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Moscow Conference Discusses Sustainable Development Goals

Russia-2017-12-16-Moscow Conference Discusses Sustainable Development Goals

Moscow, Russia—About 100 people, including experts in many fields, attended a conference on Russia’s implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

"Consolidating the Society for Promoting the Sustainable Development Goals" was held on December 16, 2017, at the National Hotel in the very center of Moscow.

The conference was held at the initiative of the Universal Peace Federation and the Amicability diplomatic club.

At its 70th Session in 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, which succeeded the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015). The goals and objectives of Sustainable Development are comprehensive and balance the three components of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental.

Russia's principal position is the apolitical nature of the Sustainable Development Goals’ implementation, as stated by Russian President V.V. Putin at the meeting of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in September 2017 in China.

President Putin also pointed out that the Russian Federation is actively involved in implementing the SDGs. The state is working to solve the economic problems of developing countries; it promotes projects to ensure food security and modernize infrastructures, and it cooperates with international organizations of the UN system. The Agenda for Sustainable Development until 2030 is extensive and comprehensive and does not provide for a single approach to implementation. Based on their specifics and needs, the states themselves determine their national priorities.

The conference program included two plenary sessions with keynote speeches, questions and answers, and a general discussion.

The participants included representatives of different countries. They presented their views on the problems in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and suggested ways to address them. At the plenary sessions, 17 speakers spoke, among them scientists, public figures, artists and even Miss Ukraine International 2017.

At the very beginning of the conference, Anna Borisova performed a wonderful musical composition for oboe, creating a positive working mood for the delegates.

Ruslan N. Grinberg, a doctor of economics and the scientific director of the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, professor, touched upon an important problem of society. In his view, the most important problem in the world today is that countries are in constant conflict, which does not have any solution at the political level. Very often people ask the quite unproductive question: "Who is to blame?" But, he said, it is much more important to find the answer to the question "What to do?" because only with the answer to this question can society unite and find the hope that things will move from a dead center.

Anatoly A. Kanunnikov, a Ph.D. in history, leading researcher of the Department for Social Studies at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, president of the Social Ecology foundation, touched upon the ecological aspect. In his opinion, life and human well-being depend on the state of nature, and our task is to make sure that there is no contradiction between nature and human development. Nature, society, and humans are an interrelated system, the components of which are inextricably linked.

Nizami M. Mamedov, a doctor of philosophy and a professor at the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Service under the President of the Russian Federation (RANHIGS), in his speech confirmed the importance of harmonious relations between humans and nature. In his thesis he stated that by changing the culture, one can change the ecology; he confirmed the importance of a systematic approach to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

One of the central reports was the speech of Konstantin Krylov, the regional secretary general of the Universal Peace Federation for Eurasia. He described how the activities of the UPF chapters in different parts of our country promote the Sustainable Development Goals; he outlined the projects in the fields of ecology, culture, people's diplomacy, and a healthy lifestyle.

Ainur N. Arslanov, the first deputy chair and mufti of the Central Religious Association under the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Republic of Bashkortostan, emphasized the importance of peace initiatives, especially in our time when religions are often used to achieve various goals, often far from the purposes of religion itself. He talked about building harmonious relations between Muslims and Orthodox believers in the Republic of Bashkortostan, as the guarantor of peace in the region.

Petr N. Kazansky, the head of the St. Petersburg regional branch of the Association for National and Non-Olympic Sports of Russia, said that despite many disagreements and destructive tendencies inherent in today's world and in Russia in particular, we can count on the unification of peoples, interests, generations and views in only a few phenomena of public life. Sports was and is such a phenomenon from time immemorial. Sports can bring happiness in a fair contest, real friendship between rivals, real health, true happiness in victories, aspiration for self-improvement, pride in one's own people—all that today is lacking in the most sophisticated and clever political systems. Sports policy is a policy of health and peace.

Also interesting were speeches by prominent Russian scientists such as Valentina Bondarenko, Ph.D., a full member of the Institute of Economics at the Russian Academy of Sciences, International Academy for Studies of the Future, the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, and the International Academy of Global Studies, leading researcher; Sergey A. Ostroumov, a doctor of biological sciences, a leading researcher at the Biological Faculty of Moscow State University, and a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences; and Nizami M. Mamedov, doctor of philosophy and a professor at RANHIGS.

A very bright report was given by the cyclist-marathoner and Ambassador for Peace Ildus Yanyshev, the chair of the Tatarstan Cycling Association and initiator of the Global Cycling Tour for Peace project. From Kazan, he rode a bicycle throughout the European part of Russia, the Baltic region, Western Europe to England, crossed the ocean and continued his round-the-world trip in the United States. Ahead of him are the countries of Asia, the Far East, Siberia, and the Urals.

The conference was attended by the head of the Arab Association for Peace and Human Rights, Mohmed Osama Ahmad Fanmi. He delivered a kind and inspiring speech about happiness, peace, and mutual assistance. If there is no peace within every person, then there will be no peace in the world, he said; the same is true of kindness. He raised an important question about the use of alternative energy sources.

The beautiful Miss Ukraine International 2017, Ksenia Chifa, delivered a welcoming speech in which she called for peace and emphasized the importance of the Universal Peace Federation activities in strengthening neighborly relations.

Khamzat G. Tzokiev, the president of the League of Nations association of national and cultural public associations of St. Petersburg, completing the official part, stressed the need to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals and the important role of the Universal Peace Federation in this important matter.

Many informative and inspiring reports were heard at the conference. All the guests were tuned to the same wave, a wave of peace and harmony. It was in this atmosphere that a solemn ceremony of awarding diplomas to the new Ambassadors for Peace took place. The solemn chord was handing honorary awards, gold and silver stars, to the already active Ambassadors for Peace. This ceremony was hosted by the conference moderator, Sergey Dvorianov.

At the end of the conference, the guests and participants communicated in an informal atmosphere at the festive buffet table and discussed further cooperation plans.

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