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International Leadership Conference

Europe and Russia – Partners in a Globalized World”

October 12th and 13th, 2012

Vienna International Centre (U.N. Building) &  NH Danube Hotel



An International Leadership conference on the topic "Europe and Russia - Partners in a Globalized World," was held in Vienna on October 12 and 13 organized by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in cooperation with the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) and the Women's Federation for World Peace.

The conference was part of a series of European events held at the United Nations in Geneva and Vienna, UNESCO in Paris, National Parliaments in the United Kingdom and Norway, and in the Presidential Palace in Malta. It was also the second in a series of  "Russia – Europe Dialogue" conferences which were started in Moscow in April 2012.

The first day was held at the Vienna International Centre (UN building) attended by over 250 participants coming from several European countries and the Russian Federation. International and local guest were welcomed by Peter Haider, Secretary General of UPF-Austria, who explained Austria’s special potential and responsibility as a small country with a delicate role between the East and the West of Europe in the history after World War II leading to the fall of the Iron Curtain and developments afterwards.


Friday, 12th October - Vienna International Centre (U.N. Building)

SESSION I: Europe and Russia - Partners in a Globalized World 

Chairperson: Peter Haider, President UPF Austria

Mag. Barbara Prammer, President of the Austrian parliament (video message)

H.E. Sergey Nechaev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Austria

Dr. Werner Fasslabend, Minister of Defence Austria (1990-2000), President of AIES

H.E. Dr. Anwar Azimov, Ambassador at Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Dr. Thomas Walsh, President of UPF International

Mr. Jacques Marion, Secretary General UPF Eurasia


The President of the Austrian Parliament, Mag. Barbara Prammer in a video message commended the organizers of this conference for their initiative. She stressed her belief in the importance of the perspectives of youth for the future of the Euro-Russian relationship, and as a female politician she expressed her conviction that a focus on the role of women in Europe and Russia would contribute to getting closer to the common goal of a peaceful and just world.



Then ambassador of the Russian Federation to Austria, H.E. Sergey Nechaev outlined the multiple aspects of positive cooperation between the European Union and Russia.  He observed good opportunities for economic cooperation in the context of Russia joining the WTO, its promotion within the OECD, and in realizing joint projects in the framework of the “Partnership for modernization”. He emphasized the complementarity of the EU and Russia in the energy sector, but reminded the audience that by 2015 the EU will no longer interact in a bilateral format with Russia, but with a new Eurasian Economic Commission. He spoke on the need for a speedy resolution of the issue of visa-free travel between Russia and the European Union, which would have a positive impact both on the economic development of both partners as well as on tourism and cultural exchange. Insisting that disputes between the EU and Russia should be solved on an equal, non-discriminatory basis, and that the „teacher-and-pupil role game“ on human rights issues would not lead anywhere, he asked the international audience to offer positive ideas for the upcoming, December 2012 Russia-EU summit in Brussels.


Dr. Werner Fasslabend, Minister of Defense in Austria from 1990-2000, in his words of welcome to the participants looked back at the history of the relationship between Russia and Europe, which started more that 1000 years ago. 500 years ago after, the end of the Mongol dominance Russia linked herself to Europe and especially Austria as is was the seat of the Hapsburg Empire in those days. He mentioned the intensive opening of Russia towards Western Europe through Czar Peter the Great. Russia became a mayor factor in European history. Czar Alexander together with Metternich dominated the Congress of Vienna after the Napoleonic period, which set up a balance between five major powers for the stability of Europe. The conflicting interests on the Balkan ended the balance between the mayor European powers and finally the two world wars were tragic for all. The liberation from the Nazis by Russian soldiers in 1945 and the Austrian Independence Treaty of 1955 were milestones in Austrian recent history. He urged the participants not to remain in a mindset of the cold war but to understand that this time is over once and for all. We should return, he suggested, to an axis connecting Paris, Berlin, and Moscow that would bring peace and stability for Europe.


