On February 11, 2022, the headquarters of the International Union of Non-Governmental Organizations "Eurasian Peoples' Assembly" in Moscow hosted the annual meeting of the General Council held in offline and online format.
The event was attended by members of the General Council of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly from more than 18 countries, as well as invited guests and partners.
Anticipating the speeches of the meeting participants, Andrei Belyaninov, Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, noted that the international union had learned to work effectively and intensively even in the context of a pandemic, and recalled the General Eurasian Peoples Assembly held on July 9, 2021, which adopted a number of important solutions for the further development of the Eurasia Peoples’ Assembly.
In particular, there were made changes to the Statute of the Assembly, a new Board of the General Council was elected for the next four years, and the Supreme Advisory Council of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly was established. The Supreme Advisory Council included authoritative public, political and state figures, representatives of the business community, and leaders of public opinion in Eurasia.
Andrey Belyaninov emphasized that the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly has already made a significant contribution to the establishment of the diplomatic role of international non-profit organizations and their unification in order to represent the interests of different peoples of Eurasia.
“We have moved to a new quality level. At a time when many values that were provided by state international treaties are collapsing, people's diplomacy, the content of this concept, acquires a new sound," - said the Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly.
The Eurasian Peoples' Assembly today brings together representatives of non-governmental organizations from 53 countries, Andrey Belyaninov recalled. The Union has concluded more than 135 partnership agreements in the field of culture, education, entrepreneurship, development of integration ties between the peoples of Eurasia and public diplomacy. The partners of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly are organizations from Greece, France, India, Morocco, Serbia, Russia, UAE, Benin, Egypt, Qatar, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Great Britain, Uzbekistan, Italy, Spain, Vietnam, China, Afghanistan.
The plans include further expansion of the geography of the activities of the international union of non-governmental organizations, intensification of work with major international integration associations such as the UN, SCO, BRICS, ASEAN, EAEU and others, assistance in the implementation of interrelated sustainable development goals developed in 2015 by the UN General Assembly as a blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all.
Andrey Belyaninov emphasized the importance of the humanitarian component of the Eurasian integration and the need for the development of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly in this area.
"Our common course should be directed to the key - the community of peoples," the Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly concluded his speech.
The meeting of the General Council of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly was attended by the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Mikhail Myasnikovich. He recalled that the EEC and the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly have been linked by fruitful cooperation since 2019 and systematic work within the EAEU strategy until 2025. On the eve of the General Council meeting, a meeting was held between the Chairman of the EEC Board and the Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly.
“The Assembly proved itself as an authoritative and sought-after expert platform for public dialogue, especially in socio-cultural terms,” - Mikhail Myasnikovich emphasized.
He noted that in the near future, the EEC and the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, having already outlined all the points of contact between their activities, will move on to an active strategic partnership in the scientific, technical, educational, economic and information spheres.
“The Eurasian Peoples' Assembly took place as a representative, authoritative, initiative and very active body of international cooperation. It is precisely these partnerships, which are now embodied in the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, that the authors of the document "The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" had in mind when they formulated Goal 17 - "Strengthening the means of achieving sustainable development and revitalizing the mechanisms of global partnership for sustainable development,” - said Oleg Kobyakov, Director of the FAO Liaison Office with the Russian Federation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
The Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Professor of the Department of Diplomacy at MGIMO Kirill Barsky appreciated the scale of work and the scope of external relations of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation considers the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly as its very important partner, as an integrator of regional projects in the Eurasian space,” - said Kirill Barsky.
As a positive trend of our time, he noted the request of civil communities to unite, the desire of international non-governmental organizations to cooperate. This is “a ray of the future world that shines from afar like a light at the end of a tunnel,” - said the Ambassador at Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“Vladimir Putin put forward the initiative of a large Eurasian partnership, which today is in great demand. Here, the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly came into resonance both with objective trends and with those ideas that have now become the common macroeconomic strategy of the EAEU to create a Greater Eurasia, such an umbrella format that would have room for a variety of initiatives, programs, plans," - he stressed. Kirill Barsky added that "the Greater Eurasia program is impossible without the consolidation of the initiatives of the business community, civil society and all Eurasian states."
The request for cooperation and the desire to unite initiatives aimed at the integration of the states of Eurasia was voiced at a meeting of the General Council of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly in the greetings of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Russian Federation, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Moldova and the Republic of Uzbekistan Sasivat Wongsinsawat and the Special Representative of the Government of China for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to the Russian Federation during the period 2009 to 2019) and in the speech of the Supreme Advisory Council member of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, President of the Foundation foe Policy and Governance (India) Dalbir Singh.
The meeting of the General Council was attended by the Co-Chairman of the Council of Elders of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, Director of the Republican State Enterprise "State Museum" Center for the Rapprochement of Cultures "under the auspices of UNESCO under the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan, People's Writer of the Republic of Kazakhstan Olzhas Suleimenov.
