The annual meeting of the Valdai international discussion club, titled "A Post-Hegemonic World: Justice and Security for Everyone," opens Monday in Moscow. This year's club participants will discuss what a new world order after the hegemony of the West led by the United States may be.
A total of 111 participants from 41 countries, including Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Russia, the United States, Uzbekistan, South Africa and others will attend the October 24-27 meeting. The ratio of foreign and Russian participants this year remains traditional: approximately 60% to 40%. Out of 111 agreements for participation, 66 are foreigners.
According to the organizers, this year participants from the Middle East and North Africa (16 people), Asia (15), Latin America (2) and Africa (3) will be much more widely represented than usual. Fourteen participants from Central Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States have confirmed their participation, while thirteen from the West have agreed to attend.
The world after hegemony
According to the organizers, the wording of the topic of the meeting, on the one hand, is a statement that the hegemony of the West, led by the United States, is over, and, on the other, a wish for the future. The Valdai Club stressed that the previous international order was neither just nor safe, which is largely responsible for the current military and political contradictions.
According to Fyodor Lukyanov, Valdai Club Research Director, the world "is in the midst of a major storm, one that cannot be compared to even the most acute crises of the Cold War." The organizers point out that today no one can predict when and how the conflict between Russia and the West will be resolved, so the role of expert discussion, which goes beyond the information war, is more important than ever.
Over the past four years, the Valdai Club has repeatedly noted that the system of political and economic institutions of the existing world order is falling apart. "The coronavirus pandemic and the Russian special operation in Ukraine served as tremors that accelerated the restructuring of the world many times over, but did not launch this process. It is still impossible to determine the outlines of a new world order, although an attempt will be made to picture them at the upcoming Valdai conference, because there will be no return to the previous model," the organizers of the meeting emphasize.
About the participants
As presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov earlier reported, Vladimir Putin will traditionally address the plenary session of the Valdai Club. The speech will take place on October 27, but it's still an open question whether it will be in person. After the opening speech, the head of state usually answers questions from the participants of the meeting.
Last year, Putin touched on many international topics: the results of the Russian-US summit in Geneva, the situation in Ukraine, the gas crisis in Europe, the change of power in Germany and much more. However, much of the president's speech also focused on the domestic situation in Russia. For example, he named poverty reduction in the country as the main result of his many years in power.
On the opening day of the session, October 24, the meeting of the Club's participants with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, which has already become traditional, will take place. Maria Zakharova, Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said that Lavrov will present his updated views on global trends and answer participants' questions.
The meeting is usually held behind closed doors, but the head of the Russian diplomatic mission may answer questions from reporters afterwards. Last year, the future of Russia's relations with NATO was at issue, and Lavrov, responding to a question from TASS, pointed out that the alliance should be the first step in improving ties with Moscow.
Andrei Bystritsky, Chairperson of the Board of the Valdai Club Foundation, who moderated the meeting with Lavrov, noted that the expert community is interested in the Russian diplomatic department's strategic view of the current situation in the world. "Of course, we will be interested in the foreign ministry's strategic views on the development of the situation, on the future. This is always a very confidential conversation, which allows experts to ask many questions. The conversation will be interesting," he said.
In addition, separate meetings are planned with Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak and Maksim Oreshkin, aide to the Russian President. One of the sessions will be chaired by the Governor of Kaliningrad region, Anton Alihanov.
Opportunity to talk in difficult conditions
As Bystritsky told TASS, due to logistical difficulties the composition of experts on the platform has changed slightly this year, although it has not become less.
"Although we have 41 countries represented, many experts on the platform and remotely, but in some cases it is a logistical problem, for example, for the Chinese it is a pandemic limitation. It is difficult for many others, especially not young experts from Europe and the United States, to fly to us with numerous connections and flights," he noted.
At the same time, the expert expressed the opinion that the main thing in the work of the conference is the opportunity to talk to speakers from different countries, the chance to discuss the joint future of the world community. "The most important thing in this story is the environment in which the conference takes place. It's very important to keep the possibility of conversation alive with all the complexities of this world. That so many people from Russia and out of this country have found the courage and the courage to talk honestly about the future that awaits us is worthy of respect. The main thing is not to shut ourselves away, but to talk, because the future will come and we have to discuss it somehow," Bystritsky added.
GSV "Russia - Islamic World"
Photo: Creative Commons
Based on materials from TASS