Secretary-General of the International Union of Non-Governmental Organizations “Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly” Andrey Belyaninov visited
“The Eurasian” publication (pages 50-61). He told about the organization’s activities, its role in Eurasia, its plans, and prospects.
- Andrey Yurievich, please, tell us about the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, its main goals and objectives. How did the idea of its creation come about?
- The establishment of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly in 2017 is one of the most important realized tasks of our time. Our organization was created to form an integration model of a large Eurasian partnership at the public level, expansion and deepening of contacts between peoples, and the development of political interaction, transport, logistics, trade, and financial relations of the Eurasian countries.
To date, representatives of non-governmental organizations from over 40 countries are members of the Assembly. The Assembly consists of more than 20 councils working in different spheres: culture, science, education, business, youth policy, sports.
The members of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly are united by common goals and aspirations: to make the world stable, without wars, violence, and suffering; common responsibility before history - for preservation of ancestors’ achievements; responsibility before the future - for preservation of ethno cultural identity of all nations, spiritual and moral ideals and transfer of social experience to future generations.
The same thesis about the need for broad consolidation of the peoples of Eurasia is not new. A special role in its popularization was played by such established at the national level structures as the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, the Assembly of the People of Kyrgyzstan, and the Assembly of the Peoples of Russia. It was these organizations that stood at the origins of the Assembly of Eurasian Nations and are our partners and good friends on this day. In its practical activities, our organization strives to accumulate and creatively use the experience accumulated by the above mentioned public institutions of different countries in a variety of diverse, multi-format work, primarily in the field of international projects.
The Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly’s mission is to establish peace and harmony in the continent and in the world. But these are common words, everybody says so, but it’s not al- ways possible to follow these principles, because there are national, political, in the end, personal interests...
- You are right. In fact, the world has never been united. In human history, private interests, the interests of one state, first of all, economic interests, have been more important than common. Probably, only at the newest time came the realization that the aspirations of individuals, united together, can make the world a better place. It may seem that a separate good business is a very small step. But if you don’t take these steps, nothing will happen. Only joint business gives rise to trust in each other. And the meaning of the word “trust” is “faith.”
The main instrument of the Assembly is public diplomacy. It plays an important role in ensuring trust between states and nations, searching for peaceful solutions, and responding to new challenges. Therefore, the modern world increasingly encourages the international community to organize joint venues for creative and business meetings, open dialogue, and experience exchange. Our numerous meetings, now, regrettably, more often online, negotiations, trips to different countries show great interest in the very idea of Eurasian integration.
At the first stage of its development, the Assembly’s activity largely consisted of bringing together active citizens and inter- national public figures. Now the next stage has come — to assert the diplomatic role of non-governmental organizations in the conditions of forming a multipolar world, to unite non-govern- mental organizations in different countries, representing the interests of their peoples.
For example, we hold annual meetings on September 21, International Day of Peace, discuss problems together, grieve together, and rejoice together. Prominent state, public and scientific figures, representatives of international organizations of UNESCO, UN, diplomatic missions in different countries take part in these meetings. At these annual meetings, the bells always sound. For us, our friends, partners, this call symbolizes the fact that we are together, that we are united in our quest for peace on the Internet. This ringing reminds everyone that no personal interests should lead to wars and conflicts in any case. Any problems can be solved peacefully, and such solutions are always the most long-term and effective.
- This year the progressive mankind celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory in the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War. The memory of the tragic events of these wars is a serious argument in preserving peace. Please tell us about the events held by the Assembly in connection with the Victory Anniversary.
- For all three years of our existence, we have paid great attention in our activities to the preservation of historical memory. In the year of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory, we have combined our events dedicated to this topic into one big international project called “VICTORIOUS TOGETHER - in the name of peace and creation.” It includes international public forums to preserve the historical memory of the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War; Sevastopol International Festival of Documentary Films and Television Programs “VICTORIOUS TOGETHER”, international commemorative actions to honour the milestone events of the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War, and other events.
It is extremely important to preserve the memory of those historical events, as currently there are more and more attempts to falsify and deheroize the history of World War II and the Great Patriotic War, belittling heroic deeds, the decisive role, and contribution of the Soviet peoples in the victory over fascism. The further away from us these events are in time, the more this trend will worsen. Confronting such direction of thoughts and actions is one of the Assembly’s tasks. This topic will always be the focus of our attention, regardless of memory dates and anniversaries. We will continue our project, almost all the actions we have tried, live and will continue to live.
You said correctly, the memory of these wars’ tragic events is a very important argument in the preservation of peace. To- day’s situation obliges us to seek and find adequate solutions to the formidable challenges of time: wars and international conflicts, moral decline and religious intolerance, environmental and financial-economic crises. In this situation, as experience shows, culture and ideas of human security can become the real basis for society’s safe development, strengthening universal basic values, guiding people to peaceful initiatives, spiritual consent, and international cooperation.
- In what way? So, culture is a kind of weapon in the fight for world peace?
- Culture is the cornerstone of the development of human civilization, as from culture begins interpersonal communication. It also determines the attitude of mankind to their planet and to life in general.
That is why the Assembly of Eurasian Nations annually takes part in the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum, the mission of protecting spiritual values, preserving cultural heritage and diversity, mutual respect, equal dialogue, and de- fending creative trends in both culture and all spheres of life. Every year, the Assembly of Eurasian Nations organizes its thematic discussions within the forum of the forum with representatives of international non-governmental organizations, political and public figures, cultural figures, and youth leaders.
This year, unfortunately, the forum did not take place. It was moved to 2021. But the topics announced by our participants for discussion are so substantial and relevant that we decided to hold the Assembly site online. The discussion was held on November 13 and attracted genuine interest and a lot of responses from the audience - our like-minded people worldwide.
The Assembly of Peoples of Eurasia convincingly proves that the peaceful way of interaction of peoples is the way of culture, understanding by culture not only the sphere of arts but also the whole complex of culturological aspects: a culture of thought and word, a culture of interhuman relations and international relations, culture of ethnic, national, confessional communities, culture of the multipolar world and world processes, culture of all-human values and culture of life.
It is possible to resist modern pernicious tendencies only under the condition of the formation of uniform cultural space of the world and mutual respect to the culture and traditions of representatives of all nationalities and internationalities of Eurasia. The unity of diversity - the basic formula of true spiritual, cultural life.
The touch of cultures and creative dialogue helps maintain stability in international social relations and plays an important role in integration processes, especially on such a large continent as Eurasia. That is why we are not tired of repeating that culture has been and remains the highest value of human civilization, and its transformative impact on all spheres of life should increase.