Alexander Yegorov Development and Security Research Institute, Director, Minsk; Anatoly Mikhailov European Humanities University, Rector, Academician, Minsk
On behalf of the European Humanities University and the Development and Security Research Institute we thank you for your time and opportunity you found to participate in this seminar. At the background of gradually receding enthusiasm concerning perspectives and possibilities of transformation of our life we, step by step, arrive at the thought that we have to understand deeper and more adequatly those really grand and very dramatic events we participate in. Unfortunately, the oldest truth - understanding very often comes late, if at all - is being proved once again.
Moreover, crises, failures, losses often act as the stimulus for understanding. Now we cannot afford such a gap between the dynamics of social processes and our own state of inadequacy for these processes. The quality of historic proces-ses at the threashold of the third millenium changed so radically that the consequences of the fact that we cannot intellectually provide for the scenarios and variants of development can be really unforeseeable and will be paid for with too great of a price, including human sufferings and lives.
Our seminar takes place at the time when this lack of understanding, inability for a constructive dialogue gave way to forcible military methods of solving the conflicts in contemporary Yugoslavia. This, of course, shall influence today?s discussion. Our task is to think over the negative experience and draw good lessons from these tragic events. We would not like at all if our experience proved once again the truth once expressed by the ancient - the history teaches us that so far it did not teach anything to anyone.
Our words of hope are directed to the Head of the OSCE Mission and representatives of the diplomatic corps of European states present here as guests. We are at the beginning of a very serious, long-term work. As the condition for a successful construction of all-European house there should be mutual openness for a dialogue and an ability to change emotional rhetorics for scenarios of constructive cooperation.
Our seminar does not envisage any appeals, calls or prescriptions. It is desirable that one of its main results would be the organization of the Minsk Forum, within the framework of which there could be continued such necessary intellectual activi- ties on finding ways and means of transformation of our society in the context of the European integration processes.
We thank the Minsk International Educational Center for the support and this center, of course, can be the place of a very productive dialogue, which will be meaningful and important not only for our country, but for European region as a whole.