Dr. Anwar Azimov, Ambassador at Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, stated that Russia has firm intentions to successfully advance towards establishing visa-free travel to the European Union countries. "During the Cold War the Soviet Union was resisting to principle of the freedom of movement but now we have changed places. Russia is ready to abolish all visa restrictions.” It would be now the turn of the European Union to demonstrate its political will by cancelling visa requirements and confirming the strategic character of their partner relationship. The key foundation concerning visa-free travel should be mutual trust. It is not clear to Russians why the EU, which already allows visa-free travel with 40 countries, is in no hurry to do the same in respect to Russia, one of its closest and most reliable neighbours. It is the major trade and economic partner of Russia, counting for more than half of the foreign trade; investments from European Union nations will amount to US$300 billion. The number of Russian tourists visiting European Union countries in 2012 will be almost 6 million people.



Then Dr. Thomas Walsh, President of UPF International, as an American tried to bring the view of an outsider: “The US relationship to Russia has been a difficult one; and, in some respects, on the geopolitical level, over issues such as Syria, Kosovo, Georgia, and missile defence systems, the cold war continues. At the same time, Russians and Americans have many similarities and are fond of one another.” Referring to the host city of the conference, he added, “Being here in Vienna I am especially reminded of what was in many ways a major transformational moment not only in European history, but world history, the legacy of which remains with us today. I am speaking of the legacy of Austrian Prince and Foreign Minister Metternich and the forming of the Concert of Europe in 1815 following the horrendous Napoleonic Wars. For, despite its limitations, the Concert of Europe was arguably the first major example of international partnership and cooperation, for the purpose of preventing future wars. The Concert of Europe set an important precedent, even for its critics, for the rise of internationalist ideas and movements, including eventually both the League of Nations and the United Nations.” He closed by quoting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s report to the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly: “It is my conviction that the global problems we face today are simply too complex to be solved by governments alone. They require collective and coordinated action by government, by the private sector, by civil society, by academia, and by international organizations and multilateral development banks. Over the next year, I will develop a comprehensive proposal which seeks to harness the power of partnership.” Dr. Walsh concluded by proposing three kinds of programs from UPF that could enhance the partnership between Europe and Russia: Interfaith cooperation, Peace and security consultations, and Youth service projects for peace.


As a final speaker of the first session Mr. Jacques Marion, Secretary General of UPF-Eurasia, reminded the audience that the founder of UPF, Dr. Sun Myung Moon emphasized that Russia should not only link Europe with Asia but also with the North American continent by building a tunnel under the Bering Strait. This is part of the greater vision of an international highway for peace that would connect the world from Capetown, South Africa to Santiago, Chile, running of course through Europe, which would be like a modern, global version of the “Silk Road,” aimed at stimulating not only economic exchange and regional development but also the exchange of peoples and cultures. This dream to connect Eurasia and North America by a road link at the Bering Strait is now gradually taking shape through active discussion and planning, at least on the Russian side.


SESSION II: The European Dream and Multiethnic Russia

Chairperson: Prof. Dr.  Thomas Kruessmann, University of Graz, Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

Dr. Walter Schwimmer, former Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Dr. Henri Malosse, President of the EESC Employer's Group

Dr. Sergey Kuchinsky, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Council of the Assembly of the Peoples of Russia

Dr. Yong Cheon Song, Chairman, UPF Europe 


Dr. Thomas Kruessmann, a professor at the University of Graz, as chair of the second session stated that Vienna seems to be a good place for cross-cultural debates. Political developments are keenly observed by the universities, and there is always the challenge to find the right responses. He saw it as a central task to train young students to deal with Central Asia. “In comparison Russia is so close to us and we have been familiar with its culture and literature for centuries; this is an enormous capital to work with.”


