Meeting with Under-Secretary-General of United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov on 4 September. The Belarusian leader thanked Vladimir Voronkov for the excellent organization of the counter-terrorism conference in Minsk that already made headlines and received positive feedback at the international level.

“I would like to thank you, the person of Belarusian origin, for the excellent preparation of this international conference. The feedback is diverse. I have studied reviews in the Internet and mass media on the preparation and conduct of the conference. The event received mixed reviews, but negative comments were very few. People assess this event differently, but the assessment is generally positive,” the President noted.

According to the Belarusian leader, such a high level of the conference under the aegis of the United Nations, as well as the participation of the UN Under-Secretary-General, give a high profile to the event. This improves the country’s image and status. “This is an honor for any country to host such a conference,” the President is convinced.

Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked Vladimir Voronkov personally for his assistance in organizing the event: “You helped bring this conference to Belarus. We cannot let you down. We will keep it up, we will by all means stick to the policy outlined yesterday. Your assessment of the conference and Belarus’ role in combating this modern evil was covered in all mass media outlets.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko reaffirmed Belarus’ commitment to combating terrorism. “You are welcome to give advice, coordinate and guide the work of our government agencies. This will benefit our relations, Belarus, the United Nations and overall this will be a good contribution to the fight against terrorism worldwide,” the President said.

“Generally speaking, I believe that no one can find fault with us as far as the conduct of the conference is concerned. We always treat such events very seriously,” the head of state said.

“I am happy to have an opportunity to speak with you once again. I am grateful to you for your yesterday’s speech. It was a very strong signal for the international community to stand together against terrorism which remains one of the major problems worldwide. We need to act together to put an end to it,” Vladimir Voronkov said at the meeting with Aleksandr Lukashenko.

“This part of counter-terrorism, i.e. the fight against the use of high technology and the internet by terrorists, is becoming more crucial,” the UN under-secretary-general said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stated in turn: “When you spoke yesterday I came to the conclusion that terrorism and terrorists are still, roughly speaking, controlled by us. We have not gotten under them yet, but it will be worse if they start to control us. Such symptoms are already appearing. If they take control and start dictating their policies to the heads of state, by using modern technology (and they have learned to adapt and sometimes react faster than we do to some things related to high technology, the internet, the global network), the things will get really bad and no practical steps, never mind conferences, will be able to help. Today, we can already see them trying to control us.”

The head of state drew attention to another aspect: “I understood it long ago. We all fight against nuclear weapons today, their non-proliferation. We try to control them. Some nuclear powers share these technologies with their closest allies and fight against the unwanted. That is also bad, as nuclear weapons are slowly spreading. But this is just a taste of what is to come, I mean medications, food, biological weapons, technologies of the highest level, which will be virtually impossible to control. Terrorists will quickly use these latest technologies to fight against ordinary people on all fronts. This will not be as controllable as nuclear weapons. Therefore, nuclear weapons are only the beginning. The worst is ahead.”

“These horrible weapons are on their way, out of mankind’s control,” the President said.

Vladimir Voronkov agreed on the need for large-scale international cooperation against new challenges and threats, including terrorism.