MINSK, 6 December (BelTA) - Belarus attaches great importance to cooperation within the framework of universal and regional organizations, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the Republic of Azerbaijan Andrei Ravkov said in an interview with the daily newspaper Novoye Vremya, BelTA has learned.
"Belarus is one of the founding countries of the United Nations. The BSSR signed the UN Charter together with the other founders of this organization in October 1945. Belarusian delegations are always active in the United Nations, especially during the General Assembly sessions. For example, I would like to draw attention to Belarus' initiatives to hold a global dialogue on security, to revive the spirit of San Francisco, and to Belarus' new proposal to draft a UN charter for the world's diversity in the 21st century," the diplomat said.
"Today Belarus proceeds from the fact that only through rebuilding trust between states can we restore global stability," Ambassador Andrei Ravkov said.
He also touched upon the format of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, established in 1975. "A few years ago, we came up with a constructive Helsinki-2 initiative but were not heard by Western countries. The crisis of international relations, meanwhile, worsened and is now full-blown. Today we still advocate its settlement," the diplomat said.
The ambassador quoted the speech, which was prepared by the late Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei of Belarus. This text was read out at the OSCE Ministerial Council in the Polish city of Lodz in December 2022: “Belarus believes that we may get away from the brink of the looming global military disaster. We can stop the fire of war in Europe. To do this we have to, first, renounce the ideas and practice of political, social and cultural superiority and, second, accept in earnest the world around us in all its complexity and diversity.
Let us stop propaganda and media-oriented frenzy in the Permanent Council and use respectful instruments of engaging with each other. Let us focus not on the 15 minutes of eloquent speaking fame but on down-to-earth and discreet bridge-building. Let us finally put diplomats to work for the peaceful future of our continent.”
"I think our approaches at the OSCE are clear," Ambassador Andrei Ravkov said.
He added that Belarus, as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), took part in the events in Baku, hosted by Azerbaijan as part of its presidency in the organization. These were meetings of the Parliamentary Network and the Youth Summit. NAM unites 120 states, which makes it the most representative organization in the world after the UN. Belarus has been invited to the NAM summit to be held in Baku next year.
“Belarus praises the successful presidency of your country in the Non-Aligned Movement. We also see that Azerbaijan has intensified cooperation in the Organization of Turkic States. Together with Azerbaijan, we are interested in cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is gaining strength and influence in the region and the world. We are glad that a decision was taken at the Samarkand summit to launch the process of granting Belarus full membership in the SCO,” said Andrei Ravkov.
According to the diplomat, a few days ago the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage during its 17th session in Rabat (Morocco) decided to include Belarusian straw weaving in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This list for Azerbaijan was also supplemented.
“Belarusian straw weaving is a set of knowledge, skills and artistic techniques of straw processing, as well as ideas about spiritual value and symbolism of this material and products. The history of this craft is several centuries old. I emphasize that this event was the result of joint work of communities of craftsmen, experts and specialists in the protection of intangible cultural heritage, the National Commission of Belarus for UNESCO, the Culture Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the Belarusian ambassador said. “Belarusian straw has become the fifth national element in the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage lists - along with the Rite of the Kalyady (Christmas) Tsars in the village of Semezhevo (2009), the celebration in honor of the Budslau Icon of the Mother of God (Budslau Fest) in Budslau, Miadel District, Minsk Oblast (2018), the Jurauski Karahod (Yuriyev Round Dance) spring rite in the village of Pogost, Gomel Oblast (2019) and the tree beekeeping culture in Lelchitsy District, Gomel Oblast (2020).
Belarus, in cooperation with experts, is also currently raising the issue of protecting one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Belovezhskaya Pushcha - due to Poland's construction of a border fence by Poland there, which causes considerable damage to the fauna of the area.
“As for UNESCO, I would also like to note that at the meeting of the UNESCO Executive Board in Paris in October, Belarus supported Azerbaijan on the agenda items related to the promotion of the Baku Process initiative,” the head of the diplomatic mission stressed.