Alexei Borodavkin: in Geneva resolved many pressing international issues

Alexei Borodavkin: in Geneva resolved many pressing international issues


On the occasion of diplomatic worker’s permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva Alexei Borodavkin said in an interview about the resolution of many pressing international problems on the Geneva site, the priorities of Russia in the Conference on disarmament and the Council on human rights, but also about how it is necessary to teach “partners” sense, and other intricacies of the diplomatic service.

Geneva is a major center of multilateral politics and diplomacy. Here is a number of organizations all more than 20 major UN agencies. Russia is an active participant in these organizations. And whether there is for Russia areas that are a priority? How goes the work?

In the last few years in Geneva were resolved many pressing international issues

Geneva has always been and remains, as you said, a major centre for multilateralism and diplomacy. In Russia about some places say “sacred”, and Geneva is the place “superevaporno”. This is true from a historical point of view. But in the last few years in Geneva were resolved many critical international issues. Here was achieved the preliminary agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, agreed on the parameters of the chemical disarmament of Syria and attempts to launch effective negotiations to resolve the conflict in the country, approved the basis of settlement of the crisis in the South-East of Ukraine, discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasia, from time to time going to meetings on Yemen and Libya. All are relatively new subjects in world politics, requiring constant attention and in-depth diplomatic analysis. So don’t get bored.

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But if the above are foreign and diplomatic stories, the issues of arms control relate to the traditional agenda of activities of the permanent mission, since Russia is one of the most influential members of the Geneva Conference on disarmament. In this forum, we together with Chinese partners to achieve the start of negotiations on the draft Treaty on preventing the placement of weapons in outer space (PPWT). Such a Treaty would prevent the unwinding of an arms race in a new area and, of course, would strengthen global strategic stability. We are supported by the overwhelming majority of CD members. The exception is, unfortunately, the United States and its allies, which will likely hope to use its “technological superiority” in order to obtain a military advantage through the deployment in space of advanced weapons systems and reinforcement so their claims on power domination. Clearly, this is a shortsighted and dangerous line, carrier of the threat to global security. We expect that under the influence of our arguments, supported by like-minded States, Washington still realize the need to adjust its position and join the efforts to develop the PPWT at the Conference on disarmament.

– You touched upon regional conflicts and disarmament issues, which appear in the Geneva agenda. Can you say a few words about the socio-economic unit of the international organisations operating in Geneva?

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– Indeed, the city hosted dozens of international, not only UN agencies dealing with socio-economic and humanitarian issues. Moreover, the age of some of them exceeded one hundred years. For example, the international Committee of the red cross and the international telecommunication Union. Will soon celebrate the centenary of the international labour organization. Among the largest and most influential international institutions, should mention the world health organization, world intellectual property organization, world trade organization, the economic Commission for Europe of the UN high Commissioner for refugees, the United Nations Conference on trade and development, world meteorological organization, the International civil defence organization and others. Depending on the specialization of these structures, past Geneva were not such pressing issues as the fight against the Ebola outbreak in Africa, the need for a pan-European economic integration in order to create a strong fabric of economic interaction without dividing lines on the continent, the migration crisis in Europe, struggle with the adverse effects of climate change, the development of international norms of Internet governance and cyber security… the list could go on.

For each of these problems Russia has its own well-considered position, which is arriving in Geneva the Russian delegation with the support of the permanent mission brought to life in various international venues. To do this, we have established close cooperation with partners in CIS, EAEC, CSTO, BRICS and SCO. Of course, things do not always work, but the voice of Russia and its partners, sounding in favor of the development of multilateral collaboration on the basis of universally recognized norms and principles of international law, meets the growing response in the UN.

– In one interview you said that the European human rights values started to crumble, as soon as Europe has faced terrorist threats and mass illegal migration. Walk up these issues in the UN Office and offered solutions to these issues?

– Causes and possible consequences of the migration crisis in Europe – an occasion for a comprehensive political and historical analysis. But now one thing is clear – the influx of migrants from the Middle East, caused by a short-sighted policy of the European countries against the crises in the region, triggered tectonic changes in the political and social structure within Europe.

The causes and possible consequences of the migration crisis in Europe – an occasion for a comprehensive political and historical analysis

The surge in migration is in the focus of Geneva international organizations – industry, have an indirect relationship to this phenomenon. As any global phenomenon, it is multi-layered: there entwined humanitarian assistance, development, human rights, crisis management. And all these problems need to be solved in complex.

