Conferment of state awards

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko presented state awards to women with many children, representatives of various industries, general’s shoulder boards to high-ranking officers on 7 March.

The head of state remarked that the meeting has symbolically united two popular holidays – the Day of Fatherland Defenders and the Armed Forces and Women’s Day. “The meeting is attended by army officers and those whom they should protect – our wonderful women, representatives of the most peaceful and creative professions in the world,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that although men and women play different roles in families and the society, the true harmony is created only by their joint efforts.

Women started to openly advocate for their rights 160 years ago, on 8 March 1857. “That day turned into an international holiday. It has acquired a new meaning today and has become an embodiment of our respect for you – hardworking women, mothers, public figures, protectors of hearth and home,” the Belarusian leader said.

He stressed that it is for a reason that the position and role of women in the society is considered one of the criteria of a civilized state. “Belarus is among the world leaders in this regard. Belarusian women take an active part in all areas of life, including professional and social activities,” Aleksandr Lukashenko assured.

“You work well in various sectors of the economy, make a big contribution to the development of healthcare, education, culture, and science,” the President said.

The role of women in the system of state administration, the political life of the country is increasing.

The representatives of various professions were honored with the orders and medals of Francysk Skaryna, medals for excellence in labor. They also received honorary titles of the Republic of Belarus.

Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed exceptional gratitude and profound respect to women with many children. “Ancient people said that the keys to the fates of nations are in the hands of mothers. And they were right,” he said. “Many women of those attending this meeting combine child rearing, professional and public activities. You deserve sincere admiration for the ability to build bright and eventful lives with enough time for work, families, recreation, and sport. We congratulate all Belarusian women today.”

The head of state stressed that mothers are responsible for bringing up children. “You are amazing, you fulfill your main mission. The main priority of my policy is as follows: Belarus’ population should make up at least 20 million. Then we will have a truly strong state,” he said.

The President thanked Belarusian women for their work, an active civil position, and a big contribution to the development of the state, for being an example of cordiality and compassion, understanding and tenderness, energy and fortitude.

“Fill your souls with this light illuminating your families, friends, and colleagues. The modern society needs wisdom, kindness, and accord which you bring to the world,” the head of state wished.

Aleksandr Lukashenko presented the Orders of Mother to 21 women for giving birth to and bringing up five and more children.

The meeting was also attended by the military and workers of law enforcement agencies. “This is not accidental. We can have a happy life, bring up children, use our talents and skills in full only under the peaceful sky,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

He remarked that today many countries, including Belarus’ close neighbors, are building up their military capabilities. “The ongoing processes resemble the next stage in the arms race of the “cold war” period,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Belarus is a peace-loving state, we pursue a balanced multi-vector policy and do not want to be dragged into conflicts between various blocs and states. However, we cannot be careless in this challenging time. Therefore, we are doing our best to ensure the security of our country without threatening or provoking anyone.”

According to the President, the general’s shoulder boards have been presented to those who are holding the shield of our Fatherland in their strong hands. The President said he was proud for the Belarusian army and reminded about the huge responsibility of the military of all ranks for the lives of compatriots, for peace and accord in our common Belarusian home.

“There are not many generals in Belarus. And I am not planning to increase the number of generals because I do not want to diminish this rank. A general is a special rank,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

“Perhaps, the most honorable thing is to receive general’s shoulder boards in the presence of our women,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.

“Many generations of Belarusians dreamed to be the masters on their land and determine their future. We managed to fulfill this dream, but the main thing today is to preserve these accomplishments for our descendants,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

He thanked all the participants of the meeting and remarked that their many-year efforts, hard work, commitment and talent create the pillars of the wellbeing of the Belarusian state. These are stability, social accord, and high defense capacity.

“I sincerely wish you every success in work and social activities, the fulfillment of your plans, happiness and prosperity,” the President added.

Before the ceremony to present state awards and general’s shoulder boards, the participants of the meeting had an excursion around the Palace of Independence. After the ceremony there was a reception on behalf of the head of state.