The Forum “Truth and Morality - a Strategic Resource of Public Diplomacy” brought together Representatives from 40 Countries in Belgorod

11/10/2023 09:03

On October 10, about 100 foreign participants from 40 countries arrived in Belgorod to take part in the III International Forum “Truth and Morality - a Strategic Resource of Public Diplomacy.” The Forum opened at the Belgorod State Technological University named after V. G. Shukhov.

Organizers - the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly and BSTU named after V.G. Shukhov. The Forum is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, Rossotrudnichestvo, the Association of Arab Universities, the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy (UAE), the Government of the Belgorod region and leading universities in the region.

The Forum began with a Plenary session, which was divided into two parts: “Truth and morality - a strategic resource of public diplomacy” and “Ethical conduct and new protocols for international business interactions.” The moderator is Yulia Petrova, Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, Professor, PhD in Economics. On behalf of the Organizing Committee, Yulia Igorevna greeted and thanked all Forum participants, partners and friends of the Assembly for their support, cooperation and mutual respect.

“Today, representatives of forty countries not only of the Eurasian continent, but of the whole world gathered at the University site. It is a great honor and joy for us that today we are all here together in such a difficult time at the site of one of the most respected universities in the Russian Federation - Belgorod State Technological University named after V.G. Shukhov. Over the years, this university has become home to thousands of international students who have retained their love for the Belgorod land, love for our country, love for the university and are members of the international fraternity,” said the professor.

This is already the third public diplomacy forum. The first such meeting took place in 2017, the second in 2019. It was not possible to meet in 2021 due to the pandemic. The decision to hold the third forum, despite the difficult situation in the region, was supported by many participants. And today representatives of international organizations, public and scientific figures take part in it.

Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Konstantin Kosachev sent greetings to the participants and organizers of the III International Forum “Truth and Morality - a Strategic Resource of Public Diplomacy.”

“These days, the hospitable Belgorod land is hosting prominent representatives of international public diplomacy, all those who devote their time, energy, and talents to the development of living ties between peoples and cultures. This is especially important in a difficult era, when “the muses are silent, but the guns speak.” You sincerely believe that the word of civil society, ordinary people, should sound louder in times of international crises and be heard by politicians of all countries... I fully share your belief in the future of public diplomacy as the popular foundation on which the foreign policy of nations must rest. And your collective intellectual efforts in this direction deserve the highest appreciation...”, - the greeting says.

Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly Andrey Belyaninov thanked the Belgorod Administration and the university leadership for hosting and organizing the events that will take place within the Forum and emphasized that everything that will happen these days at the sites of the city's universities is primarily addressed to young people.

“The main people at today’s Forum are young people and students. Our and your future is in your hands,” the Assembly Secretary General addressed the audience. He noted that today it is necessary to pay more attention to the development of people's and public diplomacy due to the fact that trust in governments and politicians in the world is being lost. Andrei Belyaninov also emphasized the important role of education, which allows one to think globally, solve complex problems in a comprehensive manner, and is fundamental for establishing and maintaining strong ties between peoples and between countries.

“These kinds of activities are necessary now, because to a large extent in different countries there is a loss of trust in governments, in politicians. I won’t name countries, I won’t name politicians, but this is how our Earth is structured now. Therefore, I am largely addressing students, studying at such a wonderful university, you gain knowledge, you are taught to think globally, solve problems comprehensively and systematically... Each country, each region is unique. There cannot be a standard approach here,” - he said.

The main goal of the Forum is to discuss issues of humanitarian modernization in the Eurasian context and develop innovative methods of cooperation in the fields of science, education, culture and business as part of the public diplomacy.

The Forum will be a key platform for the formation of relevant approaches to the creation of concrete tools for building a shared future based on the principles of equality and mutual respect. Special attention was paid to the above-mentioned issues in Alexandra Ochirova’s speech, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Co-Chairman of the General Council of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, member of the Russian Federation State Commission for UNESCO, public and statesman, poet.

“The Forum’s theme deserves special attention, I think that following the results of what will be discussed and proposed here, documents will appear, because without them it is impossible to solve the problems that exist in the world today. Of course, the most discussed issue on all civilizational platforms, forums, and conferences today is the theme of preserving life and civilization on Earth. The second side of this problem is the need for awareness of everything that has happened and is happening in the world,” said Alexandra Vasilievna, noting that all the themes that are indicated on the agenda require awareness and deep understanding.

“As you know, the UN and UNESCO have repeatedly raised the issue of the formation of planetary consciousness, and this task has not yet been solved due to its difficulty. Therefore, everything that is on the agenda today requires precisely this awareness... I would like to draw attention once again to the fact that humanitarian modernization is a special, unreflected theme. Modern humanities have stopped thinking and analyzing the world in categories. Categories are a unique thing that has been developed by all philosophical systems. There is a huge list of names in the East and West who defined their truths, their vectors of development. Their courage and curiosity did not always end positively for their live, however, humanity still uses these studies and discoveries. I think that the term that was used here – “public diplomacy” – is an opportunity to join this list, because the voice of restoring justice should be heard not only from the platforms of coups and barricades. The most important thing is the understanding that continuity is the very basic strategic foundation of everything, where thought gradually turned into laws, turned into categories, turned into books, into music, into culture,” - the Co-Chairman of the General Council of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly noted in her speech.

During the plenary session, more than 30 Forum participants from Abkhazia, Bahrain, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, UAE, Russia, Serbia, Syria, Sudan, etc. spoke. All speeches were united by one common idea - the need to expand interaction using all available mechanisms, including in the field of public diplomacy.

A rich program awaits Forum participants.

On October 11, the meeting of university rectors will discuss the development of relations between universities. Its curator will be the rector of Belgorod State Technical University named after V. G. Shukhov Sergey Glagolev. The meeting is to result in signing of several cooperation agreements.

As part of the Forum, the organizers, together with the A. M. Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Support Fund, will hold the “Smart Cities: East-West” competition.

Also, the program includes a business roundtable that will bring together businessmen from Arab countries and China.

The round table on public diplomacy will be held under the support of the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy.

Several Belgorod universities are involved in the Forum: Belgorod State Technological University named after V. G. Shukhov, Belgorod State University, Belgorod University of Cooperation, Economics and Law. All of them are interested in developing partnerships between universities and countries.

It is planned that the public diplomacy Forum will reach the global level. Already at the end of February 2024 it will be held in the United Arab Emirates. Such meetings will be held in Belgorod twice a year, and in Dubai annually.