Statement by the Russian Federation at the 2020 UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
We commend the results of the 2020 HLPF under the auspices of the ECOSOC. The Council proves its role as a central UN Charter body for coordination and balanced addressing of the issues of three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental as well as promoting a coordinated follow-up to the Agenda-2030, with its Goals which are integrated and indivisible.
On the 14th of July 2020, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation M.Reshetnikov presented Russia’s first Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda (the first collective VNR with participation of Russia was presented by Eurasian Economic Commission in 2017). Representatives of our country legislative branch, federal and regional executive bodies, municipal authorities, the Central Bank, development institutions, civil society organizations, research organizations, as well as business community have united in an unprecedented effort for the implementation of the commitments taken by our country in the UN five years ago. The draft Review as a whole and all its chapters individually, have been made subject to open public expert discussions and amendments. For us, this was not only and not as much a retrospective look, but to a greater extent a part of our national ambition to build back better in future.
We once again want to express our gratitude to the countries and stakeholders which delivered their questions, shared concerns and came out with constructive proposals during the presentation with the view of contributing to the sustained and joint process of developing our country, in a transparent manner through building partnerships.
Our constructive intentions are testified by active and growing participation in international cooperation in the area of sustainable development, providing assistance to different countries, including those affected by emergencies, taking steps aimed at strengthening multilateral development institutions, and implementing projects and initiatives for integration and cooperation in the Eurasian Space and beyond. We adhere to our commitments to assisting international development, in particular in the face of COVID-19. As a responsible international partner and donor in the area of international development the Russian Federation annually contributes nearly
1,2 billion US dollars of ODA on bilateral and multilateral basis.
Notwithstanding historic challenges posed by the pandemic to our population and the economy, Russia has provided assistance to address social and economic implications of COVID-19 in close cooperation with the WHO, Russia-UNDP Trust fund for development, WFP, as well as the Eurasian fund for stabilization and development, amounted to USD 36 mln. Through bilateral channels, assistance in-kind, including PPE, doctors brigades, test systems, has been delivered to China, Vietnam, Guinea, Nauru and countries of Latin America and Central Asia, free of charge and conditions.
Russia’s assistance is traditionally aimed at addressing most pressing needs of our partners with full respect to their sovereignty. We believe that it’s inappropriate to use international development assistance as an instrument of political pressure or imposition of values.
We also reaffirm the importance of the regional dimension of sustainable development, multilateral and bilateral cooperation in the interest of creating a Greater Eurasian Partnership which is already taking shape as a wide network of regional organizations, free trade agreements, economic corridors and growth zones, as well as major infrastructure projects. In this context, we align efforts of participation in other regional integration initiatives and development assistance with plans to promote the Eurasian Economic Union, which is one of the most advanced regional integration associations.
Response to the pandemic and to the challenges it posed to the global development is interlinked as the SDGs themselves. No one and no country are safe until all of us are safe. Regrettably, voice of a growing number of countries and peoples suffering under the burden of the unilateral coercive measures is ignored by certain countries. We often hear that the UN should not be politicized. That is actually what we are calling upon our partners in the Organization – to waive pursuing destructive policies, which hamper development efforts, violate rights of citizens, push companies out from the markets and undermine trust and confidence. That is why the Russian Federation together with like-minded governments as well as multilateral institutions and independent politicians, economists, human rights and civil society activists has been consistently calling to abolish such unlawful measures. This call is becoming more important today when we see that these measures hinder access to essential health-care services and safe, effective and affordable essential medicines, vaccines, personal protection equipment and food items.
We regret the attempts by delegations of Republic of Georgia and Ukraine to continue to politicize area of development and to abuse the HLPF and the VNRs presentation with incorrect anti-Russian statements. VNRs are called to serve exactly the opposite, be an example of country´s progress and best practices in sustainable development. Unfortunately, the aforementioned Member States got into a trap of pointing to others as obvious culprits of their own wrong steps which resulted in conflicts and socio-economic collapse.