Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by representative of the Russian Federation Mr.Boris Meshchanov at the ECOSOC Development Cooperation Forum

Madam President,

The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for humanity that have spanned acrossall areas of sustainable development. The economic crisis, exacerbated by debt burden, environmental concerns, food and energy market volatility, is making the post-COVID recovery and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals more difficult.

In this regard, we are convinced that the main principle of international assistance to developing states should remain its focus on national priorities and development needs, without artificial conditionalities. In this case, it is necessary to put at the forefront the solution of practical problems such as industrialization, building infrastructure, diversifying trade, as well as providing access to modern technologies. The ultimate goal of international efforts is eradication of poverty, global redistribution of added value, strengthening stability and self-sufficiency of developing states.

These tasks are, indeed, highly ambitious and require the concerted efforts of all countries. At the same time, it is clear that developed countries are not doing enough to fulfill them. Over 50 years since they committed to bringing Official Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of GNI, most of these countries have never come close to that mark. In 2021, this indicator amounted to only 0.33%. And apart from the funds allocated to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, total ODA in 2020 even fell for all countries except for upper middle-income countries. Developed countries are also not fulfilling their obligations in the field of climate finance.

We support ongoing discussions in the UN on multidimensional vulnerability, which should take into account the special challenges of different groups of countries.

We urge international donors not to reduce the volume of ODA during this difficult period. We strongly condemn individual attempts to politicize international assistance, as well as to use it as a lever of pressure on developing countries.

The Russian Federation remains a responsible international donor. Guided by the principle of solidarity, our country seeks to contribute to the creation and strengthening of the economic, intellectual, scientific and technical potential of the partner countries, helping them to make the most of the opportunities in the world markets for goods and services, diversify economic ties, and actively participate in integration processes. The annual volume of official development assistance provided by our country has doubled over the past decade, averaging $1 billion a year.

A significant area of Russian assistance to developing countries is debt relief. Since 2002, through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative we have delivered more than $20 billion in debt relief to African countries alone. In our work in this area, we also focus on the group of least developed countries. Since 2013, Russia has written off almost $380 million in debt to countries in this category. They were able to direct the released funds to national development programs.

We cannot agree with individual attempts to blame Russia for the deterioration of the economic situation in developing countries. This is a classic example of replacing cause with effect. Recall that it was the illegal unilateral coercive measures against Russian products that led to its shortage on world markets - and, as a result, to an increase in prices.

For its part, in 2022, Russia, despite attempts to blockade our economy, extended a helping hand to the poorest countries, offering to supply hundreds of thousands of tons of food and fertilizer free of charge.

In conclusion, allow me to reiterate that the achievement of sustainable development will beimpossible without an equal partnership of all States without exception. In this regard, we reaffirm our determination to continue to provide support to the governments of developing countries, both through the UN and through bilateral channels.

Thank you.