As a first speaker Dr. Walter Schwimmer, former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, started his speech with the statement that there would be no European Dream if Russia was not included. He reminded the audience that Russia made a strategic choice for Europe when applying for membership to the Council of Europe in 1992 and joining the oldest and most comprehensive European organisation in 1996. Today, after the tragic experiences of the 20th century, we have the chance for the first time to create a peaceful Europe without dividing lines. Regarding Russia, this is of course not a one way street. Both sides have to deliver. But while Russia has to complete its transition to a member of the European family of democracies, the other part of Europe has to accept the new Russia as a partner with equal rights and equal opportunities. The Russians have the right to the European dream like everybody else from the Azores Islands to the Caspian Sea, from Iceland to Cyprus, thereby extending the European dream to the Pacific Ocean.”



Dr. Henri Malosse, President of the EESC Employers' Group, was the first person in the conference to proudly announce that the European Union was chosen to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 that day, and he got spontaneous applause. He added that the Council of Europe should be included as a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, since it worked through all these years to support peace. That Russia belongs to Europe is without dispute. He mentioned that in a survey in France when people were asked to choose the top ten writers, among them were Russians such as Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. Still the Iron Curtain remains in our brains, he said. The “Western” media and politicians immediately take the anti-Russian side in conflicts such as in Georgia. "We have to abolish this Iron Curtain mindset." Also Russian civil society has a right to question things happening in their country in a frank and direct dialogue. We have to develop concrete actions to bring the European Union and Russia become closer. Concerning the visa issue, he said that reconciliation between people is fundamental. “The opposition in our committee came from Poland and the Baltic countries, because we have not had a reconciliation process involving the people of these countries. This damages the relationship between the European Union and Russia. Unless we do this work we will continue to have such problems. Also the French-German reconciliation was very difficult at the beginning. So many twin schools and cities were made thanks to Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer. Unless we do this also in places such as Poland, we will go nowhere.” He ended with a small anecdote: Mr. Prodi, the former president of the European Commission, was visited by Mr. Putin and Mr. Putin asked: “What would be your reaction if Russia requests to join the European Union?” It was very difficult for Mr. Prodi to answer. Finally he said, “Look at the map. Why not! Let’s start to talk!” Dr. Malosse's final plea to the audience was to work together for the common destiny of Europe and Russia.



Dr. Yong Cheon Song, Chairman of UPF-Europe, explained that this conference should be seen as the direct expression of the deep concern that the UPF founder Dr. Moon expressed almost exactly one year ago in a surprise early morning telephone call to organizers of a similar event at the UN offices in Geneva. In that phone call he expressed his heartfelt concern that Europe and Russia should work more closely together - for their mutual benefit but, even more importantly, for the peace and well being of neighboring nations and of the entire world. “Father Moon also passionately advocated European unity combined with forging a strong sense of common European identity. He felt that European unity was invaluable for its own sake and for the benefits that it would bring to all Europeans, but even more so for how a unified Europe, guided by its highest and most civilizing values and empowered by its material wealth and scientific and technological 'know how', could help to foster peace in other, less fortunate and less well endowed parts of the world. His key point was that we stand on the threshold of a new world order. That world order will be shaped not so much by individual nations as by blocks of nations acting for the good of humanity as a whole.”


Dr. Sergey Kuchinsky, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Council of the Assembly of the Peoples of Russia, spoke on the role of NGOs and civil society in peace building. He noted that NGOs are gradually taking the coordinating role in the social movement to regulate interethnic and international relations in conjunction with government executive and legislative bodies. After the collapse of the USSR, he said, ethnic problems based on the rapid growth of national self-consciousness in Russia considerably aggravated. Therefore, the most important strategic priority for public authorities and civil society is to strengthen interethnic consent, form an all-Russia national identity, and preserve the diversity of cultures and languages in Russian society. In so doing the cultural and humanitarian component is very significant.


