H. E. Mr. Andrei Dapkiunas, Chairman of the Delegation
29 September 2008
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ANDREI DAPKIUNAS (Belarus) stressed the need to reorient international relations from “confrontation fuelled by petty national interests to equal and mutually respectful dialogue and cooperation”. Global challenges threatened the civilized existence of humankind. That situation called for participation by all players, since, after all, even a peripheral local conflict posed a threat to the world. Enhancing the General Assembly’s impact on world affairs could only be possible when the contributions of all Member States received attentive and unbiased consideration. Unless States could set aside their own geopolitical interests, the Millennium Development Goals could not be advanced. Despite declarations made by the Assembly, a true global partnership for development had not yet been established.
Describing climate change, as well and energy and food shortages, as interrelated issues of international concern, he said cooperation on the proliferation of energy-saving technologies, as well as renewable and alternative sources of energy, was the most promising way to address those dilemmas. The creation of an appropriate regulatory mechanism by the United Nations could ensure continued economic growth, while maintaining environmental awareness. A multi-faceted energy agenda, including a code of conduct for transnational corporations engaged in oil and gas production and mining in developing countries, should also be established.
Attempts to gain access to resources like oil, gas and water was a major cause of conflict around the world, he said, noting that 97 per cent of the world’s water resources were found in the seas. Belarus called for increased efforts to find a feasible way to desalinate sea water. The United Nations could be integral to defining the future of such technologies, which should not end up in the hands of “a chosen few”. Moreover, the delay and hesitation currently being displayed in addressing the changing climate was unacceptable, and should be avoided in the future.
A matter of immediate concern was preventing human trafficking through the elaboration of a United Nations plan of action, he said. An inadequate response would risk the re-emergence of colonial thinking, and a new chain in the trading of humans. Criminals would begin to select “the best”, and, as a result, there would be a growth in colonialist mentality.
He said his country supported the further democratization of the United Nations, stressing that the top five jobs in each department of the Secretariat should be distributed among the five regional groups. To that end, Belarus called on Member States to bring a successful conclusion to its lengthy quest for its rightful membership in the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. Following the accident at Chernobyl, Belarus had gained more than 20 years of experience in dealing with issues of atomic radiation. Whether success would be attained at the Doha Round, working towards a post-Kyoto accord and reforming the Security Council depended largely on the development of a constructive and non-confrontational approach.