Speech at 2015 UN Sustainable Development Summit

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Mr President,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Sustainable development of any country is impossible without peace and security. The Belarusian people learned this enduring truth from their life experience. In the last century Belarus was the place of the bloodiest battles of the two world wars.

Therefore, Belarus attaches particular importance to the prevention of armed conflicts and threats to human life.

Having lost one third of its population in the war against the Nazis, Belarus rose from the ashes, and now cherishes peace and concord in the society, strives to secure the well-being of its people and sustainable development of the state.

Over the years of sovereign existence Belarus has fulfilled with honor the millennium development goals related to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving 100% adult literacy, promoting gender equality, social and political stability, and preventing ethnic and religious discrimination. We have no maternal mortality. The child mortality is the lowest in the world. The democracy is about these things rather than the ideas that our Western teachers are trying to impose on us.

Unfortunately, we cannot say this about the planet in general. The world has come to the UN Summit more divided than it has been over the past three decades. The planet has been rocked by numerous armed conflicts and terrorist attacks. It is sad that the growing global threats do not receive the adequate response.

The balance of power that was lost with the disintegration of the Soviet Union has never been restored. There is no balance of power. There is no peace, no stability. This is a systemic crisis. In any system the power acts unchecked if it is the only power. In this situation it aspires only to its prosperity and solves its problems at the expense of others.

The policy of hegemonism and national egoism leads to a wide use of pressure, sanctions, restrictions and military actions. As a result we lose trust in each other.

The example of open political rudeness, lying and crimes against humanity is on the surface. Let’s recall the recent events. Under the pretext of Iraq having chemical weapons, the known states decided to democratize the country. Where are these chemical weapons? Where is the democracy in Iraq? For what was the President of Iraq killed? How is the country doing in general, and what is the future of the Iraqi people? Do people live better now? No.

Did you, the guilty, say that it was a mistake and it would be better to stop? No, you moved further. You started with Tunisia and ended in Libya. The scenario is the same. You crucified President Gaddafi and destroyed the country. Is Libya better off now? No. Is Libya a cohesive state today? Did you, gentlemen, say it was time to stop? No, you are on Syria now. Why? Why are you killing people? Why are you throwing a president out of office? How does this concern you? Moreover, by destroying Syria you have been destroying the first traces of our civilization. Please use this rostrum of the UN General Assembly and tell the world community what you want, what you are striving for.

If we do not stop the bloodshed in Europe, this fratricidal slaughter, if we allow the escalation of this conflict, it will be “hot” in the entire civilized world. This will mean another step toward a global conflict, and perhaps toward another world war, this time in the center of the civilized advanced world. Having entered a new millennium we seem to fail to understand how fragile the peace and human civilization is.

I have said all this not to just enumerate notorious events, but because I wanted the powers that be to understand one thing. It is obvious that today there is no force that can stop you. All of you, however, are religious people, and many of you even pray in public. The Lord sees everything and he is truthful. What if he gets angry and punishes the guilty? You and your people who will innocently suffer because of your ventures.

I think it is time you stopped. It is necessary to help people from poor countries with clothes, medical treatment and education. Feed the hungry, save children’s lives and you will be rewarded.

Mutual estrangement is a feature typical of not only big countries. Many do not even want to understand traditions, culture and beliefs of other nations.

It is clear that the rebalancing of power is a long way to a multipolar world. We will approach this goal if we act, not wait idly.

We must acknowledge that we are different and that every nation, every country has a right to choose its own development path. Our diversity is a key to the common progress and the success of each of us.

Such an approach will let us restore trust in our international life. , To achieve this it is necessary to meet, engage in a dialogue, and find solutions and ways towards constructive cooperation.

The history teaches us that any state that strives for the sole leadership role without regard to the interests of others is ultimately doomed to failure and self-destruction. Any advantage at the expense of someone else is short-lived and flawed.

The conventional wisdom says that you cannot build your happiness on someone else’s pain.

The modern world has been experiencing a crisis of responsibility. In the modern world many decisions are based on self-interest and short-term advantages. Steps some states take on the international arena do not take into account the reality and individuality of other countries and societies.

I am convinced be it otherwise there would have been no hundreds of human victims in Iraq, Libya, Syria and other countries, which generated mass flows of refugees running from war. There would have been no Islamic State. There would have been no eruptions of terrorism in Europe and civil war in Ukraine. This “would-have-been-no” list is long. It is vital to talk about it because the people from these countries will not understand us talking about development while millions, billions of people wish to survive until the morning at least.

Only mutual understanding and responsibility, the recognition of our diversity, the renewal of trust will help us unite and safeguard peace and security, find effective responses to global challenges and threats.

Mr President,

As a UN member, I cannot but speak about the crisis of international structures.

It seems that today their role is to be a place for the states to argue and often to be a means of pressure on the states that cannot please the great of the world.

Have a look at a great number of resolutions passed at the UN. Does the voting help address conflicts? Does it serve the consolidation of the world community? Do these resolutions improve the people’s life?

Let’s speak frankly: “They do not”. They vote and start dividing. It generates more distrust and disunity.

I am convinced that the UN should not be used for the demonstration of one’s power. It weakens the Organization and destroys trust in it, contradicts its very nature and mission.

It is hardly surprising that the traditional international structures have been playing an insufficient role both in the prevention of conflicts and their settlement.

We should put an end to this malpractice. The UN should be a venue for cooperation, not confrontation.

Only mutual understanding and responsibility, the recognition of our diversity, the renewal of trust will help us unite and safeguard peace and security, find effective responses to global challenges and threats.

Such efforts will result in sustainable development of all the states and help enhance the role of the United Nations Organization in the global policy.

Thank you for attention.