SESSION III: Towards a Culture of Peace - Europe and Russia in the 21st Century

Chairperson: Dr. Michael Platzer, Director ACUNS Vienna

Dr. Werner Fasslabend, Minister of Defence Austria (1990-2000)

Dr. Jan Csarnogursky, Prime Minister of Slovakia (1991–1992)

Dr. Svetlana Karepova , Vice Director of the Institute of Socio-Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Dr. Marcel de Haas, Senior Research Associate, Netherlands Inst. of Internat. Relations ‘Clingendael’



Dr. Werner Fasslabend, former Minister of Defense of Austria, in his second speech of the day, gave his analysis of the causes of enduring skepticism on both sides of the RussiaEurope partnership, despite the progress made since the Cold War. He pointed out that losing the Soviet Union’s territorial integrity had been more traumatic to Russians than the loss of their colonies had been to the British or the French. He suggested that modern Russia still needed to go beyond the historical “three pillars” of autocratic rule, orthodoxy and nation, and the traditional “ruling class-serving class” system. He emphasized the compelling economic interdependence between the European Union and Russia, noting that “both must accept that we are no longer # 1 or 2 in the world, but at best # 3 together.” He concluded that, just as Austria benefits most from trade with its four smaller neighbors, Russia would benefit greatly by letting its neighbor countries integrate into the European market rather than keeping them as satellites. “Ukraine’s integration into Europe could bring great development to a huge region from Smolensk to Saratov.”


Dr. Svetlana Karepova, Vice Director of the Institute of Socio-Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, gave an academic presentation on “Scientific knowledge as a necessary foundation for social development.” She emphasized that “it is proper that the question about including social and humanitarian sciences into the lawmaking activity and the system of scientific management of society arises. It is necessary to legislate scientific knowledge in the legal field; there are some steps in this direction on the level of current legislation already."


Dr. Jan Csarnogursky, former Prime Minister of Slovakia (1991–1992), said that instead of “Toward a Culture of Peace,' the session would better be called “Toward an Understanding of Peace.” He reminded the audience that Russia was historically invaded by both East and West, and that while Eastern invaders demanded money and territory, Western invaders demanded a change of religion, which was never accepted by Russians. Today’s demands by the West that Russians adopt their view of human rights is likewise not acceptable to them. Europe is Russia’s destiny, he said. But we should listen to the Orthodox people’s opinion before making up our minds about the “Pussy Riots,” and we cannot tell Russians that pointing a missile at them entails no danger if they say it does. Without mutual understanding, he concluded, Russia will move toward Asia rather than Europe.


Dr. Marcel de Haas, a war analyst and Senior Research Associate at the Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ in the Netherlands, spoke on the theme of “Europe and Russia – Security Partners in a Globalized World.” He first reviewed obstacles in aspects of the security cooperation between Europe and Russia, such as the question of energy security, the Georgia – Russia conflict in 2008, and Russia’s disapproval of European security architecture and Europe’s Eastern partnership. He then reviewed opportunities for security cooperation on civil protection, the fight against terrorism, and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to conclude that while Europe should not treat Russia as a junior partner and should balance demands about values with practical cooperation, Russia should not consider the Eastern partnership as a way to broaden Europe’s influence and need not consider Europe as a real threat in terms of weapons and terrorism, due to its lack of capabilities and unity.


SESSION IV: Values, Visions, Identity and Cultural Plurality

Chairperson: Mr. Mark Brann, Secretary General UPF Europe

Dr. Willem Van Eekelen, former WEU Secretary General and Defense Minister of the Netherlands

Prof. Dr. Irina Orlova, Head, Department of Sociology and Comparative Researches, Institute of Socio-Political Researches of Russian Academy of Sciences

Mr. Christian Rathner, Austrian National TV, Religion department

Dr. Erhard Busek, Vice Chancellor of the Republic of Austria (1991-1995)


Dr. Willem Van Eekelen, former Western European Union Secretary General and Defense Minister of the Netherlands, expressed his concern about a growing lack of ethics among Europeans, noting that what made the European model remarkable in his eyes is its motto of "Unity in Diversity“ practiced by 27 nations that share the same views on human rights, market economy, and especially respect for differences. He defined three crucial questions to be raised regarding partnership with Russia: the way Russia relates to its neighbors, the problem of corruption, and Russia's willingness – or unwillingness - to join an international framework for action, such as in relation to Syria. The essence of European politics, he concluded, could be summarized in the four freedoms that US President Franklin Roosevelt considered essential: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear and freedom from want.

