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RUY - Russian Union of Youth

Centre for International Cooperation

Russian Union of Youth (RUY) is one of the biggest non-governmental, non-political and non-profit youth organizations in Russia, focusing on providing young Russians with leadership experience through various projects and programs.

Every year more than 4 million young people participate in these projects and programmes. RUY has regional offices in 75 regions of Russia with a large number of local offices in schools, colleges, universities and enterprises.

RUY organizes more than 20 national and more than 200 regional projects and programmes for young people. All projects and programs are supported by either federal or local authorities. In 2014 RUY was honored to become for the second time one of the providers of the President grants for NGOs working in the social field.

International youth cooperation is one of the main areas of work for Russian Union of Youth. RUY cooperates with more than 20 foreign states by organizing and participating in international projects, exchanges, conferences, panel discussions etc. Every year RUY welcomes foreign delegations from our partner countries and send active members of the organization abroad.

On the international scene RUY works in accordance with priorities of the Russian foreign policy. Russian Union of Youth collaborates with the Government of Russian Federation (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation, and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation), funds (the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, the Russkiy Mir Foundation, the CIS Interstate Humanitarian Cooperation Fund) and educational institutions (Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Moscow State University, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Russian State Social University) etc. Foreign youth organizations of CIS, SCO, BRICS, EU countries are also among partners of RUY. However, we are open for cooperation with all organizations concerned.

Spheres of Work:

- Engaging young compatriots living abroad

- Promoting Russian language and culture abroad

- Developing youth public diplomacy

- Developing international youth entrepreneurship
Methods of Work:

- International educational projects

- Developing multilateral cooperation (CIS, SCO, BRICS)

- International youth business clubs

- Participating in the projects organized by Russian and foreign NGOs

- Organizing international projects, contests, conferences, discussions, meetings etc.

2014 – Overview

During 2014, Russian Union of Youth has been working intensively to broaden cooperation with its partners from the Government of the Russian Federation, major Russian NGOs working in the field of international relations and public diplomacy, funds, and universities.

From January to December 2014 more than 15 foreign delegations consisted of young leaders, politicians, NGO employees, and entrepreneurs paid visits to the Central Committee of Russian Union of Youth (more than 100 people from all around the world).

RUY activists participated in a number of international events held in Russia and abroad.

Taking into account that cooperation with CIS-countries is one of the priorities of the Russian foreign policy, RUY also focuses on cooperation with these countries. In 2014 Russian Union of Youth organized its traditional international events in Russia: “Be-La-Rus” International Youth Camp (Pskov), Sosedi International Youth Camp (Orenburg), XXI Century Leader International Student Unions School (Rostov-on-Don), Russkaya Zima International Youth Festival (Yaroslavl).

A new impetus was given to the development of friendly relations with China. Russian Union of Youth became an operator of youth exchanges in the framework of the Russia-China Youth Friendly Exchanges Years 2014-2015. RUY became one of the organizers of the Opening Ceremony of the Years as well as of the concert in the State Kremlin Palace dedicated to Russia-China friendship (October, 12). RUY activists also participated in the traditional youth exchanges with All-China Youth Federation the main partner of RUY in China. Five Chinese delegations visited Russia in 2014 at the invitation of Russian Union of Youth.

Working with members of the SCO was also an important area for RUY. Several large events aimed at strengthening relations with these countries were organized: Shanghai Cooperation Organization Student Spring Festival, the SCO Youth Innovation Forum and a number of panel discussions. The delegation of RUY took part in the annual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Youth Council in Tajikistan in June 2014.

Russian Union of Youth is also working on developing youth cooperation within BRICS. The first landmark event was the BRICS International Youth Forum, which took place in Moscow from 21 to 25 July 2014. All delegates of the Forum decided to organize similar events in their countries. From 2 to 10, November a delegation of Russian Union of Youth visited the capital of India New-Delhi. Russian and Indian young leaders have decided to organize two more events in Delhi in 2015.

Russian Union of Youth also gave a new boost to the development of the European Youth Card in Russia; a project organized by EYCA (European Youth Card Association) where RUY has the membership since 90-s. Experts have prepared an action plan for card development in Russia for 2015-2020.

