Address by His Excellency Alyaksandr Lukashenka, President of the Republic of Belarus, Special commemorative meeting to mark the 65th anniversary of Victory in the Second World War, United Nations General Assembly, New York, 6 May 2010
On the eve of the 65th anniversary of the Great Victory over nazism I am addressing the United Nations as the leader of the state whose long-suffering people has withstood the ordeal and horrors of the war.
Belarus was never a source of aggression or international conflict. But, because of her geographical location, more than once our land happened to be an arena of devastating wars.
Belarus lost her every third citizen in the inhuman genocide during the Second World War. Only the ashes of burnt-down villages and ruins where cities once stood were a reminder of the country’s infrastructure which was almost entirely destroyed. No other European country suffered such horrible devastation.
Unfortunately, the subject of the Second World War has been recently interpreted in such a way as if it were only the Western European states and the USA that won that war and for many decades were a guarantor of peace.
We will not underestimate the contribution of any of the states of the anti-nazi coalition.
But one should not forget that the main thrust of the fascist aggression was directed against the Soviet Union whose peoples were doomed to total annihilation. Yet we did not yield to the invaders. It was the Soviet Union that repulsed this attack. The Soviet-German frontline was four times as long as all western fronts taken together. It is at this front that Hitler’s Germany suffered 75 per cent of all its casualties.
We are rightfully proud that Belarus together with other peoples of the Soviet Union made the principal contribution to the Great Victory over fascism. We liberated not only our territory but the whole of Europe giving the continent a chance to be as prosperous and successful as it is now.
No-one should forget who brought freedom and peace to Europe for many decades to come. European unity of today stems from the Victory of 1945.
Yet in a paradoxical twist of life the united Europe that once thanked her liberators with tears in her eyes is not in a hurry today to invite to the common home those who did not spare their lives to save her from the fascist slavery. Europe fences herself off by various restrictions and farfetched claims.
My people have a genetically instilled code of understanding that any confrontation of states is life-threatening as it can grow into a global catastrophe.
This is why the sovereign European Belarus has been persistently and consistently pursuing an exclusively peace-loving policy!
Sixty-five years ago the states-victors have set for the future generations a tremendous moral and political task – to draw the right lessons from history, to prevent world-scale tragedies from repeating.
Our response to the challenges of today should be the approachment of peoples on the basis of humanity and the universal spiritual values. It is high time to relegate to the dust the Cold War stereotypes. Stereotypes that distinguish between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ countries. Stereotypes that create division lines even between the states that fought together against fascism. I am sure that the most noble token of respect for the memory of the generations of victors would be a just, non-confrontational policy of all-round cooperation and joint opposition to common threats.
To prevent deadly conflicts, the tragic experience of the Second World War led the community of states, which included Belarus, to create the United Nations.
But many causes that provoke wars and that require joint and decisive actions of all states to be done away with are, unfortunately, not a thing of the past. This disturbing list includes aspiration for world supremacy, poverty, artificial trade barriers, xenophobia and fanaticism, ignoring of the right of any people for its own path of development and imposition on everyone of only one development model.
Belarus has been and will remain an important factor of security and stability in the European continent and globally. The United Nations can count on Belarus as a reliable and active participant of struggle against the illegal proliferation of nuclear weapons and fissile materials, trafficking in drugs and persons, illegal migration and attempts to overhaul the outcome of the Second World War.
We, Belarusians, will continue doing our best to promote cooperation, peace and stability.
I wish you a happy holiday of the Great Victory, friends!
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