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6 Dec 2016

WHO: Belarus is a very tolerant society

VITEBSK, 6 December (BelTA) – Belarus is a very tolerant society, Dr Batyr Berdyklychev, Head of the WHO Country Office in Belarus, told BelTA during the events of the Inclusive Belarus campaign held in Vitebsk on 6 December.

“Inclusion, change in people's attitudes and perceptions – all this is a small, yet a very important step towards a society where everyone feels equal and respected. I have visited a number of Belarusian cities for the first time as part of the Inclusive Belarus campaign. Now I am in Vitebsk, and I can share my first impressions. Personally, I believe that Belarus is a very tolerant society. The government has a basis for addressing the issues that affect vulnerable groups and making specific decisions. And it actually does this, provides assistance,” Batyr Berdyklychev noted.

He emphasized that some of the barriers that people with disabilities encounter go unnoticed by healthy people. These barriers are in everyday trifles. This is why it is so important for healthy people to have an opportunity to step into the shoes of vulnerable people, see the world through their eyes and change personal attitudes.

Vitebsk is hosting events of the campaign Inclusive Belarus: Leaving No One Behind in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Vitebsk Concert Hall has become the venue for exhibitions arranged by United Nations agencies, public associations, local initiatives and embassies. The official campaign opening ceremony was followed by the signing of the declaration of commitment to sustainable development goal No. 10 to reduce inequality. The document was inked by Vitebsk Oblast Council of Deputies Vladimir Terentyev, UNDP Deputy Permanent Representative in Belarus Yekaterina Paniklova, and Dr Batyr Berdyklychev.

The Inclusive Belarus campaign is held by the United Nations and the government of Belarus in cooperation with governmental and non-government organizations, businessmen and representatives of the international community. It is conducted as a continuation of the UN70 Belarus Express for SDGs campaign. The current campaign aims to achieve progress on sustainable development targets and encourage a more active discussion of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in the regions of Belarus. The campaign was launched in Grodno on 24 November. It has already traveled all the regional capitals of Belarus and will culminate with events in Minsk on 9 and 10 December.

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