Meeting with UN Under Secretary-General Christian Friis Bach

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There is a need to enhance the role and expand the areas of cooperation of the UNECE, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with UN Under Secretary-General, UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach, on 27 October.

When welcoming the guest, Aleksandr Lukashenko said that this is the third time that Mr Christian Friis Bach is visiting Belarus. With regard to the Economic Commission for Europe, which unites 56 states, Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Your projects and research in many fields, especially in economy, environment, innovations, transport, construction, social services, public-private partnerships contribute greatly to the development of national programs in the relevant areas.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko drew attention to the theme of environmental protection and the international documents on this topic signed in Paris. “This is a great victory, including for the Economic Commission for Europe that made a great contribution. But still we have probably not yet realized fully what might happen to the planet and humanity if we continue to disregard these issues, if we do not apply a systemic approach to many issues, including the areas that the ECE is engaged in. So we have a very long way ahead of us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The Belarus President stated that there is a need to ensure safe life on the planet. Belarus is ready to share its experience in environmental activities, including during the conference of the parties to the UNECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context due in Minsk in 2017.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that environmental matters are very important for all countries. “We cannot do without ‘integration of integrations’ today. An individual state cannot solve any environmental issues or economic problems on its own. We need integration, convergence, therefore we have put the ‘integration of integrations’ initiative,” the head of state noted.

For his part, Christian Friis Bach said that Minsk has become a symbol of dialogue amid challenging times. He emphasized the importance of the current UNECE conference in Minsk. “We are trying to establish a mutually beneficial dialogue and discuss the ‘integration of integrations’ concept. Our experience clearly demonstrates that now is the time to develop an open dialogue based on mutual trust, rather than draw borders and erect walls.”

The UNECE Executive Secretary thanked Aleksandr Lukashenko for Belarus’ initiative to promote the idea of dialogue and communication throughout the world. He also noted the leading role of Belarus in the integration processes, in the ECE and drew attention to the development which Belarus demonstrates on many fronts.