TRIBUTE TO A PRESIDENT
TRIBUTE TO A
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the opening of the Diplomatic Club
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the opening of the Diplomatic Club at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Moscow, June 1, 2016
I would like to welcome all those who have come today to attend the opening of the Diplomatic Club at the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy.
This initiative represents a new format for the work already being done by the Diplomatic Academy. I think it will make a positive contribution to the efforts to develop dialogue, promote understanding and hold events for the Moscow diplomatic corps and representatives of Russian public, scientific and business organisations. The Russian Foreign Ministry and our other agencies will do everything to help the club satisfy the interest of our foreign friends in our assessments of events in Russia and the rest of the world. We have a stake in the success of this project and will do everything we can toward that end.
The world is going through hard times. You all know about the latest developments in the world, the crises, and the growing tensions in various countries. Direct person to person communication probably remains the main instrument for overcoming complications. No new technology or means of communication will replace human contact. Nothing will ever replace face to face talks. Only direct dialogue can promote understanding and achieve mutually acceptable solutions in the current conditions. I think the added value of the Diplomatic Club as a new venue for dialogue will be very important in promoting that kind of approach and understanding.
In general, I would like to repeat that diplomacy is undergoing a kind of revival today. The logic of coercion and ultimatums and a high-handed approach at talks are gradually and slowly but inevitably giving way to an understanding of the need to communicate and listen to each other. Countries holds talks in different formats, including those with the participation of heads of state, foreign ministers and other government officials. During such contacts they work out agreements that can have a considerable positive influence on the global political situation.
This is very important because international relations are now at a turning point – the formation of a new, multi-polar system that reflects the modern world’s increasingly complicated character and its diversity of cultures and civilizations, and helps states to deal better with common challenges. It is only possible to confront global threats by concerted effort. We grow more and more convinced of this each passing day. Unilateral attempts to eliminate them have failed to produce any positive results. This means that diplomacy is moving to the forefront in the search for solutions that will suit everyone.
Last year’s developments show that whenever different sides sincerely want to find balanced solutions they manage to achieve agreements that are acceptable to all. This applies to the Iranian nuclear programme, Syria’s chemical disarmament, and the political framework for settling the crises in Syria and Ukraine. I hope that eventually such an approach will succeed in resolving all problems related to numerous conflicts around the world: in Syria, Ukraine and many others, primarily in the Middle East, Africa and other parts of our planet.
Russia is open for cooperation with all those that are interested in uniting efforts on the basis of equality, mutual advantage and a balance of interests. Relying on these principles, we are ready to work bilaterally and in various multilateral agencies both in the government and diplomatic formats, be the latter public or parliamentary diplomacy or diplomacy by non-governmental and non-profit organisations. I think the Diplomatic Club that is opening today will become one of the channels for doing this. At the same time, it will help us to consolidate relations with various countries. We will encourage open and constructive discussions in this club.
As I have already said, we will do more than simply provide help through the Foreign Ministry. We hope that the club will use the enormous expertise and experience of our veteran diplomats that include many remarkable figures that could tell us a lot, and share some of their unconventional ideas and reminiscences about resolving issues in previous decades, which often suggest approaches to dealing with current issues.
We have agreed with the head of the Foreign Ministry Council of War and Labour Veterans, Vladimir Kazimirov, who is present here, that the council will actively help shape the club’s agenda and help it organise specific sessions and meetings.
I think the club’s members will find it interesting to discuss a wide variety of topics, including, in addition to politics and diplomacy, the economy, art, culture, sports and contacts with civil society. I am convinced that relevant Russian agencies and organisations will also respond to the appeal to take part in the club’s work.
We can already welcome the inclusion of football on the club’s agenda. I am fond of football, like most people around the world. We are grateful to CEO of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Organising Committee Alexey Sorokin, a Diplomatic Academy graduate, for participating in our meeting.
I hope that our guests today will enjoy the art exhibit and the musical performance.
I would like to congratulate all those present on the club’s opening. Let it be our collective soft power.
I wish everyone a good evening and success
2015 President - EN from Roberto Petitpas on Vimeo.
2015 President - PT from Roberto Petitpas on Vimeo.
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