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12 Feb 2019

Belarus attends UN Commission for Social Development session in New York

Belarus attends UN Commission for Social Development session in New York
Photo courtesy of the MFA

MINSK, 12 February (BelTA) – The head of the Belarus delegation, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Dapkiunas was among the speakers at the 57th session of the UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD) at the UN headquarters in New York, BelTA has learned.

The Commission for Social Development (CSocD) is a subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) which deals with poverty reduction, social inequality and promotion of international policy on building social justice for the most vulnerable groups of society. Belarus is a member of CSocD in 2016-2020, and member of ECOSOC in 2018-2020. During the opening ceremony of the CSocD session, Permanent Representative of Belarus to the UN, Valentin Rybakov delivered a statement in the capacity of ECOSOC Vice President.

Belarus’ Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Dapkiunas was invited as keynote speaker of the high-level discussion on the priority theme of the CSocD current session “Addressing inequalities and challenges to social inclusion through fiscal, wage and social protection policies”. In his speech, the deputy minister laid out Belarus’ experience in overcoming inequality in the context of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The  Belarusian diplomat reported on the results of the first National Forum on Sustainable Development held in Minsk on 24 January this year, among the recommendations of which was the call to focus on regional development to ensure equality and standards of living for the population.

Andrei Dapkiunas also suggested organizing the joint work in the UN on forecasting social changes as a result of technological progress and responding to social changes, primary, in the interests of vulnerable members of the society.

Andrei Dapkiunas also emphasized the problem of growing internal inequality in the group of middle-income countries (of which Belarus is part). In order to improve the effectiveness of middle-income countries in dealing internal inequalities, he suggested exchanging experience, strengthening coordination. He also called for better and more focused support for that group of countries from the United Nations development system, international financial institutions and regional organizations.

On the same day, the deputy minister took part in a roundtable organized by the Permanent Mission of Belarus to the UN and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism to discuss the impact of new and emerging technologies on international efforts to combat terrorism.

The event was also attended by Vladimir Voronkov, UN Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism, Michele Coninsx, Executive Director of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, Atefeh Riazi, United Nations Chief Information Technology Officer, Edmund Fitton-Brown, Coordinator of the United Nations ISIL/Al Qaida Taliban Monitoring Team, invited experts, and representatives of the UN member states.

Andrei Dapkiunas stressed that Belarus has been taking consistent efforts to strengthen international cooperation to counter terrorism. The Belarusian diplomat recalled the regional conference on preventing and combating terrorism in the digital age in Belarus in the autumn 2018. He also announced a new landmark event together with the United Nations – International Conference “The impact of new and emerging technologies on international counter-terrorism efforts”. The event is due in the autumn 2019.

The deputy minister drew attention to the enormous potential of new and emerging technologies for the fight against terrorism, and also the potential threat that may arise if these technologies come into terrorists’ hands. The roundtable participants confirmed that Belarus has been making great efforts to step up international cooperation in countering terrorism, and welcomed its contribution to international security and stability.

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