2014 Events and Highlights:

The Opening Ceremony of the Russia-China Youth Friendly Exchanges Years 2014-2015

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The Russia-China Youth Friendly Exchanges Years 2014-2015 were launched in St. Petersburg on March 28th, with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin both sending congratulatory messages to the event. Visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong and her Russian counterpart Olga Golodets pledged to deepen youth interaction between the two countries.

The opening ceremony with Russian Union of Youth as one of co-organizers was held at the new Concert Hall of Mariinsky Theater. RUY had also trained a large group of volunteers for the event.

As part of the Years events, a youth exchange program involving 100 schools and 10,000 students from both countries, as well as an online interaction program involving 1 million students from both sides, were also launched on the same day.

The concert of the opening ceremony was performed by the joint symphony orchestra consisting of young musicians from both countries. The world-renowned Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, the general and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, was in charge of the Russian-Chinese Youth Symphony Orchestra. The concert was the first event of the program, which is in action for 2 years. The youth-themed activities should be of great appeal to young people from both countries, especially those learning Russian in China, and Chinese in Russia.

Before the concert, the Mariinsky Palace (the residence of the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg) held a meeting of the organizing committee of the Years. Russian Union of Youth is an active member and contributor of the committee. Following the meeting, Liu Yandong and Olga Golodets signed the Action Plan of the Years.

On the same day, Russian Union of Youth participated in the task meeting with the representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and All-China Youth Federation. Russia and China have prepared more than 300 activities within the framework of the Russia-China Youth Friendly Exchanges Years, including large-scale two-way youth visits, language contests, sport games, youth forums and art festivals.

2014 and 2015 years will be a period of active development of relations in the humanitarian field between Russia and China, including youth cooperation.

Russian-Chinese Forum on Youth Friendship and Cooperation

Russian-Chinese Forum on Youth Friendship and Cooperation took place on the campus of the Far-Eastern Federal University on Russkiy Island (Vladivostok, Russia) from 24 to 26 June. The Forum was organized by Russian Union of Youth with the support of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund and the Far-Eastern Federal University.

The Forum is one of the featured events of the Russia-China Youth Friendly Exchanges Years 2014-2015, an intergovernmental cultural project aimed at developing Russian-Chinese cooperation in culture, education, art and science.

On the first day of the Forum, students and teachers from Russia and China (Beijing City University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Chinese University of Political Science and Law, etc.) met for a panel discussion.

The participants of the Forum discussed achievements and prospects in the field of bilateral youth cooperation, shared experience of working with young people and children. During the Forum they also met with Vladivostok authorities and had a guided tour around the city. The event boosted the relations between Russian and Chinese young leaders and contributed to the mutual cultural understanding. Participants also signed a joint resolution in the end of the Forum.

Chinese-Russian business club for young entrepreneurs

Sino-Russian Youth Business Club and its web-site were launched on June, 29 in Harbin (China). The Club was founded by Russian Union of Youth and All-China Youth Federation. It is due to become a good platform for cooperation between young entrepreneurs of both countries.

Assistant to the Chairman of the All-China Youth Federation Wan Xuejun said the club will help to nurture the results of pragmatic cooperation and to share international experience.

Meetings between young entrepreneurs of two countries is an important part of the Action Plan of The Russia-China Youth Friendly Exchanges Years 2014-2015. New club is due to organize a large amount of events including business negotiations between Chinese and Russian entrepreneurs, seminars and lectures as well as to provide information and consulting via its web-site.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization Student Spring Festival (SCO Student Spring Festival)

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Shanghai Cooperation Organization Student Spring Festival took place in Chita (Zabaikalsky Kray, Russia) from 2 to 7 July. The Festival was included into the Action Plan of the Russian presidency in the SCO in 2014-2015 and became the biggest youth event in Russia in 2014.

More than 3,5 thousand people from 14 member states, observer states and dialogue partner states of the SCO (China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Belarus, Turkey) came to Chita. According to RIA-Novosti news agency, the Festival took the second position at the top list of the most expected events on the Russian Federation territory after Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. The Festival gala concert was broadcasted on a federal TV channel.

