Kazan Hosted the VI Global Forum of Young Diplomats

21 August 2023


The forum, which attracted 130 delegates from 40 different countries, took place in the capital for the second time. Held at the Bashir Rameev IT Park in Kazan, the VI Global Forum of Young Diplomats brought together future ministers of foreign affairs, diplomats and other participants to discuss world affairs in our current geopolitical environment.

‘Diplomacy is one of the oldest professions, and we are in one of the most modern buildings in Kazan where information technologies are developed – the IT Park named after Bashir Rameev. I am convinced that this fusion will give us the opportunity to reach a better understanding of what international affairs, friendship are and how young diplomats can contribute to making our world more open and based on the principles of quality,’ Konstantin Kolpakov, chairman of the Council of Young Diplomats and moderator of the forum, noted.

He expressed his hope that the Global Forum of Young Diplomats will help to make the world a better place, more multifaceted and multipolar. The main topic of the plenary session was the discussion of this very issue. Later, a greeting by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov was presented, in which he noted the relevance of the theme of the current forum, “Diplomacy in the New Multipolar World”, and that in the current geopolitical instability, the value of efforts to enhance mutual understanding cannot be overemphasized. He added that the formation of the multipolar world order is a long-lasted process that requires democratization of international relations, consideration of international law and diversity of cultures and civilizations.

The Global Forum is held in Kazan for the second time. Despite the fact that most countries for obvious reasons refuse to cooperate with Russia, 130 delegates from 40 different parts of the world, including such countries as Belarus, Türkiye, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Gambia, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Libya, Madagascar and many others, came to the capital of the republic.

‘Promoting international cooperation among young people is a key direction for Tatarstan’s youth policy,’ Minister of Youth Affairs of the republic Rinat Sadykov said, opening the plenary session.

Sadykov stressed that historically Tatarstan was the bridge between Europe and Asia, 175 nationalities neighbor in peace and harmony on its territory, and the number of youth in the republic is over million people. The minister noted that the republic and its capital annually hosts major international events attended by youth. Last year alone, ten events were held with the participation of representatives from 70 different countries.

‘Over these years, Kazan has repeatedly attracted global youth events, including BRICS, SCO and Russia-China forums. Last year Kazan became the Youth Capital of the Islamic Conference. As for our Forum of Young Diplomats, this is an exceptional opportunity for professionals from around the world to meet in an informal setting. Everyone realizes that youth is the future of our countries and the entire world community. It is important to always find ways to influence foreign policy to make it more creative, more focused on national interests and, of course, more constructive since diplomacy is about reaching agreements and compromises,’ the speaker stressed.

Deputy Secretary of the Assembly of Peoples of Eurasia Stanislav Korolyov began his speech by saying that diplomacy has accompanied mankind since ancient times. He recalled that Eurasia has always been home to diverse peoples who formed various states with constantly changing borders.

‘What do international relations mean? This is not just a profession, but also a relationship between people. They have existed since there were people and the need for neighborhood. They shared, entered into conflicts and found agreements. Nevertheless, Eurasia has always remained united,’ the speaker shared his view.

Today it is customary to divide Europe and Asia. As Korolyov noted, the western bloc consists of 38 states, while eastern one – of 150. According to the Deputy Secretary of the Assembly of Peoples of Eurasia, this division is temporary, as neighborhood will never disappear and conflicts will subside.

‘Man strives for peace; it is in his nature. He strives for well-being. Despite his shortcomings and sometimes his aggressiveness. Just think of your neighbors. Everyone probably has stories of disagreements. It is the same with nations. When a person is sick, they fight, not just die. It is the same with systems. It is just a question of how. There are diplomats for that,’ Korolyov said.

Alexey Tokarev, a leading researcher at the Institute of International Studies of the MGIMO Institute of International Relations at the Russian Foreign Ministry, shared his thoughts on the future of Russian diplomacy. Despite the fact that he is not a diplomat, he promised to speak frankly.

The speaker believes that diplomacy in Russia will be global, as it is prescribed in doctrinal documents. In addition to it, the Russians have always been interested in world politics.

The speaker also noted that western counterparts do not want Russia to get involved in their internal political affairs. They urge them to deal only with their own problems, explaining that things are not so good inside Russia. However, such logic, according to Tokarev, is like telling Messy to play badly. ‘It is stupid. Messy is a genius player’, he said and stressed that Russia would continue to play an active role in world politics, as this is spelled out in the country’s doctrines.

