BY THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO BOTSWANA
IGOR S. LIAKIN-FROLOV
ON OCCASION OF
THE RUSSIAN DIPLOMATS’ DAY
February 9, 2006
Your Excellency Honourable Minister Mompati Merfhe,
Honourable Ministers present here,
Your Excellencies Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Representatives of International Organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased to greet and host you today here at the Russian Embassy. It is a special date for us, Russian Diplomats. Four years ago President Vladimir Putin signed a decree establishing the 10th of February as a professional holiday for Russian diplomatic service. Why was this day chosen? 457 years ago to be exact on that day the Russian diplomatic service was for the first time mentioned in the documents as official state structure.
There are a lot of definitions of our profession – some of them are quite ironical. For example: “Diplomat is a person who will think twice before saying nothing” or “Diplomat always knows what to ask when does not know what to answer”. But seriously speaking according to Encyclopedic Dictionary “Diplomacy is the act and practice of conducting the international relations, the method through which such relations are regulated by ambassadors and ministers, the work and art of diplomat”.
Diplomatic work is not so easy as many think. It requires from diplomats to have deep knowledge, wide political views, analytical capabilities, integrity, determination etc. At the same time they are entrusted with huge responsibility, very often they are in extremely complex situations sometimes even dangerous. By the way the fate of the first head of Russian diplomatic service was quite tragic he was beheaded by tzar Ivan the Terrible for some mistakes in conducting foreign policy. Thank God the times are changing.
This year is very important and responsible for Russian foreign policy and Russian diplomats. In 2006 Russia holds presidency in the Group of Eight. There is a lot of work to be done. Serious attention will still be paid to African problems. The overall direction of our efforts, joint activities of the G8 with Africa will not change this year. During the period of Russia’s presidency we intend to ensure succession in Africa-related activities of the G8 by integrating African problems in the general context of priorities such as energy security, education, combating infectious diseases and by holding a meeting the Africa Partnership Forum in Moscow in October. It is expected that this meeting in Moscow should adopt the first progress report on the Forum joint plan of actions. We also intend to organize within the African Partnership Forum certain events for personal representatives of the G8 leaders for Africa and convene in Moscow two meetings of experts on strengthening the
peacemaking capabilities in Africa.
Russia is ready to continue to energetically promote finding comprehensive solutions of problems facing the continent. It is opened for constructive interaction with the G8 partners, other concerned countries and African states including Botswana with the purpose of achieving the goals.
Today we would like to share with you our holiday spirit. All of us represent here different countries and fulfill different duties but what we have in common, what unites us – it is our common goal to strengthen the international peace and security to create such system of international relations which ensures the sovereignty and interests of all states. I wish to our guests the best – good health, prosperity, and further success in their work.
Today we will show you a movie - “Driver for Vera”, it is a love story with elements of suspense. As any movie of such group do not take it very seriously.
So, please, have some fun, enjoy our traditional food and drinks, “Pula”!