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IYCSA Bids Ambassador Vitaly Churkin Farewell

Vitaly Churkin was a wonderful disciplined diplomat par excellence, a sheer extraordinary character and a brilliant mentor beyond excellence.

23/02/2017 04:52 SAST | Updated 23/02/2017 04:52 SAST
Lucas Jackson / Reuters
Russia's Former United Nations Ambassador Vitaly Churkin.

The Central West has gone blind.

Dear universe, what do we do? The people we looked up to, have left us. One by one, our world is robbed. Day by day, we keep our heads up high, hoping the giants before us, will us on their backs and show us the light. Day and night, we position ourselves for global validation, in pursuit of excellence. We ask ourselves, how far is tomorrow?

Not so long ago, the International Youth Council South Africa was in conversation with the UN, seeking clarity on why SA doesn't have representation at the UN SC. Very little did we know, that the person we're in contact with, would leave us so soon. Sixty-five was just seconds away.

Indeed, it is with deep sorrow that we learned about the death of Vitaly Churkin. A wonderful disciplined diplomat, a sheer extraordinary character and a brilliant mentor beyond excellence. We've lost a person very dear to us. We've lost one of the most respected and influential members of our UN family. We are resolute that his name's going to live on in the annals of the UN system's history.

Indeed, Ambassador Churkin will continuously be remembered for his retaliation to the US Ambassador to UN Samantha Power when he said in his speech, "Please, remember which country you represent. Please, remember the track record of your country. "It's during those times that, the IYCSA developed keen interest in international diplomacy, whereby the chapter learned about the involvement of USA in Syria.

Those concerned with international policies would know how tensions are between USA-Russia, hence Ambassador Churkin excelled in his role based in New York until his departure.

He devoted his life to defending the interests of Russia and was always found on the very front lines and in the most stressful spaces of sensitive responsibility. The man loved his job passionately.

We send our heartfelt condolences to his family, the Russian Federation, colleagues and associates during this time of loss. May they find strength during these trying times.

Ambassador Churkin served as Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations since 2006. Prior to this appointment, he was Ambassador at Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (2003-2006), Ambassador to Canada (1998-2003), Ambassador to Belgium and Liaison Ambassador to NATO and WEU (1994-1998), Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation to the talks on Former Yugoslavia (1992-1994), Director of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR/Russian Federation (1990-1992).

Vitaly Churkin was awarded the Order For Merit to the Fatherland of IV degree in 2012. It's during these times that IYCSA interacted with him.

We send our heartfelt condolences to his family, the Russian Federation, colleagues and associates during this time of loss. May they find strength during these trying times. May Churkin's entourage continue watching over the territory, for his role was felt.

Farewell.