieges the progress of the states of the world towards the agreed Millennium Development Goals. Right are those who single out the financial and economic crisis as the primary reason for such a feeble and fragmentary progress in their implementation. One cannot but agree also with those who link the failures with unreadiness of great powers to cooperate with other states on equal terms in order to overcome a wide array of new global threats and challenges.

In these circumstances, a question arises, no less important, what is to be done. From our viewpoint, the situation requires tighter multilateral approaches, including agreed measures to strengthen the global partnership for development (MDG 8). Otherwise a scarcity of tangible progress on the way towards the Millennium Development Goals will not be overcome.

I would like to emphasize here that a comparatively new instrument among the United Nations tools — a policy of global partnerships, actively advocated by the Republic of Belarus — has been more and more obviously proving its effectiveness and advantages in solving the most acute international problems.

The most convincing and fresh example is a Global Partnership against Slavery and Human Trafficking initiated by Belarus five years ago and successfully taking shape at the United Nations. It has recently found expression in a consensus resolution of the UN General Assembly on adopting the UN Global Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons.

Another positive example: the international community under the coordinating role of the United Nations has managed not only to document the idea of global counter-terrorism strategy but also to take within its framework a number of weighed up and result-oriented steps that have already proved effective.

For many years, we have also had all the reasons to positively assess the combined efforts of states within the framework of the UN New Partnership for Africa's Development.

On the other hand, in cases where real partnership relations have not been achieved we observe the domination of momentary benefit and slighting attitude to the interests of others. In practice, however, in such situation it is impossible in principle to achieve the decisive progress. It has been proved convincingly by the results — or rather by lack of the results — of the last session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Copenhagen.

For the same reason the successful conclusion of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations is quite far away. Moreover, there is evident toughening of the positions and protectionist measures of developed countries in the international trade. In current crisis conditions, it affects most painfully developing countries and middle-income countries with open economy. This is not a partnership, of course.

Without establishing genuinely partnership relations, we are not yet in a position to progress toward solving the problem of the global energy security, making the advanced energy technologies an asset and engine of progress of all states. Belarus has consistently been advocating this approach.

Efforts to overcome economic and financial crisis have yielded ambiguous, yet demonstrative results. The evident success has been achieved namely in those fields where real partnership, flexibility and mutual understanding became apparent — for example, a progress in interaction with international financial institutions took shape. At the same time, the international community is yet to identify shared and agreed upon approaches to stimulating national economies. The reason is the difference in attitudes of the key players to meeting the crucial goals in a post-crisis period.

Global partnerships justify their value not only by virtue of the depth and diversity of the problems to be resolved. Nowadays their mechanism is timely and efficient as they serve as a component of global good governance towards which the entire system of international relations objectively moves.

It is encouraging that by establishing global partnerships in deed, and not in name, the United Nations elevates its status and authority as an organization capable of playing the role of an institute of global good governance.

I would like to stress that good governance at such level demands turning our eyes on tomorrowand thinking over future challenges, even though they have not yet shown boldly enough in international relations. Foreseeing and identifying the problems on time, before they would grow full-blast, uniting partners for their successful solution guarantees reliable and prosperous future.

Belarus would like to suggest a promising idea the foundation of which, we believe, should be laid down today. This idea can be identified as “Help Future Generations Prosper”. It is directly related to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The essence of our proposal is to establish a new global partnership for defending and promoting the interests of youth.

Analysis of the MDGs implementation has led us to the unambiguous conclusion: it may be as important as ever to activate efforts in the sectors that directly or indirectly impact the prosperity of future generations. Their needs should be one of the priorities on the way to achieving MDGs, in the work of the General Assembly and its Main Committees. It is particularly significant since the youth is making an ever bigger impact on society and is becoming its most creative part in all parts of the world with no exclusion.

In our view, the United Nations could play a key role in identifying specific mechanisms to support talented young people and forge young managers of a new type.

It is also necessary to assist in preventing the threats that are common for young generation in many countries such as drugs, alcohol, violence, and departure from civil responsibilities. The United Nations' role in this segment of our comprehensive idea at first stage would be to hold the General Assembly thematic debate to discuss the world good practice in fighting the social degradation of the youth.

Global partnerships is an effective mechanism of mutual understanding insuring performance.

Building an edifice of our common future, we should all be the partners who understand each other in order not to share the fate of the tower of Babel.

Indicative road map that contains the concrete proposals of Belarus in this regard is distributed as an attachment to the text of this statement.

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