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Opinions & Interviews

4 Sep 2019

Lukashenko’s speech at counter-terrorism conference hailed as signal to stand united

Lukashenko’s speech at counter-terrorism conference hailed as signal to stand united

MINSK, 4 September (BelTA) – The speech of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko at the international conference on counter-terrorism became a very strong signal for the international community to stand together, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov said as he met with the Belarusian head of state on 4 September, BelTA has learned.

“I am happy to have an opportunity to speak with you once again. I am grateful to you for your yesterday’s speech. It was a very strong signal for the international community to stand together against terrorism which remains one of the major problems worldwide. We need to act together to put an end to it,” Vladimir Voronkov said.

“This part of counter-terrorism, i.e. the fight against the use of high technology and the internet by terrorists, is becoming more crucial,” the UN under-secretary-general said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stated in turn: “When you spoke yesterday I came to the conclusion that terrorism and terrorists are still, roughly speaking, controlled by us. We have not gotten under them yet, but it will be worse if they start to control us. Such symptoms are already appearing. If they take control and start dictating their policies to the heads of state, by using modern technology (and they have learned to adapt and sometimes react faster than we do to some things related to high technology, the internet, the global network), the things will get really bad and no practical steps, never mind conferences, will be able to help. Today, we can already see them trying to control us.”

The head of state drew attention to another aspect: “I understood it long ago. We all fight against nuclear weapons today, their non-proliferation. We try to control them. Some nuclear powers share these technologies with their closest allies and fight against the unwanted. That is also bad, as nuclear weapons are slowly spreading. But this is just a taste of what is to come, I mean medications, food, biological weapons, technologies of the highest level, which will be virtually impossible to control. Terrorists will quickly use these latest technologies to fight against ordinary people on all fronts. This will not be as controllable as nuclear weapons. Therefore, nuclear weapons are only the beginning. The worst is ahead.”

“These horrible weapons are on their way, out of mankind’s control,” the president said.

Vladimir Voronkov agreed on the need for large-scale international cooperation against new challenges and threats, including terrorism.

Belarus is party to the UN’s major multilateral agreements against international terrorism. The country attended the first-ever High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States in New York in June 2018. Belarus, together with other member states, signed the Code of Conduct Towards Achieving a World Free of Terrorism on the side of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly in September 2018.

In October 2018, Minsk hosted the OSCE-wide conference on combating terrorism in digital age.

The Belarusian capital played host to the international high-level conference on countering terrorism through innovative approaches and the use of new and emerging technologies on 3-4 September. The event was co-organized by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism.

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