Statement by the representative of the Russian Federation Mr.Boris Meshchanov at the UNGA Special event on the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development
Your Excellency, President of the General Assembly,
Renowned experts from research institutions across the world,
Distinguished representative of UNESCO,
We thank the Presidency of the General Assembly for convening today's event and for yet another time, note with high appreciation the commitment of the current GA Presidency to strengthening the role of science as one of the drivers and levers of sustainable development. I was asked by colleagues in Paris and Geneva to contribute a few remarks.
Russia was happy to be among the co-sponsors of the “launching” 2021 decision of the 207th session of the UNESCO Executive Board “Declaration of the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development in 2022”, proposed by Jordan. It is appropriate to report in this audience that back in 2019, a joint award with UNESCO was established - the UNESCO-Russia Mendeleev International Prize in Basic Sciences. This is the largest prize in the field of basic sciences at the UN.
As one of the co-sponsors of International Year, our country is confident that popularization of scientific achievements with the assistance of the Organization stimulates countries to invest in the development of basic research and education. Quality education for all is the basis of high scientific achievements which my country has effectively proved in the 20th century. In our days States face challenges of creating an inclusive and socially protected educational environment, ensure equal access to education and improve the level of teacher training. To this end, as part of the Year, in 2022 Sochi hosted the International Congress of Young Scientists. Not limited to participating in the Year, Russia went even further and proclaimed the Decade of Science and Technology, which complements at national level the International Year of Basic Sciences. We were glad to hear Serbia initiative of a similar Decade at a UN level being launched which our delegation of course is supportive of.
Policy makers in our country are interested to hear scientists. Underpinning sustainable development in our country with science Russia has launched a program to create test sites for carbon balance control, developed methods for optimizing the use of water resources in cooperation with scientific organizations of Central Asia, invested in strengthening the capacity of national statistics offices of many partner countries, just to indicate few practical examples.
In testifying our commitment to mainstreaming scientific dimension in the UN, at this event, our country was supposed to be represented not only by a diplomat of the Permanent Mission. Personal invitation of the President of the General Assembly was received by a prominent scientist from Russia, member of the UNDP Technical Advisory Panel on SDGs Dr. Liliana Proskuryakova. She was not, for unknown reasons, issued a visa by the host country. That may lead to a conclusion that science is not yet probably independent from politics. However, science cannot but remain international by its very nature. That is why it was delightful to hear from the people of science emphasizing the importance of maintaining scientific cooperation and maintaining the links and bridges that have always helped to overcome differences. Exactly as it happened during COVID-19 when efforts of scientists and institutions were joined to the common good.
I thank you.