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Opinions & Interviews

20 Oct 2016

Belarus calls on United Nations to promote multilingualism as investment in the future

Belarus calls on United Nations to promote multilingualism as investment in the future

MINSK, 20 October (BelTA) – Permanent Representative of Belarus to the United Nations Andrei Dapkiunas attended an informal meeting of the UN General Assembly with the participation of the UN Secretary General-designate Antonio Guterres on 19 October. He called on the United Nations to promote genuine multilingualism as an investment in the future of a more united and tolerant world, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The Belarusian representative to the UN drew the attention of the future head of the UN Secretariat to the undervalued role of multilingualism and translation, as a profession and art, in improving the climate of interaction and building mutual trust in the organization. Andrei Dapkiunas urged the General Assembly to consider the importance of the quality and the live nature of translation, as well as the promotion of real multilingualism in the United Nations, not as an unnecessary load, but as an investment in the future of a more united and tolerant world,” the press service said.

Andrei Dapkiunas also pointed out that the new head of the UN Secretariat will need to find a balance between “secretarial” and “general’s” components of his office in his future work. He stressed that the Secretary-General should avoid initiating practical steps on behalf of the entire organization on issues that the UN General Assembly has no broad agreement on. However, in situations when UN member states are unable or do not want to hear each other, the Secretary-General can and should play a positive “general’s” role as an active convener and an honest broker.

The press service noted that the informal meeting with Antonio Guterres was a continuation of work to change the procedure of selection and appointment of a UN Secretary-General through the initiative to revitalize the UN General Assembly. The Republic of Belarus is one of the initiators and active participants in this process.

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