Dr. Irina Orlova, Head of the Department of Sociology and Comparative Studies at the Institute of Socio-Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, gave a presentation on “Multiculturalism in Europe and Russia: Theory and Practice.” She mentioned how, despite its apparently sound theory, the multicultural approach came to be rejected as inconsistent after decades of practice by some major European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, because it resulted in “potential instability and national insecurity.” Yet, she said that while in Europe the concept of multiculturalism has proved to be unrealistic and utopian, in Russia it still remains part of current liberal reforms. Based on research, she concluded, “we should focus on the fact that both in European States and Russia there is a basic culture that unites different parts of society, and formulate the idea of a protected identity, a common language, and taking care of the majority that will consolidate the community.”


Mr. Christian Rathner, a journalist on religious affairs in the Austrian National TV (ORF), shared his experience as a student in the Soviet Union and took the discussion to the realm of culture. He focused on the ambiguous relationship between political leaders and artists in Russia, such as Pushkin and Nikolai I or Shostakovich and Stalin, but concluded that in the end the poet is the one who remains to tell the story. He advised Europeans to listen more to Russian artists – they are the ones who take European art most seriously. “This is what I learnt from Russia: read your poets, acknowledge your artists, listen to your musicians, keep the dialogue with traditional heritage alive - and in this sense become more European!“


Dr. Erhard Busek, former Vice Chancellor of the Republic of Austria (1991-1995) and current EU coordinator of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe, said that the crucial question for Europe and Russia was, “What is the content of Europe?” He endorsed the idea that “We cannot love a common market; we need to give Europe a soul.” He especially lamented that education had been ignored by the fathers of European integration. Taking the example of how history books in Europe differ, reflecting conflicting views of the past, he emphasized that Europeans, including Russians, need to learn more about each other. The Nobel Peace Prize to Europe, he said, will be justified only after Europe contributes to a peaceful world in the future.




Saturday 13th October - NH Danube City Hotel

SESSION V: Women in Leadership Roles in the 21st Century 

Chairperson: Mrs. Yoshiko Pammer, Youth UPF Austria

Mrs. Magdalena Vasaryova, Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia 2005-2006.

Dr. Anna Gudyma, research associate of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Dr. Zhannat Kosmukhamedova, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Dr. Lyudmila Fomicheva, President of the St. Petersburg Union of Journalists, President of the Council of the North-West Branch of the Russian Association of Public Relations

Mrs. Carolyn Handschin-Moser, President WFWP Europe



Magdalena Vasaryova, Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, began the day with a reflection on women’s leadership. What do women bring to public life? They bring life experience, tenderness, and a force for morality against immorality. Women are brought up differently. We understand differently the mechanism of communication. However, in the media, women are excluded from decision making levels in leading newspapers. Women also lack a foundation to support female leaders across borders. In Slovakia, the female Prime Minister [Iveta Radièová] was criticized for not being able to hold a coalition together and was in her position for only a year and a half.



Dr. Zhannat Kosmukhamedova, from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), reported on her study of the “Specifics of Careers Success.” Recalling that only 9 out of 190 heads of state are women, she noted the unequal gender distribution among professional staff at the UNODC. Equality of opportunity for women offered by schools, she said, is not reflected later on in society; besides, justifications for gender inequality are usually given in terms of biology, sociology, or psychology. She noted that the overwhelming majority of Russian women declare that the first role of a woman is that of a mother. She proposed that “women should decide by themselves where it is more important to invest their resources, including the resource of time. The problem appears when a woman is ready to come back to active professional life after building a family. Most of her male co-workers at that moment have more experience and significantly increased qualifications, which demands an excessive pace development from her, and which is impossible in most cases.” Finally posing the question: what should be done? She suggested that... men answer that question.


