On 23 September, the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs held the first meeting of the Supervisory Councils of four International Youth Cooperation Project Offices: Russia‒Arctic Council (Salekhard, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area), Russia‒BRICS (Ulyanovsk, Ulyanovsk Region), Russia‒Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan) and Russia‒Central Asia (Omsk, Omsk Region).
This is a joint initiative of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs and the governments of the four participating regions with the support of the Russian Foreign Ministry and a number of major Russian educational and public organisations, including the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Russian National Committee on BRICS Research, the “Opora Russia” national public organisation of small and medium-sized businesses, the Association of Volunteer Centres and the Urban Renovation national public organisation for the involvement of young people in territory development.
The main purpose of the Project Offices is to support systemic cooperation between young people, Russian youth organisations and their foreign partners in their respective areas.
Konstantin Kolpakov, Chairman of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Young Diplomats’ Council, noted that developing cooperation in youth policy is a priority task for strengthening BRICS Strategic Partnership.
“We pay special attention to the events of the BRICS youth dimension. Such events include the Meeting of BRICS Ministers and Heads of Departments for Youth and Young Leaders Forum, Young Parliamentarians Forum, Young Diplomats Forum, Young Entrepreneurs and Young Scientists and Scholars from the countries of the grouping. Despite the restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, we consider it necessary to maintain dynamic contacts and youth exchanges between the BRICS countries in energy, sports, culture and arts,” Konstantin Kolpakov said.
Yelena Semyonova, Deputy Head of the Russia‒BRICS Project Office, Advisor on Youth Policy to the Rector of Ulyanovsk State University, spoke about the project office’s activity and presented a work plan and priority projects for 2021‒2023. The next upcoming event, the International BRICS Youth Business Incubator, will be held online between 20 October and 2 November 2020, followed by the 6th BRICS Youth Summit scheduled for 29 November ‒ 3 December in Ulyanovsk.
On 23 September, Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency also held a news conference on the official launch of the Project Offices.
“Establishment of the Russia‒BRICS Project Office is one of the significant achievements of the Russian BRICS Chairmanship this year. We hope that the projects and initiatives for youth cooperation between the BRICS countries will be implemented with the support of the Project Office,” said Grigory Gurov, Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs.