The conference ended with a session on the prospects of a Russia – Europe dialogue. Dr. Van Eekelen, Dr. Petrovsky, and Dr. Walsh each offered final reflections. Dr. Van Eekelen shared again his thinking on security, democracy, and good governance, ending with a positive note that he did not believe we are in a real global crisis and that “we made much progress since the Cold War.”
Dr. Petrovsky summed up the conference by reading a draft resolution which he asked participants to approve (see below).
Dr. Walsh recommended that we “find the way to embrace diversity while also embracing the need for common ground and overlapping values.” He underlined three points of the United States’ experience with unity and diversity: the unifying concept of “one nation under God,” the tradition of marriage beyond race or ethnic group, and an emphasis on interfaith dialogue.
Then a contestant in the Mr. and Miss University Beauty Pageant offered a final song from the heart, in Russian, moving the audience, and the conference was declared closed.
In the afternoon, participants from abroad who had some time before their flight home were invited by UPF to a tour of the Kremlin, its treasure house, and the famous Armory Chamber.
"Peace and Security in Multicultural Societies at a Time of Global Crisis"
We, participants in the Russia – Europe Dialogue on Peace and Security in Multicultural Societies at a Time of Global Crisis, declare the importance of peacemaking efforts in Europe and the Eurasian region aimed at supporting peace and international harmony, and constructive dialogue between cultures and civilizations.
Therefore, we state that the recent declaration about the “failure of the multicultural project” in Europe is not only premature but also wrong in essence. The multinational and multicultural characters are fundamental to the creation of the European civilization, modern European values, and European identity. It is especially timely now, in this period of crisis in the political and economic development of Europe.
Insufficient attention to the international and intercultural dimension of relations leads to political and economic instability and consequently generates conflicts and crises. Recognizing the significance of religious views in shaping social solidarity, based on fundamental universal values and moral principles, we need to address the root cause of conflict that originates in the human mind. This leads to dialogue and reconciliation, and lays a base for peacebuilding and promoting cooperation and harmony between religions and cultures.
We highly value the role of families and schools in consolidating moral values and people’s education in the modern multicultural society. We call upon the community to study the concrete experiences of multicultural education in both European and Russian schools.
We are concerned about critical conflict situations in Europe and Eurasia, including the zone of conflicts in the South Caucasus that remains unstable. We call for constructive dialogue between all opposing parties within the zones of the Georgia - Abkhazia conflict and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
We call upon the international community to remember the significance of the historical experience of co-existence and co-development of the peoples in Russia and the Soviet Union, as an integral part of European civilization. Russia is a rightful part of Europe and looks forward to a deeper integration with Europe in the spheres of economics, politics, and culture.
We affirm the importance of dialogue between Europe and Russia, which will finally help to overcome the mutual distrust originating in Cold War times and consolidate mutual understanding between nations and peoples based on common European values. In the name of this idea we call upon all who desire peace, mutual understanding, and cooperation in Europe to join us, and we anticipate the joint efforts of governments, parliaments, NGOs, and the business world.
Author: Dr. Vladimir Petrovskiy
Chief Academic Researcher, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
Dr. Petrovskiy is a PhD in Political Science, a Full Member of the Russian Academy of Military Science and a Senior Counsellor at the Asian Economic Cooperation Foundation (AECF). He is a member of the editorial boards of Diplomatic Service, International Journal of Asian Economics, International Journal on World Peace, among others. He is the author of four books and numerous articles on the theory of international regimes, multilateral security arrangements in the Asia-Pacific and Euro-Atlantic regions, civil-military relations and security sector reform, international peacekeeping and conflict resolution, human security and human development issues.