Dr. Lyudmila Fomicheva, President of the St. Petersburg Union of Journalists and President of the Council of the North-West Branch of the Russian Association of Public Relations. Women tend to focus on process, resources, and maintaining what has been achieved, while men tend to focus on expanding, bringing in new clients and new resources. The models for women political leaders have been masculine, based initially on their fathers and grandfathers; however, women in high public positions should not use just a masculine approach. The 20th century saw a breakthrough in women’s rights, although this was less true in the East, unless the women were part of a ruling clan, as in the case of Indira Gandhi in India and Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan. In Russia, six of the Romanov czars were women. Soviet ideology allowed for women’s presence in power; for example in trade and banking, but in the capitalist era only two women have been in charge of government ministries. For Russian women, public service has not been a priority, and when a woman has a government position, her family may suffer from her lack of focus on childbearing and mothering. The key to motivating women to enter the public sphere may be to help them understand that power is a tool for social reform. In contrast, men tend to see power as a game. A woman head of the city of St. Petersburg [Valentina Matvienko] did much to raise the image of our city.


Mrs. Carolyn Handschin-Moser, President of the Women's Federation for World Peace-Europe, began by describing the emerging global attention to human security as a shift from military and geopolitical issues to a more feminine concern for protection, empowerment, consensus-building, and institutional goodness. People talk about rights to peace, prosperity, happiness, and justice. However, are there not corresponding duties? Isn’t a culture of peace more than just not infringing on the rights of others? There is a big gap between cultivating inner peace and achieving global peace. “Familyarchy” can be a model for bridging this gap; the family unit can be the nexus for addressing social problems and a resource for building the capacity to resolve them. In the family, people can build the “muscles” to do what needs to be done in the larger society. Men and women can be equal partners, critiquing each other, discussing situations, and implementing strategies. The values instilled in the family create a framework for lifelong attitudes and behaviors, empowering both men and women to contribute to the greater good.


SESSION VI: The Future of Europe and Russia - a Youth Perspective

Chairperson: Mr. Bogdan Pammer, Youth Director UPF Europe

Ms. Claire Laurent, ACUNS Vienna Liaison Office

Dr. Philipp Depisch, President of the Middle European Initiative                                                              

Ms. Evgeniya Beginina, the Head of Analytical Department of Youth Commonwealth Institution at Moscow City Government

Ms. Nargiz Ismailova, Moscow Academy of Economics and Law


The panel was preceded the day before by a round-table discussion among young conference participants. [For notes from that discussion, click here.] The young delegates from Russia and Europe used this preparatory event to get to know each other and explore issues important to them. The youth panel was chaired by Mr. Bogdan Pammer, Youth Director of UPF-Europe.

Ms. Claire Laurent, representing the ACUNS Vienna Liaison Office, summarized the main topics of the discussions: (1) the question of mobility and visa-free travel between Schengen Treaty countries and the Russian Federation and (2) promoting a culture of volunteering, especially in the Russian Federation. Many were surprised to learn that the Russian government is taking an active role in promoting volunteerism in Russia.

Ms. Evgeniya Beginina explored the connecting elements of youth and volunteering in her remarks. As Head of the Analytical Department of the Youth Commonwealth Institution at the Moscow City Government, she gave an overview over the city's efforts to promote volunteering among its young citizens. She highlighted her institution's interest in learning from the best practices of volunteer organizations in European countries and the structure of the volunteering activities there. Ms. Beginina proposed to collaborate with UPF-Europe's Youth Committee in setting up exchange programs between volunteers in Moscow and other European cities.


