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Belarus National Day

2 July 2019

Mr Alexander D. Sidoruk, Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus celebrated 25 years of the adoption of the Constitution of a newly independent Belarus at a reception in Pretoria, South Africa. It was also a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Belarus from Nazi invaders and the one hundredth anniversary of the Belarusian diplomatic service.

Photo: Ambassador Sidoruk and Mrs Sidoruk pictured with Ambassador Bene M'Poko, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of the DRC

On March 15, 1994 the New Constitution of Belarus came into effect and laid a solid foundation of Belarus’ sovereignty and political order, instituted the guarantees of social rights for citizens, and created conditions for the preservation and enrichment of the historical, cultural and spiritual legacy of the nation.

Deputy Director General of International Relations and Cooperation of SA Ms.L.Shongwe in her remarks said that there is a need to expand cooperation between the two countries in all areas.

Students of the Belarusian dance department of the Russian Academy of Ballet in Midrand (SA) entertained guests with folk dances of Belarus: “Lyavonikha”, “Yurachka”, “Vyaskovyya Gulnі”, “Belarusachka”.

Remarks by Ambassador Sidoruk

Dear Miss Linda Shongwe, Chief Director of Central and Eastern Europe, Nordic and Baltic countries, our Guest of Honour today!
Your Excellency Ambassador Bene M’Poko, Dean of the diplomatic corps!
Official representatives of the Republic of South Africa!
My dear colleagues: Ambassadors and High Commissioners, members of the Diplomatic corps! Distinguished guests! Dear friends!
First of all, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to all of you for having come here today! It’s a great honour and a great pleasure for me to receive all of you on the occasion of our national holiday – the Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus.
In 2019 Belarus celebrates inter alia three very important dates:
- the 75th anniversary of the liberation from the Nazi invaders;
- 25 years of the adoption of a Constitution of a newly independent Belarus;
- and finally our diplomatic service has its one hundredth anniversary.
The Great Patriotic War, as we call the World War II, started on June 22, 1941 and lasted on the territory of Belarus over 3 long years. We lost at that war about one third of our population, almost three million people. Only in July 1944 Belarus was liberated from the Nazi invaders. It’s a sacred date for all Belarusians. And it is very symbolic that the 3rd of July later has become the National Independence Day.
The year 2019 also marks the hundredth anniversary of a modern Belarusian diplomatic service, which history actually goes deep to the Middle Ages, but was resumed in 1919 with the formation of the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Soviet Republic of Belorussia.
According to archive documents, it was a small, consisting of 12 people, diplomatic service. Since 1945, when Belarus became a co-founder of the United Nations, the Foreign Ministry of Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic played an important role in international relations.
With the proclamation of an independent Republic of Belarus in 1990, national diplomacy continued to develop together with a young independent state.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been and remains at the “frontline” of restoration of real independence of the country, increasing the role of Belarus in the world. The Foreign Ministry implements effective foreign policy and foreign economic course set by the President.
Over the years of independence, the Republic of Belarus has achieved significant success on the international arena; became a participant of new integration projects; proved itself a donor of regional stability; expanded the range of its’ foreign partners and allies; opened, mastered and secured new promising markets.
Among several historical landmarks, memorable for Belarus this year, we have one anniversary in common with South Africa. Twenty-five years ago both countries and peoples realized their aspirations to be the owners of their land, to live in a free, just and wealthy society.
The independent Belarus passed the fundamental law – a new Constitution of the country – on March 15, 1994. It opened a new page in the centuries-long history, from one of the first in Europe codes of laws – the Statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania of 1588 – to a modern state. The New Constitution laid a solid foundation of Belarus’ sovereignty and political order, instituted the guarantees of social rights for citizens, and created conditions for the preservation and enrichment of the historical, cultural and spiritual legacy of the nation.
South Africa's new Constitution came into effect on the 27th of April, 1994 to administer first democratic elections and shifted the country towards the construction of a new political, social and economic order. The democratic 1994 elections in South Africa marked the end of apartheid. The country entered a new era and people celebrated the long-awaited victory, which, we can say, resulted in many success of modern South Africa.
I’m pretty sure that together with the newly elected President of South Africa H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, his Government and the Parliament the country will be able to cope with the existing challenges and will achieve new horizons.
In our bilateral relations, I’d like to outline new spheres of cooperation, investing our joint efforts in different promising areas. We are interested in further stipulation of exchanges between educational, medical and scientific institutions, in culture and tourism, as important spheres in deepening cultural understanding and people-to-people contacts.
I am convinced that our joint efforts will definitely enable us to achieve impressive results for the benefit of our States, with a view to ensuring prosperity, security and sustainable development of our countries and our people.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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July/August 2019

 
 
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