Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the First Global Forum of Young Diplomats in the framework of the World Festival of Youth and Students, Sochi, October 16, 2017

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 16:52

Colleagues, friends,

It’s a pleasure for me to take part in the First Global Forum of Young Diplomats organised in the framework of the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students.

I am glad to note that this is the initiative of the Council of Young Diplomats of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is heartening that it has gained such wide support; I understand that more than 50 foreign policy services of various countries are represented here.

I think it would be a good idea to hold such meetings traditionally. We have such plans, for example, to set up an international association of young diplomats. We will actively support such initiatives to the extent that we can support them, without trying to impose anything on you. In general, we are not imposing anything on anyone – this is the principle of our foreign policy. We try to understand our counterparts, and find a balance between the interests of Russia and its partners.

I am sure that you have made the right choice in choosing the diplomatic career. Diplomacy is one of the most exciting, necessary and also very important, promising professions because international relations are becoming ever more complicated and many-sided. This increases many times over its role in the search for effective answers to the massive challenges of our time. Diplomacy today, unlike in the earlier centuries when diplomats dealt mainly with the problems of war and peace, is engaged in every sphere of human activity from sustainable growth of the world economy in all its segments to climate change, food security, control of air traffic, sea lanes and much more. Therefore today’s diplomat has to be an erudite and well-rounded person. In that regard, of course, your communication, discussion of topical and burning issues on the international agenda is very important.

I am sure that the role of diplomacy will continue to grow. Not even the most modern information technologies can replace it. They may merely be  helpful in your daily painstaking work because without direct eyeball-to-eyeball contact, without direct exchange of assessments and arguments in live dialogue it is impossible to fully understand the position of your partners, understand the opportunities for compromise and find a balance of interests in international life I have referred to.

Present-day challenges can only be met through collective political and diplomatic efforts. This is a universal approach that applies to practically any problem on the international agenda.

When a commitment to unilateral approaches, illegitimate pressure and coercion gains the upper hand while diplomacy is shoved into the background, nothing good comes out of it and the results are lamentable.

I need hardly go to any lengths to explain to this audience that unstinting compliance with international law by all the parties to inter-state communication without exception is the key guarantee of global and regional security and stability. Therefore Russia, in the current turbulent situation, is persistently calling for a return to the sources, the fundamental principles of international life sealed in the UN Charter: sovereign equality of states, non-interference in their internal affairs and resolution of disputes by peaceful means.

As I said, Russia is not telling anyone what to do; our diplomacy is doing all it can to improve the international situation and bring about an effective solution to the numerous problems facing all humankind. I am pleased to note that our approach based on joint efforts to create a system of equal and indivisible security and promoting equal mutually beneficial cooperation is shared by the majority of the members of the international community. We are prepared to go on working closely together with all those who are willing to do so on the basis of mutual respect and taking into account each others’ interests.

We are witnessing the emergence of a new, more just, more democratic and polycentric world system. This reflects the cultural and civilisational diversity of the modern world, the wish of the peoples to determine their own destinies themselves. When these processes develop rapidly, when the parameters of the future world order are in fact being determined that would reflect the realities of today in all areas, then, I think, the time of true resurgence of diplomacy comes. So we believe that today’s forum will be successful in launching a new tradition, will help young diplomats to communicate, and if this takes place on a regular basis then, once you occupy the leading positions in your foreign policy establishments, I think the contacts you establish in the course of events like this one will come in handy to you.

I think this is a very useful and very important initiative. We will do our best to back it.

To be continued...

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