When we look at the results of universal periodic review in the UN Human Rights Council of some countries that claim to be most «advanced democracies», it becomes obvious that all governments without exception face accusations of human rights violations. Moreover, such accusations tend to be similar in nature regardless of a specific country’s geographic location.
This, in turn, enable us to say that the conflict between the interests of an individual and society, which the state law enforcement machine regulates, is perpetual depending neither on a political system nor on the level of social and economic development of a given society. What can be different is the methods that policymakers and government entities use, and hence, the scope of relevant ramifications.
Any government acts on the basis of national interests as formulated by its own home-grown political elite. Any government applies force if activities by certain persons or groups jeopardize citizens’ security and sustained development of its society.
What remains open is the question of how so-called human rights defenders or foreign countries that unilaterally assume the messianic mantle of promoting human rights abroad interpret similar enforcement policies in different countries. If idealism and best intentions of the «defenders» can somehow be justified, the actions of the countries cannot be considered in any way other than hypocrisy, double standards and ideological imperialism. After all, they interpret the same police actions or other government’s enforcement policies in their own domestic realms as benign, whereas in other countries they view them as nothing but evil. Many examples presented on the pages of this Report vividly testify to the point.
So far the fundamental principles of the UN Charter that affirm a nation’s and its elected government’s absolute sovereignty over internal affairs within its territory have not been revoked. I am convinced that none but people living and working in a given country, as well as their elected leaders, know better their own needs and aspirations. To be sure, no one is going to deny that billions of people today live in countries, where Western-style political democracy has never existed before. I am profoundly convinced that progress in realizing the ideals of human rights concept (liberty, equality, fraternity) must take place only in a specific national context. What is more, constructive international cooperation predicated on mutual respect and partnership is a key factor in ensuring that any nation makes headway in this area. Unfortunately, the last few years have been replete with tragic examples when such attitudes were ignored, and nations were forced to make a quantum leap in their political development.
I avail myself of this opportunity to appeal once again for understanding that the diversity of ways towards progressive development is an indispensable value of human civilization, it is actually a prerequisite for peace and stability.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus