11 мая 2010

On the festivities of the CIS countries and UNESCO dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II

On May 10, at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, the Permanent Delegation of the Russian Federation to UNESCO celebrated the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II in cooperation with the Intergovernmental Foundation for Educational, Scientific and Cultural Cooperation of the CIS (IFESCCO). A representative delegation from the Foundation, headed by Co-Chairman and the Russian President’s Special Representative for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi and Executive Director of the Foundation Armen Smbatyan took part in the festivities. The delegation met UNESCO leaders to discuss thoroughly the main areas of the future cooperation, and also the possibility of UNESCO to join activities to preserve cultural heritage of the CIS countries. The highlight of the Festivities in the name of Peace and Harmony was a gala concert of Youth Symphony Orchestra of the CIS countries conducted by a famous Russian musician and conductor, UNESCO Artist for Peace, Vladimir Spivakov. At the opening ceremony the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova and the Chairperson of UNESCO Executive Board, Permanent Delegate of the Russian Federation to UNESCO Eleonora Mitrofanova, as well as the Russian President’s Special Representative for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi addressed the guests and the participants of the concert. In her speech UNESCO Director-General I. Bokova highly appreciated contribution of the war veterans to the victory. She also observed the fact that IFESCCO initiative was very timely so that it fit into with program of the International Year of the Rapprochement of Cultures 2010. Furthermore, it set an example of a huge potential of intercultural dialogue that could bring people together in the spirit of peace and respect of cultural differences with the hopes for the future peace maintenance being set on the younger generation. A significant part in the concert program of the CIS Youth Symphony Orchestra was assigned to the compositions of P. I. Tchaikovsky, which coincided with the 170th anniversary of the Russian composer celebrated this year. At the end of the concert a melody of the song “The Victory Day” by David Tukhmanov was performed and accompanied by scenes of the war chronicle. The young musicians were welcomed by the audience and received a great ovation. On May 10 an International Colloquium “The Role of International Organizations in Preventing Wars (Lessons from the 20th Century)” took place in the frame of a series of joint events coordinated by the CIS countries and UNESCO. Historians and diplomats from CIS countries (Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine) as well as representatives of some NGOs took part in the event. A number of speakers during debates drew attention to a recent tendency on the international arena to distort and falsify some events in contemporary European history of the pre-war, war and postwar periods. Moreover, the participants of the Colloquium mentioned that there were some attempts to press some “historical” charges against Russia in the capacity of successor of the USSR, to put the latter on a par with Nazi Germany, to make the two countries equally responsible for unleashing the war, and to minimize the role of Russia in the defeat of Nazism. In response to such false statements, Russian speakers put a special emphasis on the fact that Russia had never made distinction and didn’t make a distinction between “her own victory” and “the victory of the others”. In addition to that, Russia holds the opinion that it was the coalition of the Allies that won the War, and underlines how important it was for the European future and peace that the victors of the “brown plague” had overcome all the ideological differences at that time. At the end of the Colloquium the participants will issue a collective appeal to UNESCO leaders to elaborate a comprehensive program in order to spread widely the ideas of peace, humanism and tolerance. A representative delegation of war veterans and scientists, as well as diplomats from the CIS countries laid wreaths on the monument to Soviet soldiers at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, visited the Caen Memorial in Normandy.