We must bring what is happening in Belarus to the world’s attention and hear from those on the ground. Briefers on #BYHumanRights: UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Anaïs Marin; Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya; Vice-Chairman of the Viasna Human Rights Center, Valiantsin Stefanovic; Legal Expert for the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Volha Siakhovich. The meeting is chaired by Urmas Reinsalu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. The meeting was initiated by Estonia and co-sponsored by UN Security Council members the United States and United Kingdom, as well as Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine.

Non-Violence Day

“Non-violence is a weapon of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi

Today is the International Day of Non-Violence. It is observed by the United Nations annually on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Non-violence is a method of combating violence without resorting to violence – through commitment, solidarity, creativity, education, negotiation and peaceful action. For the past four and a half months, we have witnessed how the people of Belarus live the principle of non-violence in their demands that their fundamental civil and political rights be observed, in their aspiration that their country be ruled by law. For that we admire them, and we take this opportunity to call on every person in authority to follow suit. In the words of Martin Luther King, “Non-violence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.” It is the only way to a safe, free and prosperous future for Belarus.

The heads and representatives of the Minsk-based diplomatic missions of the EU and its Member States, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the US.