Ilya Kursenko overview of his internship at the Council of Europe Programme Office in the Russian Federation
I have spent 2 months in Moscow as a Traineeship Intern at the Council of Europe Programme Office in the Russian Federation. The time has flown by, though it is the casual feeling that comes by the end of something exciting as such an opportunity is. Throughout my internship I had the opportunity to engage into the work of the Programme Office directly, taking active participation in helping to organize and conduct the high-level events. The highlight of my internship was my engagement with the project on gender equality. To be more precise I mean the joint cooperation project between the Council of Europe and the Russian Federation to take common steps in the implementation of the National Women Action Strategy adopted by the Federal Government for 2017-2022. The topic was quite new to me despite the fact that I attended the 73 United Nations General Assembly, where I participated in the open discussions on the sidelines of the high-level meetings hosted by the UN Women agency and the national governments.
As for a male citizen of the world the subject of gender equality is especially important to me. I believe that this is the value that all human beings must share to promote better governance in our local communities and on the global scale as a whole. I also believe that even though I am male, I will have a family, I will have children and they might be female. In this case, would I want to cope with the injustices that my own daughter would face? No I would not want her to experience that and I will never put up with anything of this kind as her father and as the global citizen. Thus, we all are the actors in the mutual commitment to achieve gender equality.
During my internship I have learned that the Russian Federation puts in the serious efforts to bring more justice to this matter, to support the women and to provide them with the equal rights and opportunities so they can perform their socio-economic roles to the full extent. I have also explored that the subject of gender equality is universally relevant and the majority of states faces the same issues regarding all aspects of the rights of women spectrum whether it be combating violence against women, sexual trafficking, and economic discrimination. Moreover, the mutually recognized commitment to take the necessary set of actions to address the challenges the gender equality agenda faces the member-states of the current system of international relations can explore a broad scale for possible cooperation. This is particularly important taking into account the unfortunate decrease in the overall international trust and the increasing regional tensions. As the global community looks up for the new ways to get along, the gender agenda has all credit to become such a unifying platform.
I can highly recommend the opportunity to get involved with the Council of Europe whether it is an educational program, an employment opportunity, an internship – everything can work out well for those who look for the ways to contribute to strengthening the value of democracy, the rule of law and advocate for Human Rights. I hope that this short message serves those who read it as a real-life example of how no borders exist for those who dream of a better world. It is, very importantly, not simply about dreaming. The first second you dream, the second thing you do right after is work towards bringing that dream into the reality.
Written by Ilya Kursenko
Ilya Kursenko is a KFU student who has just completed his internship at the Council of Europe Programme Office in the Russian Federation