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The School of International Regional Studies is a research and educational centre seeking to revive international regional studies as an academic discipline in Russia. The department’s world-class professors train the next generation of regional studies specialists while developing an increasingly prestigious research school.
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The event was moderated by Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Joint Department of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academic Supervisor of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Dr. Vitaly Naumkin. He greeted the participants of the event and introduced Dr. Nabil Fahmy as a high-ranking diplomat, statesman of Egypt, and recently a well-known representative of academic society.
Dr. Nabil Fahmy expressed gratitude to the organizers for the invitation to speak at the conference at the prestigious HSE University and the opportunity to meet with old friends from a long diplomatic career, as well as more than a decade of work in academic spheres.
In the introductory part, the speaker noted that today's world order is experiencing a real storm, since the main actors still adhere to the concepts formulated following the Second World War, which do not correspond to modern realities and challenges.
Further, Minister Fahmy outlined his views on the causes of changes in the world order, their impact on the regional problems of the Middle East and made recommendations for correcting the situation. He gave his analysis of the transition from a bipolar world order, when the two strongest blocs waged geopolitical rivalry in Europe and beyond based on maintaining the “balance of power” and “spheres of influence”, to a unipolar one – led by the United States and the West after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Dr. Fahmy stressed that, as a representative of Egypt, he had always expressed doubts about the validity of these concepts, since they did not consider the interests of developing and non-aligned countries. In this regard, the speaker criticized the activities of the Non-Aligned Movement, most of whose participants, as bipolarism was destroyed, focused on providing material needs, not paying enough attention to the establishment of a more just world order. Thus, the Movement missed the opportunity to consolidate multilateralism as a modality.
Describing the situation around the confrontation between Russia and the West in Ukraine, Dr. Nabil Fahmy said that although the Russian military intervention “is a violation of international law, one cannot ignore the fact that this was preceded by constant Western encroachments on Russia's “red lines”.
Then the lecturer examined the situation in the region in detail. He noted that the Middle East has been subjected to serious upheavals, geopolitical balances have changed dramatically, national identity has faced ethnic challenges, and social contracts between governments and peoples have been seriously tested. According to the speaker, it is necessary to develop a more modern “architecture of the Middle East”, to intensify interregional cooperation, including rapprochement between Egypt and Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran, Arabs and Israelis.
Concluding the lecture, Nabil Fahmy proposed to create a group of outstanding scientists and practitioners within the UN to develop additional rules and procedures to achieve a more just, secure and unshakable world order, legislating them further at the national, regional and global levels.
The event aroused wide interest among the audience. Following the results, a question-and-answer session was held.