For the information: in 2012, Civic Chamber Members took part in more than 130 international events in Russia and abroad.
“If we are speaking about the geography of public diplomacy in 2013, these are, in the first place, countries usually referred to as NIS or the Eurasian Space; personally, I prefer the term of the “Eurasian Commonwealth.” We must make friends and not give orders here,” Alexander Sokolov
, Lead of the inter-commission Working Group partner international cooperation and public diplomacy, said in the interview for RF CC-TV.
Among other priority themes for public diplomats Sokolov singled out the problems of compatriots; development of youth cooperation (more details in the video soon to be placed on the website).
Alexander Sokolov has also pointed that in 2012, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the RF CC had built up efficient interaction with field-specific NGOs focusing on public diplomacy.
An important landmark in this direction became establishment of a Public Council on international cooperation and public diplomacy on the basis of the Civic Chamber. Sergey Ordzhonikidze
, Civic Chamber Member and former UN Deputy Secretary, took the lead in the new structure.
More than 40 NGO representatives actively participating in international programs were included in the new expert-consultative body on the Russian foreign politics.
On May 25, the first meeting of the Council took place; Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov participated in it. It was dedicated to public analysis of integration perspectives in the post-Soviet space. Potentials of Russia’s so-called “soft force” were discussed at the following meetings of the Council, as well as political processes in the countries of the Middle East and the North Africa, and their possible impact on the country’s national interests.
In 2012, CC had productively interacted with the Federal Agency on NIS Affairs, compatriots living abroad, and international humanitarian cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo). On the basis of this department, a unified Coordination Council was established; it monitors youth international cooperation. By CC’s proposal, functions of selecting foreign citizens for studying at Russian universities were also delegated to Rossotrudnichestvo.
The Civic Chamber proved to be efficient in the work of the International Association of Economic and Social Councils and similar institutions (AICESIS).
In 2012, NGOs from more than 70 countries participating in the work of AICESIS had prepared a report on “The Global Crisis and Its Outcomes: a Civil Society Look.” In the next year, the text of this report will be presented to the G20 leaders in the course of the Summit which will take place in Russia.
In 2012, Civic Chamber Members took part in the work of UN and its specialized institutions on human rights, transnational corporations, indigenous peoples of the world, and sustainable development. RF CC Members took part in the events of the European Council and OSCE on regular basis. Mutually beneficial cooperation is going on with the BRICS countries.
Cooperation with economic and social councils and similar institutions in the EC countries remains one of the priority directions. Relations with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), one of the key partners of the Civic Chamber, are dynamically developing. In 2012, by initiative of the CC and EESC, issues of food safety, rural areas development, facilitation of the visa regime between the EC countries and Russia had been under discussion at the joint events.
In 2012, RF CC members took part in the election monitoring in South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Belarus, Ukraine and the U.S. CC representatives had worked at the American elections for the first time as foreign observers.
The growing authority of Civic Chamber Members as foreign observers is proved by their participation in the mission which had been carrying out monitoring of the situation in Syria last June. Besides this, RF CC members had not once spoken to protect Russian citizens and compatriots in the Middle East countries (Libya, Syria).