MINSK, 22 September (BelTA) – Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Aleinik took part at a meeting of the Group of Friends of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in New York on 21 September, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Belarusian diplomat expressed the country's appreciation to the under-secretary-general, the high representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations for convening the meeting which provided a unique chance to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the collective quest for peace, stability and development in the world.
“At a time of extreme global uncertainty, Belarus commends the important role of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in fostering dialogue, tolerance and understanding among different cultures, religions and beliefs,” Sergei Aleinik said. “Belarus supports the UN Alliance of Civilizations in its unwavering commitment to countering extremism and radicalization and emphasizes the critical nature of the Alliance's efforts to improve media literacy and combat hate speech.”
Belarus shares the Alliance's aspirations to involve youth in its initiatives. Young people represent the vitality and hope for our future, and their active participation in promoting tolerance and understanding is crucial to building a more harmonious and inclusive world.
“But the sad reality is that, despite all collective efforts, confrontation, ‘new bipolarity' and mistrust are back on the global scene. The world is shaken by wars and ethno-religious conflicts. Hypocrisy and double standards continue to prevail in world politics and international organizations. Instead of respect for cultural diversity and pluralism, there are continuous attempts by some countries to impose their paradigm of values and views on others,” the minister believes.
In his words, some politicians are trying to convince the rest of the world that the key to successful development of a nation, community, family and individual is the adoption of the Western model of democracy and social order based on liberal theories and the primacy of individual human rights over the interests of society.
“But the simple truth is that there is no universal recipe for successful development,” the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs said. “Our world has never been and will never be black-and-white. Our world order is a diversity of civilizations, it is full of multi-colored traditions and cultures, it is made up of a variety of lifestyles and ways of thinking. The vast and rich mosaic of human civilizations represents our priceless heritage which is both a source of enrichment and potential division.”
“For two decades, Belarus has been advocating for the diversity of paths of progressive development as an enduring value of our civilization, the only one that can ensure stability in this world,” the minister said. “The freedom of choice of the way of development is the main prerequisite for a peaceful, just and stable world. This is exactly what the United Nations was established for.”
“Belarus is deeply concerned about the trend towards unilateralism and arbitrary actions, including the thoughtless use of unilateral coercive measures, which have been applied to more than three dozen sovereign states as a key instrument of foreign policy of some states. We consider sanctions to be a modern form of neo-colonialism, affecting the lives of more than a third of humanity and which should have no place in international relations between civilized peoples in the 21st century.”
“Witnessing such a plight in international relation, Belarus is putting forward a number of initiatives,” the minister said. “Above all, we firmly believe that what the world needs most now is a global dialogue on security in the true spirit of San-Francisco, in order to first stop and then reverse the downward spiral of global politics. Success on security matters will, in turn, lead to the lifting of restrictions and global progress in cooperation in all other areas of international life.”
“The Republic of Belarus reaffirms its full support for United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and its mission to promote dialogue among civilizations. We stand ready to work closely with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and all members of the international community to further promote the inter-cultural understanding, tolerance and peace,” the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs said.
The Alliance of Civilizations was established in 2005 at the political initiative of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan with the support of the governments of Spain and Turkiye. The Alliance's project activities are aimed at enhancing international action to counter extremism through inter-ethnic, inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.
The Alliance of Civilizations has established the Group of Friends platform, which is a community of states and international organizations that support the goals of the Alliance and is engaged in extensive networking with civil society organizations aimed at broadening the scope of inter-cultural and inter-religious understanding and cooperation. The Group has 160 members, of which 130 are UN member states. Belarus is a member of the Group.
The Alliance of Civilizations is funded by a voluntary trust fund made up of contributions from governments, the private sector and individuals, as well as international organizations and institutions.
The 9th Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations was held in Fez, Morocco in 2022. The next forum is due to take place in Portugal in 2024.