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 Victoria Kardash at the special event on SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs, session «Financing a resilient recovery from cascading effects of COVD-19 in LDCs and LLDCs»

Mr. Chairman,

We want to thank you for holding this special event. We are pleased to note that, despite the global socio-economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable groups of countries continue to remain in the focus of the UN's attention.

Even before the pandemic, these countries faced numerous challenges that impeded the achievement of the 2030 Agenda Goals. The coronavirus and its consequences have further aggravated the situation. It is clear that the mobilization of the domestic resources for development in LDCs and LLDCs must be supported by the efforts of the international community across a wide range of issues.

One of the main challenges today is a significant increase in the debt burden, which leads to a sharp reduction in liquidity available for social and economic support of business and population. In this context, we believe that the decision of the G20 to extend the Debt Service Suspension Initiative until the end of 2021 is crucial. But it will not help to improve the situation significantly.

According to the estimates released last week by the OECD, the total ODA in real terms grew by 3.5% in 2020 compared to 2019, and this is largely due to the exceptional response by donors to the circumstances caused by the pandemic and the natural disasters. The total ODA in 2020 amounted to USD 161.2 billion, with USD 2.5–3 trillion required annually to cover the SDGs gap. At the same time, even a significant increase in donor assistance in the coming years will not be able to meet the required development financing.

In 2020, amid rising ODA, external resource flows in the developing countries - trade, foreign direct investment, taxes and remittances - declined. The total external private financing in these countries decreased by 13%. We believe that the recovery and further progress in achieving the SDGs require more active participation of the private sector in programs and projects for developing countries, primarily LDCs and LLDCs. We need to create the conditions under which investments in their sustainable infrastructure would be more attractive to representatives of the business community.

The pandemic and the ensuing lockdown, which cut off LDCs and LLDCs from global value chains, primarily from the deliveries of essential goods such as food and medical supplies, have demonstrated that the efforts of the governments and the private sector must be refocused on the development of national production and agriculture, international and regional trade, and transport and energy infrastructure.

The Russian Federation is increasing its multilateral and bilateral ODA to the developing countries, including to the vulnerable groups of countries. The annual Russian ODA exceeds $ 1 billion. The average annual projects financing in the area of infrastructure, production, agriculture, trade and trade facilitation, technology promotion for LLDCs through the voluntary contributions to the UNIDO, UNDP, FAO, UN regional commissions reaches USD 12-15 million. In addition, we have already allocated more than USD 35 million as a humanitarian aid to help the most vulnerable countries to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Russia consistently supports, within the UN, WTO, G20 and other international and regional organizations and fora, the development of the open and fair regulatory environment for international cooperation, free from trade wars, sanctions and politicized restrictions, for the unimpeded movement of goods, services, investments and people.

Regional integration in a wide range of cooperation issues should remain an important tool for the vulnerable economies development. Thus, within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), three of the five members of which are LLDCs, we are implementing joint initiatives aimed at improving labor productivity, reducing transaction costs, increasing solvency of organizations, which, in turn, influence development of industrial enterprises, increasing employment, preserving, modernizing and updating the resource and technical base. Through the EAEU Business Council, we are preparing for implementation, including with the involvement of foreign partners, projects on the territory of the member states.

In conclusion, we would like to reaffirm our commitments to the goals and the objectives of the Vienna Program of Action for LLDCs. We intend to take an active part in the work of the 5th UN Conference for LDCs and in the preparation of its outcome document, which should become a “road map” for improving the welfare of these countries and for their graduation from the LDC category in the next 10 years.

Thank you for your attention.