New horizons

[b]Undoubtedly, understanding comes through comparison. At the start of each new year, we always hope that it will prove better than the past. We wish this for our relatives and ourselves — even when we’ve seen success. It’s human nature to desire new opportunities and new prospects.[/b]The same principle can be applied on a national scale. Future success is built on today’s achievements. Of course, the global crisis has affected them but, according to the President (who recently met journalists) ‘the country has begun to raise its economic figures, enabling us to systema-tically increase salaries’. We can feel optimistic about 2010.
Undoubtedly, understanding comes through comparison. At the start of each new year, we always hope that it will prove better than the past. We wish this for our relatives and ourselves — even when we’ve seen success. It’s human nature to desire new opportunities and new prospects.

The same principle can be applied on a national scale. Future success is built on today’s achievements. Of course, the global crisis has affected them but, according to the President (who recently met journalists) ‘the country has begun to raise its economic figures, enabling us to systema-tically increase salaries’. We can feel optimistic about 2010.
The state is working towards improved living standards for every Belarusian. One of our articles is entitled I Believe Politics Should Be Sincere and Fair, echoing the words of the President of Belarus. Speaking to 250 central and regional journalists — state and private — he announced his disagreement that ‘politics is a dirty business’. Making forecasts for the future, Mr. Lukashenko emphasises the urgent need to overcome the negative consequences of the global crisis promptly, restoring our pre-crisis pace of economic growth and enhancing the population’s welfare. The Belarusian President also spoke of lessons learnt in 2009. According to him, the main lesson learnt from foreign policy is that, having announced its multi-vector policy, Belarus ‘has relied too much on its Eastern wing’. “We’ve forgotten that we are in the centre of Europe and should build relations with all neighbours — not only with brotherly Russia but with the European Union. This is a lesson learnt. In 2009, we worked in a Western direction — to level out the situation.”
There’s no doubt that work in this direction will continue. It can’t be otherwise; the multi-vector principle remains a priority for Belarus’ foreign policy. Multi-Vector Approach explores interaction with European structures, analysing prospects within the Eastern Partnership initiative, and via other, primarily regional, programmes.
Science is the key to much progress, as noted in Looking into the Cosmos and Micro-world. Belarusian scientists and manufacturers are creating unique devices to study the Earth and the Universe. The Large Hadron Collider, built near Geneva, is famous worldwide but few realise that one of Minsk’s machine-tool plants has manufactured some of its components. This year, Large Hadron Collider experiments should finally give answers to some of the fundamental questions of the Universe. We look at how Belarusian scientists are investigating the mysteries of Earth and space independently and jointly with foreign colleagues. Hopes are pinned on the country’s Centre for DNA Biotechnology at the National Academy of Sciences — recently officially accredited. Peculiarities of unique scientific work are presented in Key to Genetic Cipher.
Belarus is ranked 34th in the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap Report, outstripping many post-Soviet countries and, even, European states. In Equality Index, we note gender problems and their solutions, looking at Belarusian women’s opportunities in the workplace, as well as in their public and private lives.
Around three million people currently live in Belarus’ small towns — almost a third of the country’s population. They rely on the economic, social and cultural ‘well-being’ of their settlements. Small Town Buzzes with Life looks at the development of small and medium-sized towns — as outlined by the state programme.
Our life is rich and diverse, as proven by several other articles. We look at our natural wealth and talented people and those who preserve natural traditions, as well as spirituality and culture. January sees the annual ‘For Spiritual Revival’ Presidential Awards bestowed, so you can read about this year’s laureates from our issue.

BY Viktor Kharkov,
magazine editor
Беларусь. Belarus
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