The founders and organizers of the Festival are the All-Russian public organization Russian Union of Youth and the Government of Zabaikalsky Krai. It was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia and the Ministry of Culture of Russia.

The Festival program was subdivided into seven thematic areas in which the youth demonstrate their abilities in the fields of science, education, sports, creativity, entrepreneurship, and social activities. More than 100 famous and well-known politicians, officials, journalists, artists and public figures took place in the Festival in the capacity of experts, moderators and honored guests.

This international festival became an effective platform for strengthening relations, developing cooperation among the SCO countries and forming a positive image of Russia abroad.

BRICS International Youth Forum

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BRICS International Youth Forum took place in Moscow from 21 to 25 July 2014.

Sixteen young leaders from Brazil, India, China and South Africa arrived to the capital of Russia to discuss with their Russian counterparts the prospects of youth cooperation in the political, economic, humanitarian and cultural fields in BRICS countries. More than 150 people took part in the Forum.

The Forum was supported by the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo).

The Opening Ceremony and the plenary session of the Forum took place in Moscow State University in the presence of honored guests from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia, Embassy of India in Russia, Moscow Government and RUY.

On the first day of the Forum, young leaders of BRICS visited workshops and seminars by well-known Russian investors, financial gurus and innovators. They also visited the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation in order to discuss the role of public diplomacy in the modern world. The participants of the panel discussion decided to create BRICS Youth Magazine and appeal to the governments of state to boost youth exchanges among BRICS countries, to create joint educational institutions and innovation projects.

The agenda of the Forum also included the visit to the Central Committee of Russian Union of Youth where participants had an opportunity to meet with the Chairman of RUY Pavel Krasnorutskiy and learn more about RUY’s projects and programmes.

The last day of the Forum was dedicated to the visit to the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, the largest private business school in Russia.

BRICS International Youth Forum came out with an outcome document Dialogues for Resolution. Among other things, the outcome document calls for establishing a working group for creating BRICS Youth Councils' communicative platforms for executing plans with respect to business, innovation, leadership development, humanitarian, political and scientific fields; creation of a division of the Development Bank of the BRICS aimed at supporting youth initiatives in entrepreneurship and innovation projects; and creating a system of youth internships and exchange programs, mentoring and enterprise development.

The SCO Youth Innovation Forum

On October 7-10, 2014, Ufa (Republic of Bashkortostan, Russian Federation) hosted the Youth Innovation Forum of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), bringing together young scientists from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China, as well as from major Russian cities with the population of more than one million. The Forum was included into the Action Plan of the Russian presidency in the SCO in 2014-2015.

The All-Russian public organization Russian Union of Youth, the Government of Bashkortostan Republic were the organizers of the Forum. Ufa-2015 SCO BRICS Office Group Autonomous Non-commercial Organization acted as a co-organizer of the event. The Ministry of Youth and Sports of Bashkortostan Republic operated all preparations and logistics.

Bashkir universities presented their innovation projects in the foyer of the Congress Hall, where the exhibition of innovation solutions from six different fields (nanosystems, agriculture, energy, environmental management, information technology and breakthrough technologies in medicine) was held on the first day of the Forum.

The roundtable discussion on the subject Prospects for SCO Innovation Cooperation took place right after the opening part. Denis Gusev, Director of the Convergus Project Oriented Educational Technologies Center led the discussion.

We invited investors, experts, businessmen and representatives of major industrial holdings to take a look at the projects and innovative ideas proposed by the young people at the Forum. We are confident that the Forum will help young scientists in their future work and encourage further cooperation within the SCO, said Deputy Prime Minister of Bashkortostan Marat Magadeyev.

More than 30 experts from the Skolkovo Innovation Centre, Agency for Strategic Initiatives, Russian Venture Company as well as representatives of investment companies and private investors studied and evaluated 80 different projects. As a result, 18 participants reached the final of the competition. Three winners in each nomination were determined: Best Innovative Product, Best Innovative Project, and Best Innovative Idea. They received money prizes, became members of the RUYs business club.