Unfortunately, we observe only palliative measures. Yes, refugees in countries of first reception are in a difficult situation and require urgent assistance. But without working to eliminate the root causes of middle Eastern conflicts this will not solve the problem, it will only continue to pull resources from European States.

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We spoke four years ago and continue to say that the real solution to the refugee problem is necessary first of all to eliminate the threat of terrorism and create conditions for a political settlement of the conflicts in Syria, Libya and other countries in the region. Unfortunately, our partners are still poorly perceive this imperative because of selfish foreign policy ambitions.

– In recent years human rights issues have become increasingly important. In Geneva is the UN Council on human rights. How is the work of Russia with the Council? Do you think this body is an effective tool in ensuring respect for human rights? What principles should guide the work of the Council for human rights? Are all the countries of the Council adhere to these principles? When will the next session of the HRC and what initiatives it will come from Russia?

In the modern world human rights are inseparable from politics

– The Council for human rights continues to be one of the most important sites of Geneva, where the Russian diplomacy is working at full strength. This protection of Christians in the middle East, and countering neo-Nazism, and protection of the family and promote traditional values, and the issues of arbitrary deprivation of nationality, and the problems of the integrity of the judicial system.

In the modern world human rights are inseparable from politics. However, sometimes, the human rights agenda becomes a victim of unfair politicization or a tool for promoting parochial priorities of individual States and groups of States. This is especially clearly seen in the example discussed in the Council the situation of human rights in individual countries – for political reasons criticism has been Syria, Iran, Belarus. Using blatant double standards.

Another point is the attempt to transform human rights into a tool to legitimize anti-social and harmful to society behavior patterns. For example, relatively recently in the human rights discourse was deliberately thrown in the liberalization and legalization of drug use.

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The only way to bring in the HRC unifying agenda – focus on thematic aspects of human rights that enjoy universal support. We have always believed that the cornerstone of UN activities in the field of human rights should be depoliticized equal and respectful cooperation of States. Russia will continue to promote this principle in the Council’s work to counter attempts of defamation objectionable West governments.

The main priority for us in the near future – the celebration of the anniversary of the International covenants on human rights. As we know, the Russian delegation initiated the organization of commemorative events here in Geneva. At the next HRC session in our submission will be organized a high-level panel on the theme of the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of all categories of human rights.

How do you react to criticism Russia faced in various organs of the UN?

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– Criticism is different. If it is based on fraud and unfair information, such as replicated information, “numerous victims among civilians as a result of the blows the Russian space forces in Syria,” we have to stand up to, to learn “partners” mind – to discredit Russia will not work.

But criticism in the form of friendly recommendations on certain issues of improvement of participation of Russia in multilateral cooperation in various international organizations Geneva we consider.

– What employees are working in the mission? All of them experienced diplomats or there are young, budding?

– Diplomatic staff of our mission is quite balanced. In leadership positions are knowledgeable experienced staff that befell the complicated art of multilateral diplomacy. Have a talented and growing young people. It is encouraging to see that the vast majority of diplomats of the permanent mission work in their areas vigorously, with interest, regardless of personal time. Our mission at the Foreign Ministry in General, there is a unique, in a good corporate spirit. We are not only colleagues but also associates. Moreover, it concerns both the Ministry of foreign Affairs and representatives of other ministries – the Ministry of defense, Ministry of economic development, Ministry of health and the Ministry of education. It would be wrong not to mention the important work of those staff members who are engaged in administrative and technical positions. Without them, the work of the permanent mission would have stopped.

Tell us how you became a diplomat? Why did you come to study at MGIMO? In his heart or parents diplomats? You have extensive leadership experience in the Central apparatus of the Ministry and abroad. Where, in your opinion, harder to work?

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In MGIMO did because at school became interested in the issues of foreign policy and international relations. The school was teaching English, so many of its graduates went to study at MGIMO and now work in the Foreign Ministry. So, there is a mix of some personal dedication and “herd behaviour”.

Parents were far from diplomatic service. I remember that my father, who worked in Gosplan, once was on a short business trip in the GDR. Together with her mother they had been on vacation in Karlovy vary. So, in our family I was the first and only diplomat. My three sons chose other career opportunities. Maybe with grandchildren, of which four will be different.

As for preference, I prefer to work in Moscow. But the diplomatic service is an inevitable change of scenery. No experience sahanranta the diplomat can not do. These are two sides of the same coin.

Talked Julia Nemchenko