Moscow Caucasian Club holds first meeting
Yesterday Moscow hosted the first meeting of the Moscow Caucasian Club, which is a public consultative platform, allowing the coordination of the permanent missions of the subjects of the North Caucasian Federal District in Russia's capital and the Interior Ministries to combat the politicization of conflicts, as well as operational and qualitative informing of the media about developments in the region.
Opening the meeting, the presidential envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District, Sergey Melikov, said that the main task of the Moscow Caucasian Club is to resolve quarrels between people of different cultures and traditions. "The international situation and external threats, the actual situation in the country oblige us to act immediately," he said.
One of the main activities of the club will, of course, be objective coverage of events in the Caucasus. The presidential envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District recalled what serious work has been done in the North Caucasus region, which was a 'front line territory' not so long ago. "The North Caucasus has always been in the spotlight of influential foreign countries, since it was annexed to the Russian Empire, creating social and political instability in the region. But the difficulties were objectively perceived by the federal government, which resulted in the decision to establish the North Caucasus Federal District in 2010. In the same period, the Russian government has approved the strategy of socio-economic development of the North Caucasus Federal District until 2025 to overcome the gap in the socio-economic development of this territory," he said.
"The Public Council of the North Caucasus Federal District serves as the main platform for dialogue, today it brings together regional and federal public and experts," Sergey Melikov said, adding that the Caucasus has a special approach to its youth, which is embodied in the Council on youth policy at the embassy and the whole complex of youth projects, including the North Caucasian Youth Forum Mashuk.
"It is not enough to do during our information age, you also need to disseminate objective information on the processes taking place in the North Caucasus. There was a problem on this issue in the district. Things began to change after the establishment of the Centre for Contemporary Caucasus Policy ‘Kavkaz’. As a result, an annual North-Caucasian Media Forum, the Media Association of the North Caucasus were established, an agreement on information cooperation between the regions of the county, professional training and a number of other initiatives," the presidential envoy in the North Caucasus Federal District stressed.
It is necessary to complement the existing set with one more weighty structure, which will deal with attempts to undermine the positive image of the North Caucasus. "One of the problematic points of the formation of minorities of the North Caucasus is the interaction of people from the Caucasus region in cities with a large population. It contributes to the development of xenophobia and hatred and has the aim of driving a wedge between Russia and the North Caucasus," Sergey Melikov noted.
"Moscow has the largest number of people who came from the North Caucasus republics. I am sure that under current conditions the system and coordination of our joint efforts will give a serious effect to prevention of interethnic and interfaith issues in the capital, but also a positive impact on the atmosphere around the North Caucasus in the information field," the presidential envoy concluded.
The Deputy Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative in the North Caucasus, Mikhail Vedernikov, in his turn, pointed out that the work of the Moscow Caucasian Club will give a systematic nature to the cultural integration of people coming to the capital from the regions of the North Caucasus. "The official structures must run more universal forms of work with people coming from the North Caucasus, based on an effective and original approach by community members," he said.
"The evaluation of the work cannot be obtained without public opinion polls, statistical data on the dynamics of offenses committed by certain groups of people," Mikhail Vedernikov noted.
"Together, we can significantly expand the preventive component of our joint work. We should not encourage impunity, so the issues of crime prevention must be another priority of the Moscow Caucasian Club," the Deputy Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative in the North Caucasus concluded.
The head of research programs of the Centre for Contemporary Caucasus Policy ‘Kavkaz’, Vladislav Nikonov, said that the basis for the club's work has existed for a long time. "If we want to understand the situation and find really working solutions, it is necessary to introduce the practice of contact consultative and dialogue platforms, both on the territory of the republics of the North Caucasus and in Moscow," he explained.
"The situation has changed, but, unfortunately, the stereotype of immigrants from the North Caucasus as a threat remains. Unskilled and one-sided presentation of information is able to distort any reality. The work to normalize the perception of the information must be targeted, based on real and competent information, not on rumors and speculations," Vladislav Nikonov noted.
"Many residents of the central regions of Russia, the Urals and Trans-Urals, Siberia, when coming to the Caucasus are surprised that the stereotyped image does not coincide with reality. Today's Caucasus is not a front line anymore. It is an integral part of Russia and its transition from war to peace deserves great respect. It is necessary to actively speak and need to show how much good is in the Caucasus now," the head of research programs of the Centre for Contemporary Caucasus Policy ‘Kavkaz’ said.