Artek children learn diplomacy

During the 11th session at the center, children could take part in the UN School Model at Artek role game or master diplomatic skills while attending workshops with professional diplomats, ambassadors, public figures, lecturers from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), members of the Association of Russian Diplomats and the Diplomatic Academy under the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The 3d Young Diplomat international session brought together children from 29 Russian regions, and also from Vietnam, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Finland, Kazakhstan, and other countries. The children were the winners of artistic competitions sponsored by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The session had Diplomacy as a Lifestyle for its motto. The man behind the program, Valery Yegoshkin, is a diplomat, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, and Deputy Chair of the Association of Russian Diplomats. In his words, “The project aims to show children that a diplomat’s characteristic qualities can benefit each person regardless of his or her profession. Diplomacy as a lifestyle is something everyone may find useful.”

“I believe that an international session at Artek is not just a good idea but a brilliant one,” diplomat Sergei Kovalevsky said following a workshop, “Artek has always been renowned as an international center, and many people have found friends from all over the world here. Many of my senior colleagues will mention during a heart-to-heart talk having attended similar sessions, which led them to become diplomats and real professionals. Of course, not all of those present here will embark upon this career in the future, and they don’t really need this. They are going to get incredible experience, learn about the functioning of international relations, make friends with children from all over the world, and become real diplomats even in their families. I want to believe that we are making a contribution to implementing this Artek idea.”

In just three weeks, Artek children familiarized themselves with the history and operation of the United Nations and mastered public speaking together with negotiating skills. The UN School Model at Artek was held for the first time ever with 50 Artek children, as well as lecturers and students of the Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy. School students discussed education and the environment while pretending to be diplomats. As such they gave speeches, conducted talks, looked for compromises and ended up preparing a resolution.

“What I remember most about the session is the UN School Model game,” Maxim Belyayev from Salekhard, Yamalsky District, says, “Each one of us represented a country, we held debates and solved issues through negotiations. At Artek, I’ve learnt much about world politics and present-day society. I’ve also fulfilled my dream of seeing the very best camp in the world.”

Another session member, Violetta Lykova, believes diplomacy to be her vocation: “On television,  I often watch diplomats and politicians I look up to, including Igor Alexeyev of the “What? Where? When?” program.   I’ve read a lot about Valery Yegoshkin, who is an acting diplomat as well as a very interesting person. Here, at Artek, I could talk to them, hear what they have to say. It was very interesting.”

Sofia Ivanova from Moscow could talk and make friends with younger children as well as people of her own age: “There were interesting Foreign Ministry classes on personal development. I want to dedicate my life to art, but I’m totally aware that diplomacy will come in handy in any career.”

According to members of the Foreign Ministry territorial trade union, who also organized this Artek session, the Young Diplomats program expands the outlook of children and helps them to better understand the world of today. Not only do children learn more about the current state of affairs but they also learn the society’s development patterns, which makes it possible for them to foresee what is going to happen next. In addition to all this, similar programs develop personal qualities, communications and decision-making skills