Any future needs to learn from the past

Belarus and UNESCO will continue active co-operation in the field of culture, science and education

Belarus and UNESCO will continue active co-operation in the field of culture, science and education
By Victor Mishin

Belarus and UNESCO will continue active co-operation in the field of culture, science and education.

At a meeting with UNESCO Director General, Irina Bokova, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, expressed the opinion that attention on the preservation of objects of cultural heritage promotes the strengthening of statehood. The Head of state noted the importance of this visit to Minsk which coincides with the 60th anniversary of Belarus’ membership of UNESCO.

The President highly estimated the role of the organisation in the modern world. “The work of UNESCO is very symbolic and important,” he said. Alexander Lukashenko paid attention to one of main aims of the organisation — the co-operation of states with the aim of safety through science, education and culture. “We are pleased that UNESCO is engaged in such problems,” the Head of state declared.

Belarus has much to say in connection with its 60th anniversary of membership in UNESCO, especially in the fields of education and science. Alexander Lukashenko stated that five percent of the country’s GDP is spent on education. The President paid attention to the importance of the preservation of objects of cultural heritage. “For us it is very important to find things from our past that connect us with the present. We do not want to forget about our origins; therefore we pay great attention to these objects. All the more if they help to promote the strengthening of our statehood and remind us that Belarus is an ancient land, that different states existed here and that the land experienced different destinies. Today we have Belarus, which is independent state with roots going far back to the past,” Mr. Lukashenko said.

Irina BokovaThe President thanked the Director General of UNESCO for her visit and noted that heads of the organisation repeatedly visited Belarus. “It would be unfair if you had not come to us, being the Director General,” Mr. Lukashenko noted. “You can always count on us in the organisation. We will support your initiatives, because they are very necessary and favourable not only for us, but also for all humankind.”

In her turn, Ms. Bokova assured that UNESCO will further co-operate with Belarus on a full range of directions and will continue work on the preservation of Belarusian cultural heritage. The Director General believes that UNESCO represents a wide platform for international co-operation in the fields of cultural heritage, development of science and education. She focused attention on the importance of joint work. “It is important for us to continue the work which the organisation began almost 70 years ago,” the Director General said. “And we will work together on the preservation of Belarusian heritage.”

Ms. Bokova also noted that Belarus has a lot to show to the world. She shared with the President her impressions of visiting BSU where she read a lecture. The Head of UNESCO was impressed by this meeting and paid attention to the great interest of students in the work of UNESCO. “They know about UNESCO, they are interested in preservation of material and non-material heritage and asked how many monuments of Belarusian cultural heritage and Belarusian traditions we can add to the World Heritage List,” Ms. Bokova said. In her opinion, if young people know their own history and believe in its identity, they will face the future more confidently and will be more mobilised to solve today’s problems.

The Director General of UNESCO assured, “We will work together to develop cultural identity, to support history of your heritage and we will not simply look anywhere — we will look into the future.”
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