100-member Russian Youth Delegation to China

In the framework of the Russia-China Youth Friendly Exchanges Years 2014-2015 a 100-member Russian youth delegation visited China at the invitation of the All-China Youth Federation in late October, 2014. The visit was prepared and organized by Russian Union of Youth and the Ministry of Education and Science.

The goal of the visit was to share experience in youth policies and to strengthen friendly relations between Russian and Chinese young people. Young NGO employees, innovators, journalists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, scientists, doctors, civil servants aged 20-40 from all Russian regions became members of the delegation. The visit lasted for 7 days and the Russian delegation divided in four smaller delegations had an opportunity to learn more about life in Shandong, Jilin, Shaanxi and Hubei.

In provinces, delegates had meetings with students and university officials, visited industrial parks, car factories and business incubators. They also participated in roundtable discussions with Chinese entrepreneurs.

Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao met with a Russian youth delegation in Beijing. Li said Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2013 decided to conduct Year of Youth Exchange between China and Russia in 2014 and 2015, which is a major decision concerning long-term development of China-Russia relations. He called on young people from both countries to work together for the better future of bilateral relations.

Chinese partners organized a large cultural program for their Russian friends. The members of delegation saw the Terracotta Army, the Museum of the Imperial Palace of the Manchu State, The Forbidden City, The Temple of Confucius, Changchun World Sculpture Park and the Great Wall of China.

Russia-China Youth Concert

On October, 12 the State Kremlin Palace hosted the Russia-China Youth Concert organized in the framework of the Russia-China Youth Friendly Exchanges Years 2014-2015. The Concert was organized by Russian Union of Youth, the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia and the Ministry of Culture of Russia.

The concert was dedicated to the official visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Russia. Artists from Beijing and Moscow participated in the concert. All guests also had an opportunity to see the art and calligraphy exhibition organized on the same venue.

Visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong and her Russian counterpart Olga Golodets addressed to the guests in the beginning of the concert. They emphasized the high level or relations and cooperation between Russia and China in all fields, including humanitarian sphere.

New generations, who better acknowledge and understand each other's culture and value systems, are taking shape in Russia and China, Golodets told. That will positively influence the political climate of bilateral relations in the coming decades, and facilitate joint programs in various social spheres, she added.

The Chairman of RUY Pavel Krasnorutskiy said that all these bilateral events are extremely important for establishing long-term relations and cooperation in education, science and youth policy. We have been working hard and have already created organizing committees in both countries, organized a number of meeting on different levels and worked out a joint action plan, he added.

RUYs Official Visit to India

A delegation of Russian Union of Youth visited the capital of India New-Delhi from 2 to 10, November. Tatiana Seliverstova, Head of International Department, says that it was the first visit to India for RUY activists.

Russian Union of Youth is to play an important role during the period of the Russian chairmanship of the BRICS due to the fact that it has been working hard on developing cooperation among young people of BRICS countries since 2012. BRICS International Youth Forum held in Moscow in July 2014 became an important landmark for developing youth cooperation within BRICS. During the Forum participants have decided to meet again in autumn.

In order to discuss a wide range of issues RUY invited innovators, scientists, project managers and entrepreneurs to take part in the visit. During their stay in New Delhi, they participated in various important meetings and discussions.

The roundtable discussion Prospects of Development of Russian-Indian Collaboration at the level of youth unions, organizations and associations, jointly organized by the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) and the International Federation of Indo-Russian Youth Clubs was aimed at marking the World Youth Day.

Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi, M.P., who was the chief guest from the Indian side, lauded the crucial role played by Russia in supporting the country in times of difficulties and referred to the number of bilateral projects contributing to the development of the country. Ms. Lekhi identified such fields as trade, economy, health, education and science and technology for intensive cooperation. She laid deep stress on the immense potential of the youth organizations from both sides to materialize India's ambitious concepts such as Swatch Bharat and Make in India.

Later the Russian delegation was also welcomed at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and at Jawaharlal Nehru University. After the meeting with representatives of these universities, it was decided to sign bilateral agreements during the next Russian visit to India.

