Opening Remarks By Ambassador (RTD) Murat BILHAN Vice Chairman of TASAM


III. International Scientific Congress “Globalistics- 2013” Dedicated to the 150th birth anniversary of Vladimir İvanovich Vernadskiy (1863-1945) Moscow, 23 October 2013...

III. International Scientific Congress “Globalistics- 2013“

Dedicated to the 150th birth anniversary of Vladimir İvanovich Vernadskiy (1863-1945)

Moscow, 23 October 2013

Distinguished Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have the distinct pleasure of visiting Moscow once again, where I have served 4 years of my professional life and have visited several times thereafter. Each time I come to Moscow, my nostalgia revives towards rich Russian culture and famous Russian hospitality which I enjoy deeply and this makes me feel at home.

I would like to underline the importance and timeliness of this meeting, where we will discuss in some detail the vast implications of global developments on our countries. The impacts of globalization practically affects all various fields of our daily life and we are being both positively and equally negatively influenced by these developments. The idea here is to outweigh the negative influences by positive ones as much as we can.

During my 41 years of professional career, I have never agreed with the diplomatic slogan of "zero sum game", which I believe produces a semblance of a gain in the short run for one party of a conflict, at the expense of the other, or opponent. But in the longer run, it ends up almost always in a lose-lose equation. Because you can never have a sustainable happiness on the basis of the unhappiness of your opponents, WHO might someday become your would-be partners or allies. In our specific case now, i.e. impacts of globalization, we should not try to use the fruits of this process for us against the interests of our other partners, even if they are our competitors or rivals at the time in certain fields, because this might turn as a backlash on us. Anyway, one thing is certain: "Zero Sum Game Diplomacy" may produce an everlasting scar or bleeding wound in relations which in turn destroys trust.

Another concept which I would not be in agreement with would be to take globalism as a totally negative process or phenomenon and try to resist it by all means. We have to be aware that it is inevitable and irresistible and we should learn to live with it, rather than without it. The question for us is whether we would stay behind it or we should adjust our footsteps in the direction where it goes. If you prefer to stay behind and resist the process, you'll always be on the losing side, sooner or later.

There are two main and one follow up questions coming to my mind to solve this phenomenon:

First question would be WHO tries or tries to stand against this tide and why?

Second question would be what exactly are the negative consequences of globalization or so perceived by some of us?

Under the circumstances of the World of today, it will be controversial and very sensitive to answer the first question for us. Because it will be touchy for some to hear critical references to some ideological or some other approaches and sensitivities, by which some people try to justify their contrary attitude to the process of globalization.

But it will be easier to answer the second question, because with any objective look into the matter - and I would expect that no one would disagree - both good and bad consequences of the process of globalization undeniably exist.

This brings us to the third question: Then how can we avoid or prevent any bad eventual results of globalization and to protect ourselves from the undesirable impacts of globalization on our lives?

I see here as the only chance international cooperation, instead of rivalry and feud. I would like to return to my earlier remark here: "No zero sum games against each other

I hope I have given some food for thought for our deliberations and introduced enough provocative issues to be discussed.

I shall be happily prepared to answer any questions for a more concrete discussion with whoever from the distinguished members of the audience.

Thank you.

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Africa 65 135
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Islamic World 51 143
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Turkey 49 198

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