Foreword by President Michail Gorbachev


Foreword by President Michail Gorbachev

Serving Individuals and Humanity

I wholeheartedly introduce this book and this man. Vladimir Petrovsky was a prominent figure of our time. A diplomat, a politician, a humanistic thinker, he combined service for the welfare of his Motherland with concern for the future of all humanity. At the very beginning of his career, he had the opportunity to become acquainted with the issues handled by the United Nations. He ended his work as a diplomat after occupying, for a decade, the second most important position in the administration of the world organization, that of Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.

I myself got to know Vladimir Fyodorovich very closely during the period of perestroika in our country when, in 1986, he became Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. Those were the times of renewal in our diplomatic service because of the ambitious new goals our country had set for itself. Its foreign policy changed profoundly. A transition to a new kind of political thinking was needed. This requirement was a logical consequence of the internal perestroika. It was not possible to implement plans for modernization, for transfer to using new technologies, and promote new economic relationships without building up international cooperation. Another incentive for the new political thinking was the awareness of the scale of the nuclear threat, which could bring humankind to the verge of extinction. It was no coincidence that at that time experts and politicians engaged in an animated discussion about the establishment of a new world order. Its governing principle would be policymaking based on the balance of interests and the development of cooperation, rather than on force and the imposition of vested interests on others.

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