Dr. Philipp Depisch is President of the Middle European Initiative, an organization working with young leaders in several central European nations. He shared his personal and professional experiences in European-Russian exchange programs and cooperation. Dr. Depisch closed his statement with a strong plea to his fellow Europeans to “approach Russia with an open mind and cooperate with Russians on an equal level.”


Ms. Nargiz Ismailova, from the Moscow Academy of Economics and Law, highlighted the extensive work of UPF's Young Ambassadors for Peace throughout Russia. She stressed the value of volunteering for the development of one's personality and said that “the future of our nations is built on the character of our next generation.”


These inputs initiated a fruitful discussion with questions, ideas, and contributions from the floor centered on how to promote a culture of volunteering and young people's participation as active citizens.


SESSION VII:  Education for Global Citizenship and Sustainable Peace

Chairperson: Mr. Peter Zöhrer, President Unification Movement in Austria

Dr. Walther Lichem, Former Head of Dept. for International Organizations, Austrian Foreign Ministry

Dr. Evgeny S. Krasinets, Head of the Laboratory for Migration Studies of the Institute of Social and Economic Studies of Population of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Mr. Sergey Suprunyuk, President of the International Super-Marathon Association

Mr. Timothy  Miller, Vice-Chair UPF Europe



As the first speaker Dr. Walther Lichem focused on people’s capacity for cross identification. According to Dr. Lichem, societal development depends on our capacity to learn how to tackle “otherness” and accept that a person cannot be defined just by his or her ethnic background, nationality, or language. One should understand that Identities are neither objective nor static and permanent. They are relative, subjective, and subject to change. Civil society is an important contributor to democracy and the implementation of human rights. Even some states cannot reach the same level of action and networking as civil society actors. Thus, the human rights agenda cannot be addressed without a value-based, motivated civil society.


Dr. Evgeny S. Krasinets spoke from a migration perspective. His institute is focusing on monitoring migration processes in the Russian Federation, international labor migration in the Russian Federation under the conditions of globalization, and illegal migration and latent employment of migrants as well as problems of female migration and trafficking. Migration processes bring people together, and national laws influence the relationship between migrants and nationals. For example, there are still visa issues between the European Union and Russia. The economic crisis has pushed people to look for jobs abroad. However, since many nationals lost their job because of job cuts, labor migrants are not always welcomed in a host country. Therefore there is a need for migration management.



Mr. Sergey Suprunyuk, President of the International Super-Marathon Association, explained how his association mobilizes adults and youth alike, connecting sports, peace, and friendship. Created by UPF Ambassador for Peace Eduard Yakovlev, who passed away while “running for peace” in Georgia right after the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, the Super Marathon Association has organized ”marathons for peace” on all continents and between many countries. Mr. Suprunyuk announced plans for a MoscowParis super marathon in 2013. Participants will run in relay teams with vehicles accompanying them, enabling one group to be always running. These marathons can cover thousands of miles and offer an opportunity to create friendships in every city and nation they pass through. They also organize yearly marathons on the theme of “youth against drugs” around the Golden Ring in Moscow and promote a healthy lifestyle among young people.


Mr. Timothy Miller, Vice-Chair of UPF-Europe, concluded the session by presenting a moving review of the life of UPF Founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon, based on his autobiography. Dr. Moon passed away on September 3, 2012 in Korea at the age of 92. His life-long dedication to building a world of peace, which he called “One Family under God,” led him from his childhood in a small village in Japan-dominated Korea to create a movement active all over the world. His profound teaching has provided the motivation and guidance for peacebuilding activities worldwide. As he was the one who gave the incentive for this series of Europe-Russia conferences, it was fitting to introduce his life and legacy as a global citizen of peace.


SESSION VIII:  Closing Session - Updates and Overview



Mrs. Carolyn Handschin-Moser,  President WFWP Europe

Mr. Peter Haider,  President UPF Austria

Dr. Thomas Walsh, President of UPF International

Reflections and Ambassador for Peace Awards




















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