The delegation also visited the VIII Russian-Indian Trade and Investment Forum. The Russian delegation was led by Mr. Dmitry Rogozin, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. After the Forum the young delegates were honored to be received by Yaroslav Tarasyuk, Russian Trade Representative in India, with whom they discussed opportunities for cooperation between Indian and Russian young entrepreneurs. Mr.Tarasyuk offered to established an Indo-Russia Youth Business Club. Russian Union of Youth is going to work on this ambitious project.

As result of the visit, two sides decided to organize BRICS International Youth Forum (BIYF) and India-Russia Youth Forum in New-Delhi.

RUY Public Diplomacy School

From 17 to 21 November, 2014 Russian Union of Youth organized together with Russian State Social University the Public Diplomacy School. Thirty young people aged 18-35 took part in the project.

The Public Diplomacy School is a project aiming at providing further education for students, postgraduates and young politicians in the area of political and socio-economic cooperation. Meetings with well-known politicians and public figures as well as master classes taught by experts in the field of international relations are included in the program.

The participants visited the Federation Council, the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation and RT Channel Office.

As a result of the Forum Russian Union of Youth decided to establish the Public Diplomacy Youth Club. All alumni of RUY Public Diplomacy Schools have an opportunity to become its members. Moreover, all Club members are welcomed to publish their articles and essays on international relations, foreign policy and public diplomacy on the web-site of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC).

2015 Events and Highlights:

The Public Diplomacy Youth Club

The first meeting of the Public Diplomacy Youth Club was held on January 20. Students and experts in the field of international relations and public diplomacy took part in the meeting. They discussed the future structure and projects of the Club as well as the role of Russia on the international scene.

The main aim of the Club is creating a pool of young diplomats and ambassadors who can participate in RUYs international projects in Russia and abroad. The Club will work permanently in order to give its members all opportunities for professional development. RUY is going to have one meeting every month, where popular public figures, politicians and experts will be invited.

The Public Diplomacy Youth Club focuses more on projects and practice rather than on theory. The Club members can also participate in the work of Department of International Cooperation and Innovations as well as receive consultations and help should they desire to set up their own projects.

These topics of the meeting will mainly touch upon the most important issues for Russian foreign policy CIS, SCO, BRICS and China.

BRICS International Youth Forum

The three-day BRICS International Youth Forum was held in late January at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) in New Delhi. RUY became one of the main organizers of the Forum and sent a large delegation. Other organizers of the Forum are the Russian Centre of Science and Culture, International Federation of Indo-Russian Youth Clubs. The organizing committee also received knowledgeable support of the BRICS Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs.

The delegates of the BRICS Youth Forum proceeded to Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, the venue of Mahatma Gandhis Last Prayer, to pay homage to the Father of Nation on the Martyrs Day after the conclusion of the Forum. The delegates had the privilege of meeting the Honble Prime Minister Narendra Modi there.

The Resolution adopted on the concluding day focused on the creation of a world-wide youth dialogue, communication tools and formation of a permanent platform for interaction between youth associations of BRICS countries, ensuring effective investment in youth professional potential of the BRICS countries. Experts and participants stressed that the above tasks acquired relevance. They also expressed the need for development of a programme of dialogue between young people, which should be the basis for a new strategy of developing cooperation among BRICS counties.

In this context, the participants identified such facets as establishing a Working Group for creating BRICS Youth Council, marking Youth Policy as a priority for interaction between BRICS countries, establishing a Coordination Council of Youth Programmes in BRICS, forming a specialized Unified Communication Centre, creating a Division of the Development Bank of the BRICS, organizing a System of Youth Internships, developing a Plan of Cooperation within the BRICS, and developing Inter-Cultural and Inter-Ethnic Dialogue, promoting public harmony and tolerance among youth of BRICS countries.

The Forum participants also decided to hold the next events in Ufa, Russia, in July 2015 and in South Africa in November 2015. The leaders of delegations emphasized that it is very important to hold such events in all five countries in order to give a chance to the bigger number of young people to be involved.

The head of the Russian delegation Tatiana Seliverstova also had a meeting with the officials from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, who promised to support the India-Russia Youth Forum scheduled for March 2015. During the next Forum both sides plan to sign several bilateral agreements on cooperation.

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Russian Union of Youth, 2002-2016