Recommendations for Improving the Activities of the People's Diplomacy Institutions proposed in Tashkent

23/10/2023 17:46

Today, an international scientific and practical seminar “Intercultural dialogue in the modern world: education, enlightenment and public diplomacy” took place in the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent. It was initiated by the SCO Center for Public Diplomacy in Uzbekistan and the top leadership of the Republic headed by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

The seminar was attended by representatives of diplomatic missions, prominent scientists and experts from leading research institutes and analysis centers from member states, observer countries and dialogue partners of the SCO, journalists from foreign and local media.

The work of the international platform was supported by the International Union of Non-Governmental Organizations “Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly”. “The modern world, which has entered the era of globalization, dictates the need to rethink from a qualitatively new perspective the interrelations of human values, both in the political and socio-economic, as well as in the cultural, spiritual and educational spheres. Education and enlightenment are becoming increasingly important in today's conditions of interstate communication, acting as a tool of people's diplomacy. Today, without the joint efforts of all countries of Greater Eurasia and their mutually beneficial partnership cooperation, it is impossible to build an effective dialogue,” noted the importance of this international meeting in his welcoming speech to its participants, Andrei Belianinov, Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly. The Head of the General Secretariat of the Assembly, Svetlana Smirnova, spoke on his behalf.

SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming, in his video message, emphasized the special role of non-governmental organizations through public diplomacy in strengthening friendship and interaction between the peoples of the SCO countries. “They act as effective tools for fruitful cooperation, allowing us to bring together on one platform representatives of various peoples and ethnic groups, bearers of various cultural traditions and religious beliefs,” - the Secretary General said.

Four sessions of the scientific and practical seminar were organized in the most current areas of intercultural dialogue and were devoted to the literary heritage, languages and cultures of the peoples of the SCO countries, digital technologies, and public diplomacy.

“Just this year, the SCO People’s Diplomacy Center was established in Russia. Work is currently underway to establish a similar center in Kazakhstan. This is all the example of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan, which served as the basis for establishing similar centers in Russia,” – Svetlana Smirnova said in an interview with the O’zbekiston 24 TV channel. “We have always said that it is necessary to unite the efforts of all these public diplomacy centers and establish a coordinating council. And now it has already been established at a recently held civil forum in Kazakhstan, where Kabulzhon Kasimovich also participated. (note - Kabuljon Sabirov - Director of the SCO Public Diplomacy Center in Uzbekistan). In other words, there is unification not only at the state level, but also at the level of civil societies - this is very important. The recommendations of previous such forums are already being implemented. Therefore, I am absolutely sure that the recommendations that will be adopted today will also be adopted both at the level of the state and civil society.”

Svetlana Konstantinovna also moderated the section “Public diplomacy as a tool for the development of intercultural dialogue.”

“Indeed, through the tools of public diplomacy it is easier to build a dialogue between peoples, between states. And even when politicians fail to find a common language, it is always possible to find understanding through "heart-to-heart" and "eye-to-eye" people-to-people diplomacy. We have been working in different countries for many years and we see that people of different nationalities want to communicate and be friends together,” - noted Svetlana Smirnova, “Just a week ago, an international forum was held in Belgorod; its theme was “Truth and morality - a strategic resource of public diplomacy.” These are very important questions about morality, about planetary consciousness, about being responsible for the future of our planet and now we are discussing with you what should be the role of people's diplomacy in the development of intercultural dialogue".”

At another session of the scientific and practical seminar dedicated to literary heritage, Stanislav Korolev, Director of the SCO National Center for Public Diplomacy in Russia, Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, shared with the participants the experience of international intercultural cooperation. He made a report: “Prospects for the development of interregional cultural cooperation among the SCO member states.”

The seminar participants discussed new opportunities and trends in intercultural dialogue and exchange within the SCO, multi-vector cooperation, cultural and digital diplomacy, features of youth diplomacy, the role of sister cities in the development of public diplomacy, the role of tourism in intercultural cooperation, the advantages of the influence of virtual museums in ensuring the continuity of spiritual values, studying international experience in this area.

Speaking about the importance of the seminar, Svetlana Smirnova in an interview noted the special contribution of the leadership of the Republic of Uzbekistan and personally its Leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev to strengthening friendship between the peoples:

“In my speech, I repeatedly cited the words of Shavkat Miromonovich when he spoke about today’s crisis of confidence at the global level. Unfortunately, it is so. Every day we are faced with a lack of trust between peoples, politicians, and states. And these kinds of events and initiatives help restore trust. When we speak the same language - the language of friendship, we certainly create this space of trust. We really need this,” Svetlana Konstantinovna emphasized, “Today’s international seminar certainly takes its rightful place among those events that take place in Uzbekistan and other countries, and it is very pleasant that the SCO Center for Public Diplomacy in Uzbekistan is the initiator and organizer of many such important and current platforms."

Following the international scientific and practical seminar, a number of recommendations were developed to improve and stimulate the activities of public diplomacy institutions.