15 November 2016, Tuesday
Russia’s UN Ambassador hails strong UAE-Russia relations as axis of stability and growth in the region

Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the national international relations and diplomacy, academic, training, best-practice and research institution, organised a set of lectures by Vitaly Churkin, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, on various topics concerning multilateral institutions, great power politics, and UAE-Russia relations on Wednesday November 9th and Monday November 14th.

Speaking at EDA, the former Russian Ambassador to Canada, offered students and faculty glimpses into the inner workings and general functions of the United Nations Security Council - a decision-making body that is playing an increasingly proactive role in a world facing new political realities. He also provided a comprehensive overview of great power politics and highlighted the historic relationship between Russia and the United States.

Drawing on his rich experience as a seasoned Russian diplomat, Ambassador Churkin highlighted to the EDA-audience that negotiating international peace and security among multiple stakeholders, especially within an institutional setting, can be a daunting task. Arriving at a resolution requires each member to have an in-depth institutional understanding to bypass the first hurdles of such negotiations - guided by provisional rules and strict protocols. The absence of such understanding most probably would result in the failure to reach an agreement among the diverse parties.

Expanding on the theme of great power politics, he said: “As a diplomat, besides understanding global institutions and new ways of working, spurred on by emerging technologies, markets and issues, it is vital to understand the power dynamics between governments. This often requires the diplomat to recognize the sometimes complex and nuanced history of the key actors. In an era that craves certainty, this is an important principle that cannot be forgotten.”

Thanking the Russian Ambassador, Bernardino León, President of EDA, said: “The highly informative lecture by His Excellency Ambassador Churkin is further evidence of the Academy’s continued endeavors to add value to the class-room education of our future diplomats by facilitating their access to high-profile speakers and experts in the field. Such interactions provide our students with insights into global trends and developments, while also equipping them with the right tools and networking opportunities to develop their careers in the UAE’s foreign services.”

During a third lecture, which was jointly organised by EDA and Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, the permanent UN-representative was welcomed by His Excellency Omar Ghobash, UAE Ambassador to Russia, and Professor Eric Canal-Forgues, Head of the University’s Department of Law, Economics and Management, to give the audience - comprising of numerous foreign diplomats, foreign affairs professionals and officials from the UAE’s ministries, as well as faculty and students from both institutions - a first-hand account on Russia’s foreign policy stance on the Middle East and the growing synergies between Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Welcoming the collaboration between Paris-Sorbonne University and EDA, Dr Fatima Al Shamsi, Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University, said: “It is a great privilege to host Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who has been the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations since 2006. This lecture offered our Law and International Diplomacy students a rare opportunity to benefit from the speaker’s vast diplomatic experience. We look forward to many more such partnership events in the future. Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi was and will remain a bridge between civilizations.”

In his capacity as a Russian diplomat, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin has visited EDA many times in the past and plays an important role in building political, economic and social bridges. As a regular guest to the UAE, His Excellency Churkin has played a defining role in strengthening and further developing UAE-Russia ties and in driving increased collaboration between the two countries.