‘In the West, it is often said that we are all ruled by the Kremlin. But it is the other way round – it is the leaders who are oriented towards what our citizens are interested in. You live in a village, what do you care about the US elections? Few people know about the village of Malkovo in Kamchatka Krai. Residents are really interested in what is happening on the other side of the ocean,’ Tokarev said, but did not confirm with any example. ‘But our western counterparts do not want us to get involved in their domestic policy. They say, ‘You have everything bad inside, deal with it’. But it is like telling Messy to play badly. It is stupid. Messy is a genius player. Russia will remain in global politics because it is written in our doctrines’.

Nikolai Makarov, director of the Foreign Policy Planning Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, continued the point made by his colleague. He noted that the United States and European countries, counted among is allies, are working hard to slow down the process of democratization of international relations.

‘At present, in their endeavor to achieve global dominance and impose their will on the majority of countries, western countries are making every effort to stall the development of democratic international relations. In this context, Washington and its allies in the West are seeking to replace the universally recognized norms of internal law, above all the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, with their own western-centric order that relies on their established rules. These rules are formulated to suit their own narrowly focused interests,’ Makarov commented.

At the same time he emphasized that the philosophy of multipolarity lies at the heart of Russia’s foreign policy. The application of this concept allows Russia to develop and strengthen multifaceted relations with the countries of the South and the East, which together account for about 85% of the world’s total population.

‘A glance at a geographical map is enough to realize that there is and can be no question of Russia’s international isolation,’ Makarov concluded.

In addition, he added that Russia will further contribute to consolidate the architecture of the world order based on multipolarity. He stressed the importance of adapting the World Organization to the changing realities of the world.

‘This also applies to the process of reforming the UN Security Council, where the interests of developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America should be taken into account first and foremost,’ Nikolai Makarov concluded.

Among the participants in the plenary session there was a repeated assertion that the West seeks to exclude Russia from the world stage. Grigory Zaslavsky, rector of the Russian Institute of Theatre Art, addressed this topic from the artistic side.

‘This year I had the opportunity to visit the festival organized in Bolgar. It was a large-scale event with international participation. In the context of instability and attempts by the West to exclude Russian culture, each of us experienced a shock. But I can confidently confirm that it is impossible to abandon our culture. Such examples allow us to be strengthened in this opinion,’ Zaslavsky commented.

As an additional argument, he shared his experience of meeting teachers from the Royal Norwegian Theatre Academy. When asked what methodology they teach, his interlocutors told him that there is nothing better than Stanislavsky.

‘And they have nothing else. This allows us to feel confident in the future and in promoting Russian culture around the world,’ the rector of the Russian Institute of Theatre Art stressed.

He also added that his university has a small number of students compared to other international art universities – only about 1.9 thousand students. Nevertheless, the geography of students is diverse: there are representatives from Estonia, Ukraine, Latvia, Georgia and other countries. The university is currently strengthening relations with African countries.

The presentation by Roman Romanov, coordinator of the World of Opportunities project of the United Russia party, left an extremely positive impression. During the period from 15 July to 5 August, an international shift was organized in one of the most famous children’s camps, Artek. About 3.2 thousand children from over 50 countries came to the shores of the Black Sea in Crimea.

The speaker noted that among the participants of the international program there were children who won the international People of Artek campaign, which took place within the framework of the Friends of Russia Club program with the support of the United Russia party. Among these children there were students from Abkhazia, Armenia, Belarus, Egypt, India, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and South Ossetia.

Roman Romanov also shared information about another event – the unveiling of a monument to Samantha Smith, a girl from the United States who appealed to the leader of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov, asking about the reasons for unfriendly relations between the countries. The response to her appeal was an invitation to the USSR. This is how the concept of “child diplomacy” began to emerge, and Samantha Smith became a famous ambassador of peace.

‘We intend to continue the People of Artek campaign in 2024, and invite foreign school children to learn to understand and befriend Russia,’ Romanov highlighted.

The Global Forum of Young Diplomats will run until 21 August. The event will include the official ceremony for new members to join the International Association of Young Diplomats, as well as bilateral consultations between the delegations. On the last day of the forum, final documents reflecting the joint approaches of Russia and its partners on key issues on the international agenda will be signed.



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