Young people’s initiatives must be to the fore of state interests
State to realise measures to improve living conditions for young people, notes President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at 42nd conference of Belarusian Republican Youth Union.
Alexander Lukashenko at the Belarusian Republican Youth Union conference
Mr. Lukashenko told those gathered, “Our regular communications are a good example of how relations between the state and public organisations should develop. You have the chance to express your opinion on pressing issues, to convey suggestions and to be heard. For the state, this is a good platform from which to gain understanding of how young people are thinking and to find the best forms of interaction, for the good of our Motherland.”
The President noted that strong, independent, purposeful people are ‘in demand’ globaly — and that Belarus is no exception. Such minds are necessary everywhere — in manufacturing and in politics, in business and in science, in education and in state administration. They are the engine of progress, providing the dynamics of social development, which depends on their energy and power. Mr. Lukashenko emphasised, “Belarus is one of the few states giving special attention to the ‘youth movement’. As the Head of State, I view the formation of the younger generation (destined to be the centre of our hardworking, educated and healthy nation) as a paramount strategic task.”
He added that responsibility, independence and initiative should be key features of the younger generation, and the whole country. He notes that the state is creating conditions to encourage youngsters’ self-realisation and education. “The state will continue to protect young people and to help them adapt to modern conditions, so we can all step towards a higher standard of living.”
Necessary to prepare personnel
Mr. Lukashenko views current youth policy as unsatisfactory, charging the BRSM with finding and preparing leaders who can inspire competence, initiative, and social responsibility in young citizens. He holds educators accountable for this process, helped by scientists and experts. Practical training under a professional mentor is vital to the development of young workers, promoting their skills and forming a solid backbone for the nation. Those already in employment can also benefit from retraining, keeping up with modern trends; the President is eager to see this become standard practice in all spheres.
Success can be achieved at home
The President underlined, “Today’s technology makes the world accessible from any location, while offering equal access to information, education and the organisation of manufacturing. It is possible to research and organise trade, to achieve commercial success and scientific recognition, not to mention family well-being. There’s no need to go overseas or, even, to relocate from remote rural towns into the capital. Hard work and dedication are required everywhere. It is important that each of you understands and accepts this simple truth.”
Mr. Lukashenko has no desire to dissuade young people from seeing the world, urging them, “Go and look around, study, if you are ready, master the new, and adopt the useful. However, you won’t be welcomed with open arms since people there are long accustomed to watching their money wisely; they don’t do anything for nothing. Don’t be too hopeful of finding something special; it’s a simple truth,” the President said. “Knowledge is no longer concentrated on particular world centres; it is scattered everywhere, all around the globe, including in the scientific centres and universities of Belarus. The whole former system of education, especially higher education, has changed. If you want to stay at the head of your sphere or trade, you must continue studying.”
Young people’s clear role in creating the Belarusian information space
According to the Head of state, the Internet is encouraging openness, communication and responsiveness among young people. He acknowledges that the lives of youngsters revolve around the Internet, saying, “I would like it to be the case that you always manage to locate the truth in the infinite avalanche of information online; learn to check it, rather than believing everything blindly. Think about what you read or see and realise when you are being manipulated, distinguishing truth from lies. Navigate the stream of information, while keeping your cultural values and your national moral principles. Remain citizens of your country. Remember that the Internet’s function extends beyond communication; it is a technological platform for all spheres of life — foremost, industrial. It plays an essential role for our country.”
Driving forward the Belarusian economy
The Internet, bio and nano-technologies, like other science intensive sectors, will be driving forward the Belarusian economy in coming years. According to the Head of State, the well-being of citizens and the authority of the state will depend on the successful development of these sectors. He notes that our programmers, who constantly create innovative developments, are already widely praised on the international market. For several years, Belarus has been creating software rivalling that of leading countries across Europe and Asia. In fact, almost 90 percent of the High-Tech Park’s production is exported: evincing the talent and hard work of our young developers.
The President stressed that the future lies in the hands of those with expertise who care about Belarus’ future. “The new hi-tech jobs we’re creating with the participation of our foreign partners are intended for you: at the nuclear power station in Ostrovets, at the Great Stone Industrial Park, at the new electric trains factory and at other industrial sites, in agriculture, and in the energy sector. It’s possible to find work in the regions: to find a business to your liking and a high salary in your own country.”
National culture, language and history make us Belarusian
The President of Belarus urges that we preserve our national culture in this age of globalisation. He emphasised, “There is a stereotyped opinion that the modern world is no place for national cultures, and that one global culture should replace them. I disagree, believing that each nation has its own system of co-ordinates, and vector of development (guided by historical experience), comprising its national culture. Through this prism, we perceive the world. It does not matter whether we join economic alliances, adopt technologies, or join world culture. We have a unique identity, which can allow us to ‘digest’ globalisation and take from it only that which strengthens us.”
He added, “Culture is what makes us Belarusian, instead of simply locals; it does not matter where in the world we live. Not only our rich heritage of literature, music and architecture defines us, but our language — which we should know, and our history — which we should remember, and our values — which we should respect.”
According to the President, integration processes — including meeting people of other traditions and social experience — is inducing us to look more attentively at ourselves. He recollected the World Ice Hockey Championship, held in Belarus last May. “Visitors perceived us as an original European nation. Our openness and friendliness, calmness and hospitality not only surprised people, but made us proud of ourselves, respecting our achievements. This was largely your merit: those girls and guys who worked as volunteers did all they could to ensure that visitors saw the best side of Belarus and its people,” noted the Head of State, thanking young people for their contribution.
President supports project
The Belarusian Republican Youth Union introduced the Flowers of Great Victory! project, presenting the President of Belarus with its symbol: an apple blossom tied with a red and green ribbon. Mr. Lukashenko supports this youth initiative, which is being realised as we mark the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory. Apple blossom represents the prosperity and success of our sovereign independent Belarus for the last 20 years.
By Vasily Kharitonov