Authoritative voice against human trafficking

Deputy UN Secretary General visits Minsk
By Yury Pinchuk

On meeting Yury Fedotov, the Deputy Secretary General and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Belarusian President stressed, “In truth, Belarus has tried to do much in the spheres which fall under your competency.” Mr. Lukashenko noted that, around 12 or 13 years ago, the country began its battle against all forms of human trafficking — including sexual violence against women and organ robbery. The President added that Belarus has accumulated certain experience and much advanced in some directions. “We are proud of this, believing that such actions are inadmissible in our modern world,” he emphasised. The President noted that Belarus’ position at the centre of East-West transit places it in a unique position: advantageous for trade yet exposing it to certain problems — the smuggling of ‘migrants, drugs and radioactive particles’. “Willingly or not, we must fight fiercely against these manifestations,” the President admitted.

On addressing Mr. Fedotov, the Head of State stressed that Belarus has much to report on areas supervised by the UNODC. Minsk recently hosted a conference for representatives of law enforcement bodies — from member states of the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking. Mr. Lukashenko feels confident that the organisation’s work will only benefit the global community.

Mr. Fedotov thanked the Belarusian President for his constant support over the years, aiding the UN in its efforts to combat human trafficking. He noted that Belarus initiated the UN Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking and the global plan of action to combat trafficking in human beings (adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2010). He stressed that the UN attaches great importance to these issues. In particular, two weeks ago, New York hosted high level events to discuss ways of increasing the efficiency of international co-operation in fighting human trafficking.

“Belarus’ voice is active and authoritative and, so, is taken into account. This promotes the country’s image on the world arena — as part of the UN,” Mr. Fedotov said, adding that the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, asked to convey to Belarus his highest appreciation of its efforts in this area.
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