Russian International Studies Association

Russian International Studies Association

MGIMO Hosts RISA Convention

MGIMO Hosts RISA Convention

On October 21st the Russian International Studies Association (RISA) Convention started at MGIMO. The event is a unique platform that has gathered this year more than 1,500 Russian and foreign experts and scholars during over 70 sessions devoted to various issues of international relations.

The first plenary session was opened with a statement by Anatoly Torkunov, MGIMO Rector and RISA President. Among the speakers were Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport of the Kingdom of Cambodia, María Fernanda Espinosa, President of the United Nations General Assembly for the 73rd session, Alexandre Yakovenko, Rector of the Diplomatic Academy of MFA of the Russian Federation, Andrei Melville, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Higher School of Economics, Caroline Janvier, Chairperson of the French-Russian Friendship Group at the French National Assembly.

The second plenary session "Diplomacy: Experience and Legacy", opened by Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, was particularly remarkable. As the Minister noted, this year we are celebrating a number of anniversaries of great Soviet and Russian diplomats such as Andrey Gromyko, Anatoly Dobrynin, Oleg Troyanovsky, Evgeni Primakov and Yuri Vorontsov. These people made history of our diplomacy and of our Motherland in general. They made an invaluable contribution to ensuring security of our country and creating conditions for its progressive development.

Sergey Lavrov stressed the need to keep the memory about these outstanding people, dedicated diplomats who devoted their lives to the protection of our country’s national interests: "We are doing our best to make the names of our remarkable colleagues stay in the national heritage".

In this respect opening a monument to Evgeny Primakov will be a landmark event. Also an exhibition devoted to a former head of the Soviet MFA Andrey Gromyko was opened in September .

"Our goal is not only to pay tribute to our senior colleagues whose achievements are now in the textbooks on diplomacy and international relations, but also to ensure the intergenerational continuity, which is even more important", the minister said.

Anatoly Torkunov, MGIMO Rector, also recalled the names of famous colleagues, and all of them, to an extent, are related to MGIMO. "All of these people are not just names that we respect. It’s very important for us to continue working and keeping the memory about them", the Rector noted.

Relatives, diplomats, scholars and politicians came to the event to share their memories about their colleagues and mentors. They told the audience not only about some life stories, but also shared the lessons which they learnt from their own diplomatic practice, which comprises the experience that they are transmitting to the next generation of experts in international relations.

Alexey Gromyko, Director of the Institute of Europe, corresponding member of the RAS, spoke about his grandfather Andrey Gromyko, a Soviet and Russian diplomat. Sergey Krylov, MGIMO Professor and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, shared his memories. Suzanne Massie, Special Advisor to the USA President (1984-1988), as well as Alexander Bessmertnykh, President of the MGIMO Alumni Association, President of the International Foreign Policy Association, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, recalled the stories about Anatoly Dobrynin. Alexander Panov, Head of the Department of Diplomacy at MGIMO-University and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, told the audience about Oleg Troyanovsky and his family. Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, also made his contribution.

The stories were accompanied by unique photographs reflecting the life of these diplomats.

At the end of the session the Azerbaijani Ambassador to Russia Polad Bülbüloğlu congratulated MGIMO on the 75th anniversary and presented to Anatoly Torkunov a medal dedicated to "100 Years of Diplomatic Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan" in accordance with the order of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov Maharram oglu.

The cultural activities of the Convention became a remarkable event for all the participant, MGIMO faculty and students. A special show was prepared by MGIMO students, Grigory Leps gave a concert in the Conference Fall, Nikas Safronov, Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, opened an Art Exhibition "The World seen by MGIMO students and alumni".