3–6 July, the first BRICS Youth Summit was held in Kazan. Among the participants representing the Russian youth was Dmitry Vladimirov, lecturer at the Department of Recreational Geography, Country Studies and Tourism of the Faculty of Geography, Geoecology and Tourism of Voronezh State University.
The Russian delegation included graduate and post-graduate students, young scientists, journalists, and experts from all over Russia. The delegates were selected in the competition that consisted of two stages: the first stage was an open essay competition in five subjects proposed by the Summit's Organising Committee; the second stage consisted of individual video link-up interviews with the winners of the first stage.
All the participants met in Moscow, and on July 2, they were greeted at the Building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, where Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia, and Sergey Pospelov, Head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, gave their welcoming speeches. In his speech, Sergey Lavrov pointed out the huge role the youth play today in the state's policies, and said that they have their own views on what is going on in the world. He also said that it is very important for today's youth to be socially active. On July 3, the delegation of the Russian youth arrived to Kazan.
– We were staying at the Universiade 2013 Village. The organisers had arranged that every room was occupied by the delegates from different countries, so that they could get to know each other better. I was staying with a guy from India, Ram Kumar. He was very polite and friendly, and we got on really well. I can even say we've become friends. On the first day of the Summit a marvellous opening ceremony was held. After the ceremony, the delegates discussed some urgent issues and shared their views of the world problems, – says Dmitry Vladimirov.
On July 4, the official opening ceremony was held at the Kazan City Hall. Delegates from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, as well as reporters and the Summit organisers were addressed by prominent politicians: Rustam Minnikhanov, the President of Tatarstan; Sergey Pospelov, Head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs; Lyubov Glebova, Head of the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation; and Anton Inyutsin, the Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation. All the politicians pointed out that the Summit should play a significant role in developing partnership between the BRICS countries. They also expressed their hope that the Summit would be productive and all the participants would enjoy it.
In the afternoon, the delegates worked in groups, met with various experts and presented their suggestions on certain problematic issues. Dmitry Vladimirov worked in the group "Political collaboration" that invited three experts: professor Georgy Toloraya, Executive Director of Russian National Committee on BRICS research and Director of the Regional Projects Department at “Russkiy Mir” Presidential foundation; Viktoriya Panova, Chief Advisor on Strategy Planning for the Russian National Committee on BRICS Research, Co-chair of the Civic BRICS Forum, Associate professor at the Department of International Relations and Foreign Policy at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations; and Konstantin Kolpakov, the Chairman of the Board of Young Diplomats under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
– BRICS is not an institution, it has no rules or regulations that are obligatory for all the members. So, all the problems are discussed and the decisions are made together, without any pressure. I saw it, when we were discussing the suggestions on political partnership in our group. All the participants were very knowledgeable and understood very well the political interests of their countries. They were also open for discussion and ready to take compromise. So, the results of our joint work were quite impressive: we made good progress developing the Action Plan - the final document of the Summit - and enjoyed ourselves very much as well, – said Dmitry Vladimirov.
The First BRICS Youth Summit 2015 Action Plan was created just in 3 days of intensive work. On July 6, the Plan was presented at the Summit closing ceremony to Sergey Pospelov, Head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, Gabriel Medina de Toledo, National Youth Secretary of Brazil, Shri Rajeev Gupta, Head of the Department for Youth Affairs and Sports of the Republic of India, All-China Youth Federation Vice-President Zhou Changkui, and Buti Manamela, South Africa's Deputy Minister for the National Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. All the politicians praised the Plan very high. Sergey Pospelov in his speech thanked all the delegates and said that he hoped that young people from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa would work together successfully in the future.
Apart from discussing the world problems, the delegates also had an opportunity to see the ancient part of Kazan. They had a tour of the historical centre of the city, the Kazan Kremlin, Kazan Federal University, and visited Innopolis – the Russian analogue of the Silicon Valley.