“I am very glad that the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly has long, for several years, been talking about the formula for the path from centuries of dependence through the period of independence to the era of conscious interdependence. <…> And now this is the only organization that constantly remembers this formula of the path and talks about it,” - Olzhas Suleimenov said.
The writer explained that independent states simply cannot exist in our time, and “interdependence is the most suitable form of coexistence” for everyone. In addition, he noted that interdependence is more than interaction, and this interdependence is yet to be comprehended and realized by the leaders and citizens of the states of the world.
After an exchange of views on the achievements and ways of further development of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, the participants and guests of the meeting of the General Council considered the results of the activities of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly in 2021 and the work plan for 2022, which were presented by the First Deputy Secretary General - Head of the General Secretariat Svetlana Smirnova.
The First Deputy Secretary General - Head of the General Secretariat emphasized that the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly in the near future seeks to obtain a consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council, a consultative status with UNESCO and an associated status with the Department of Public Information of the UN Secretariat.
Speaking about the plans of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, Svetlana Smirnova also recalled that the international union continues to work on the preparation of the First World Public Summit and the First Eurasian Games "EURASIADA".
The idea of the World Public Summit was appreciated by a member of the Supreme Advisory Council of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, Head of the Department of Public Policy of the Faculty of Political Science of M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University Vladimir Yakunin:
“Great idea for a global summit. But it should be a summit of leaders of public opinion. You can also invite political leaders, but as guests, because <...> there is the G20, there is the G7 - there are more than enough summits ... But the summit of leaders of public organizations is very correct.”
Vladimir Yakunin believes that "the significance of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly lies primarily in the fact that it is a non-state, non-governmental organization, an organization designed to develop cooperation between the peoples of the Eurasian continent."
The Republic of Bashkortostan (Russia) is ready to act as a geographical platform for cooperation and dialogue. This was announced by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, Head of the Representation of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly in the Republic of Bashkortostan Andrey Nazarov. He recalled the plans to hold the Days of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly in the Republic of Bashkortostan, which were postponed in 2021 due to the epidemiological situation. Andrey Nazarov also spoke about the activities and development of the Representation of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly in the Republic of Bashkortostan.
Member of the General Council of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, Advisor to the Head of the Republic of Altai (Russia) Ivan Belekov continued the topic of geographical expansion of the activities of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly. He spoke about the growing topic in the information field - the historical and civilizational significance of Altai as the ancestral home of the Eurasian peoples - and proposed to hold the international scientific forum "Altai vector of Eurasian integration" and the youth forum "Manzherok" planned for this year under the auspices of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly. Ivan Belekov also announced the start of work on a cross-translation of the epics of the Eurasian peoples into different languages and expressed confidence that this project would find support from the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly.
The Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea - Permanent Representative of the Republic of Crimea to the President of the Russian Federation, Head of the Representation of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly in the Republic of Crimea Georgy Muradov spoke about the Crimean vector of Eurasian integration.
He emphasized the great importance of the peacekeeping role of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly.
“Everything starts with the peoples, and if they express their word, then we achieve results,” - Georgy Muradov said.
He called on the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly to "strengthen peace, prosperity, economic development in difficult regions", in those parts of the mainland that "turned out to be outside the formats of states."
“The activities of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly should also cover these spaces,” - Georgy Muradov is sure.
Partner of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, director of the Center for Public Diplomacy of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan Kabuljon Sobirov recalled that the SCO countries occupy 23% of the Earth's territory and 61% of the territory of Eurasia, they are inhabited by representatives of more than 200 nationalities, adherents of major religions and generations of four civilizations (Russian, Chinese, Indian, Arabic). Therefore, the issues of interethnic, interfaith and intercivilizational dialogues are so relevant for the SCO and the need for cooperation with the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly is taken for granted. He invited the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly to take part in the Tashkent People's Diplomacy Forum, which is scheduled to be held in Uzbekistan in May this year.
Kabuljon Sobirov also said that a two-volume book about the contribution of the Uzbek people to the victory over fascism was published in Uzbekistan, and expressed readiness for further cooperation with the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly in terms of activities to preserve the historical memory of World War II and the Great Patriotic War.
This topic was continued by the Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, Chairman of the NGO "Institute of Military Heritage" (Lithuania) Yurijus Trakselis. He spoke about the mega-project of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly "Immortal Memory" and called on all members, partners and friends of the international union to use his experience in uniting and striving for peace of all the peoples of the Eurasian continent.
By decision of the General Council, Jean-Pierre Thomas (France) was elected Co-Chairman of the Council, and Yuri Palamarchuk and Sergey Sanakoev - Deputy Secretaries General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly.
The Press about the Expanded Meeting of the General Council