Casale di Villa Madama


Prof. Massimo Maria Caneva MD PhD  President AESI

"In greeting all of you, present here today, starting with the AESI students who come from various Italian cities and universities, the ambassadors and the generals, all people who have been following us for a long time with affection and sympathy with dedication with patience, I address my greetings to our hosts at Minister Plen. Laura Egoli and Ambassador Renato Varriale Director General of Human Resources of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, two great friends of AESI.   Thirty years have gone by since 1993 when AESI started Study Seminars with the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time Hon. Emilio Colombo. Since then, thousands of students have followed, many of whom are already in diplomatic careers and others serve at the United Nations, others at the European Union and others in defence. We have students from the Secretariat of State of the Holy See in the Cabinet of the Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See Mons. Gallagher, we have students in the Cabinet of the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union and Vice President of the European Commission Mr. Josep Borrell, we have students here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in various Foreign Diplomatic Offices someone is already Ambassador, we really have students everywhere: once in the European Parliament in Brussels while we were waiting for President Pottering the lift door opened and c 'era was a student of ours who was on the President's staff.   This is to say that the work we do does not make much news, let's say in the international news, above all for what is unfortunately happening dramatically today both in Europe and in the world, but it does make news among us, among institutions and in the university world, above all AESI is a great actor in the promotion of University Cooperation for Peace. A little while ago I was on the phone with the Rector of the University of Belgrade who had just been appointed about a year ago. I had personally visited him during the day at the University's rectorate last October. He also expressly thanked me for the last 20 years that I have been carrying out a peace program between Belgrade and Sarajevo after the Dayton agreements. How many Rectors have passed, the first ones met for the first time in Sarajevo as the Rector Prof. Maria Bogdanovic who started the revolt against Milosevic in her faculty when she was the Dean of Philosophy and started an agreement for a Master in State Management with the University of Sarajevo. Think about the signing the first agreement of this program took place in the Italian Command of the Tito Barak in Sarajevo with the visit of the Rector Bogdanovic who met for the first time the Rector of Sarajevo Prof. Boris Tihi. We are now talking about more than twenty years ago.   So what does it mean to train the new generations in diplomacy and international careers? AESI promotes this synergy between University Diplomacy and the UN Peace Forces, this presence, this ability to get to know each other both here in Italy and in crisis areas. We are also on the eve of a very important mission where we will meet the Director General of the United Nations in Geneva on the 27th of this month and her Chief of Staff who met our AESI students at the MAECI Italian Cooperation and was so happy to talk to you young people , so enthusiastic about our work that he is coordinating this upcoming meeting in Geneva. We have just returned from a mission to the United Nations in New York where we met Ambassador Massari and in Washington where we met students and professors of the American University and Georgetown Universities with Ambassador Zappia who welcomed us into her Embassy.   All of this is a message of great hope of great strength that goes beyond the drama of so many moments of crisis that we are experiencing at an international level. Unfortunately, the drama of war continues to afflict humanity as always and let us not delude ourselves there will never be a situation of complete total peace, but in the meantime, we can thank the European Union for this great cultural geopolitical reality which has maintained for a certain period of time a period of peace after very violent wars between the various states.

Unfortunately, the geopolitical structure and the balances and realities of some states are still not perfectly in harmony with democratic systems with political systems that allow peaceful coexistence and we see that of the war with Ukraine. Unfortunately, financial lobbies and arms sales lobbies with particular geopolitical interests are inserted into these imbalances in these dystonias and determine an aggravation of the crises, certainly not an improvement by defeating what is the diplomatic relationship with respect to that of the war of confrontation.

Many crises can be prevented and mitigated like natural disasters by having good diplomacy and a good culture of international relations. Unfortunately, faced with the worsening situation in Eastern Europe, we must realize that Atlantic unity is necessary on which we are all in agreement with the United States and with the European Union and NATO in the face of the danger of the Russian Federation of Putin (not of all therefore) but of a Putin who at this moment has reacted to a situation of non-dialogue on certain issues, such as the enlargement of the European Union with an unspeakable aggression: just think that today we are talking of almost 300,000 deaths for Russia alone, perhaps as many in Ukraine, I don't know how many, but in short, already recording half a million deaths in a year and a half is a defeat of civilization and a defeat of diplomacy and a defeat of the culture of peace.   So what should we do and how should we commit ourselves so that the new generations with the present ones (because one cannot think that the new generations are not based on the current ones who operate with the future and will operate) Young people in universities have always made the change of course and many of the democratic revolutions respect for human rights, the advances in culture and civilization were born precisely from the universities and therefore for me it is a great hope to see the university and diplomacy together.   The UN peacekeeping forces are important but they are only a deterrent, they are a security, but they remain an element of deterrence or defense and are not the solution to the crisis. True, we have to keep this in mind because it is they themselves who often feel responsible for situations that should be promoted by politics which in reality leave them alone in many scenarios, I won't say where but we could also say the Balkans are an example of how the Armed Forces of Peace have been necessary but now they should be much more replaced or supported by a more active policy of integration in support of democratization processes. Speaking with the Commanders this often comes out: I know the situation in the Balkans very well and for this reason the university and the rectors of these areas, if well involved, will be a great path to peace. The same is true for the Middle East, which is suffering from a crisis of abandonment by institutions and international organizations, also faced with the drama of natural catastrophes which "crisis within crises" aggravate the situation."

Prof. Massimo María CANEVA 




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