Kashirskoje shosse, 88/26-112
IDC is a Russian independent non-governmental, non-political, non- profit voluntary organization. The IDC is registered by Moscow Justice Department as a public NGO (certificate #979).
The aim of our NGO is "to promote the integration of Russia into the World Democratic Community by establishing and developing direct contacts between young people of different countries" and "civil society strengthens in our country" (see the IDC Statutes).
The IDC main fields of activity are:
IDC is not a debating society. It is an action-orientated peoples' initiative.
- organization of specialized seminars and conferences;
- international election monitoring;
- carrying out international youth exchanges;
- intercultural projects;
- educational and Internet projects;
- environmental activity;
- participation in NGO networks;
We started our activity in 1989. We were one of the first independent organizations to fight against the Iron Curtain in Russia. The word "Discussion" appears in our name because, at that time, you were not allowed to have opinions that differed from the "official" line, but you could "discuss" them.
The IDC is a mini-network with branches in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novorossiysk, Murmansk (Russia) and Minsk (Belarus). The Club has representatives in Berlin (Germany), Irkutsk (Russia), and Washington (USA).
Since 1990, the IDC has organized a series of exchange programs with Germany and the Netherlands, as well as several international seminars on the economy, politics and environment. Members of the Club took part in many conferences and congresses all over the Europe and have visited 11 European countries.
In 1992 IDC carried out an international seminar "Introduction to Green Movement of Russia", supported by a democratically elected Moscow City Council, which offered Western ecologists their first opportunity to visit a nuclear reactor located in a secret research institute in Moscow.
In 1993 the IDC international conference "Engagement for Democracy" collected more than 100 participants from 7 countries.
At the Parliamentary elections in 1993, 95 and 99 and Presidential elections 1996 and 2000 IDC, on appointment with the Central Electoral Commission of Russia, has organized international election observation programs. Representatives of 12 European countries as well as participants from Australia, Canada and the USA joined the IDC Observation team. In 1996 groups of IDC observers attended general elections in the USA and a scandal constitutional referendum in Belarus. In 1997 we went to see the elections in Ukraine and Sweden. We also have organised political seminars and carried out election observation at several local elections in different parts of Russia.
Election observation is one of the IDC priorities. During the parliamentary election in Russia (December 1999) and at the presidential (spring 2000) we continued international election monitoring. We carried out Study Trips for foreign students to Russian elections. Participants of this program were as well official foreign election observers, so we did serious job. We worked in collboration with OSCE-ODIHR Election Obervation Mission. IDC observers have a good mark from OSCE.
We will coninue this program ar several upcoming local elections in Russia. We are looking for partners for this program. Please, see: http://idc.cis.lead.org/observer/
Two recent large international activities of IDC were concerned with environmental issues.
An international NGO seminar "Social Activism in Practical Urban Environmental Projects" was held in Novorossiysk, Russia on October 6-11, 1997. The seminar has the aim of bringing together representatives of different sectors of society (NGOs, science, municipal administration, universities, charitable foundations) from different countries and of sharing their experience in implementing urban environmental projects. 50 participants from 12 countries took part in the seminar. The seminar was concentrated on practical urban environmental projects - creation, protection and upkeep of city parks, botanical gardens, arboreta, etc. Russian Minister of Environment sent a welcome letter to the seminar participants. All-Russia environmental TV program of RTR has carried a report about the seminar.
In 1998 IDC carried out an Environmental Youth Working Camp at the Novorossiysk Arboretum. The participants had opportunity to enjoy not only presentations, discussions, role-games, but also to take part in practical work - massive tree planting on the Black Sea foreshore.
The IDC is also active in international debates and conferences in Internet. Among our Internet initiatives there are two anti-war campaigns - "Stop the War in Chechnya" and "Stop Bombing Yugoslavia".
Now the IDC works on the following projects:
Upcoming international IDC events and seminars: (see http://idc.cis.lead.org/idc/projects.html):
- "Arboretum in Novorossiysk" - assistance in creation and development of a city park and an arboretum in the largest Russian port city at the Black sea - http://idc.cis.lead.org/idc/arboretum/ ;
- "Public Involvement into Practical Environmental Strategy" - implementation of a strategy of public participation in assistance to development of special protected natural territories;
- "International Election Observation" - co-ordination of international observers' activity and assistance of activity of Russian electoral observers at federal and local elections in Russia; participation in international election monitoring in other countries - http://idc.cis.lead.org/observer/ ;
- creation of an International Non-Governmental Organization For International Affairs - Forum of youth Associations for International Relations (FAIR);
- "IDC Web" - a support of the World Wide Web pages of the Club, development of NGO communications through the e-mail and Internet (http://idc.cis.lead.org/).
- Courses in Russian language and/or culture, Moscow, St.Petersburg;
- Study trips to Russia for foreign students (topics - on demand);
- A seminar "Introduction into Russian politics" (Study Trip to Russian Election) and election observation - at several local elections;
- Public hearings on the project of a new environmental law - Coastal Code of Russia, Novorossiysk, Murmansk;
Last updated: June 2000
A print version of much of the information contained in this NIS Third Sector Organizations section can be found in the The Post-Soviet Handbook (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1999).