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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish president urges global solidarity, support for Belarus in major UN speech

24.09.2020 13:00
Poland’s president has urged global solidarity in the face of challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic and support for his country’s protest-riven eastern neighbor Belarus in a major address to the United Nations.
Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Polish President Andrzej Duda.Photo: prezydent.pl

Addressing the virtual General Debate of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, Andrzej Duda said that “respect for international law, multilateral cooperation of states, international humanitarian law, protection of human rights and taking care of the natural environment are among themes of pivotal importance to Poland.”

He noted in his pre-recorded speech that Poland last month “proudly celebrated a splendid anniversary: 40 years since the establishment of Solidarity, a grand social movement which led to the fall of the Iron Curtain and brought liberty, sovereignty and independence to Poland, Polish people as well as to other states and nations in Central and Eastern Europe, and as a result to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the ‘evil empire’ – that is the Soviet Union.”

“By the same token, the period of the Cold War came to an end. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the world today would look quite different if it was not for Solidarity,” Duda said.

“Therefore, today, 40 years since the establishment of Solidarity in Poland and 75 years since the setting-up of the United Nations Organization, I wish to urge all heads of state and government and all esteemed delegates to co-create the idea of Global Solidarity,” he added.

“This very idea should be the lodestar in our daily mission. I firmly believe that just like the Solidarity movement in Poland changed the course of history, also the Global Solidarity might become the idea which will help to overcome contemporary crises in the world.”

Duda also said in his remote address that “international humanitarian law and human rights are among greatest achievements of the international community in its striving to limit suffering and ensure respect for the rights of the civilian population in armed conflicts.”

He added: “The dissemination of the role of international humanitarian law is high on the agenda of the priorities of Polish foreign policy in recent years.”

'We should all speak with one voice'

He told the debate that he had “appealed to the international community, through the UN Human Rights Council in which Poland currently holds a three-year-long mandate, to pay attention to the violation of human rights in Belarus.”

“I am glad that the Council has held a meeting dedicated to this issue,” he said.

“In the name of solidarity, we should all speak with one voice and demand that fundamental human rights be respected both in Belarus and in other places across the globe,” Duda added.

He told his UN audience that "repression of political opponents, mass detentions of peaceful protesters or violence and torture ... cannot be tolerated in any state.”

He said: “Belarusians, just like any other free nation, have the right to shape their political future in a sovereign way, without external interference, without domination of other capitals, with the right to freely participate in international cooperation in line with their national interests.”

Duda also told the United Nations that “it is indispensable to ensure cooperation among states in a situation when fundamental norms of international law are violated," for instance in the case of "the aggression of the Russian Federation" in Georgia and Ukraine.

The United Nations is marking its 75th anniversary, with world leaders addressing the General Assembly remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR, president.pl