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27 Sep 2019

Belarus suggests setting up advisory council at UN involving tech companies to counter terrorism

Belarus suggests setting up advisory council at UN involving tech companies to counter terrorism

MINSK, 27 September (BelTA) – Belarus proposes to solve the problems related to counter-terrorism by means of setting up an advisory council at the UN consisting of representatives of states and technology companies, the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told BelTA after a briefing at the UN headquarters.

The briefing for the press involving UN Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov was held at the UN headquarters to sum up the international high-level conference of the Republic of Belarus and the United Nations “Combating Terrorism Through Innovative Approaches and the Use of New and Emerging Technologies” held in Minsk on 3-4 September.

Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei is currently participating in the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. He noted the relevance of the wider use of new technologies in the fight against terrorism, as well as the need for greater understanding on the part of states of how these technologies could be used for criminal purposes. Belarus has proposed to solve these problems by setting up an advisory council at the UN, consisting of representatives of states and technology companies, which will make recommendations for countries, including on ways to prevent technological rearmament of terrorists, and on measures to effectively counter the misuse of new and emerging technologies by terrorists.

During the press briefing Vladimir Makei drew attention to the need for the international community to take additional efforts aimed at strengthening international dialogue, trust and security. In this regard, the Belarusian minister once again drew attention to the initiative of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko to set up the Digital Good Neighborhood Belt that was announced during the above-mentioned Minsk conference.

Participants of the briefing highly appreciated the efforts of Belarus to strengthen international cooperation in countering terrorism, including through the use of high technology. The participants included Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Michele Coninsx, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto and representatives of the European Union and the United States.

Vladimir Makei informed about Belarus’ intention to join the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism that was set up in June 2019. Its purpose is to help to protect the rights of victims of terrorism and to promote and raise awareness of their diverse needs, especially with regard to women and children.

The head of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a statement at the Non-Aligned Movement ministerial meeting dedicated to the principles of sovereignty and equality of states. The minister called for compliance with the norms and principles of international law in relations between countries and declared the inadmissibility of unilateral coercive measures, the use or threat of use of force and interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states. The head of the Belarusian delegation emphasized that countries should not turn the United Nations, which serves as a global forum for negotiations and peaceful resolution of conflicts, into a platform for political confrontation and pressure.

Vladimir Makei also took part in the UNGA High-Level Plenary Meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. During the meeting the minister expressed his full support for international efforts in the field of non-proliferation and noted the special historical role of the Republic of Belarus in the field of elimination of nuclear weapons and in promoting the values of peace. He drew attention to the fact that Belarus, which was a full member of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, did not withdraw from it, hence does not intend to produce or deploy such missiles if there is no threat to the security of the country. Vladimir Makei emphasized the importance of the initiative of the Belarusian president to draw up a declaration of responsible countries on the non-deployment of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles in Europe.

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