Statement by representative of the Russian Federation Victoria Kardash on the 75th session of the UNGA Second Committee agenda item 23: «Groups of countries in special situations»
In the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries in a particularly vulnerable position are to be provided with the strong support of the global community, including the UN, its programmes and funds. It is important to work out collective feasible solutions that will enable these states to maintain and build on progress towards the SDGs’ achievement.
According to the Secretary-General's report, the progress in the Istanbul Programme of Action implementation has been modest even before the pandemic. It was obvious that the objectives of the programme and the ways to achieve them required a revision. In addition, the 5th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries, the leading global forum for effective policy decisions and commitments in defining LDCs roadmaps, has been postponed from 2021 to 2022.
The key challenges in the context of assistance to the countries in special situations, in our opinion, are developing and strengthening health and education systems, building up production and agricultural potential, maintaining a continuity of marketing and supply chains, developing infrastructure and trade. It is also important to promote an enabling business environment free from unnecessary bureaucratic procedures and corruption.
Most of the LDCs, almost ¾, are located on the African continent. These countries have a high development potential. It is important to maintain and unleash it. For its part, even during a pandemic, Russia has continued to provide the assistance to the most vulnerable countries in Africa. In particular, through the World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization, Russia has recently allocated an additional $ 20 million to provide food aid and agricultural development to these countries.
We are confident that the donor support to the LDCs, as well as to the other categories of developing countries, should be aimed at developing the domestic economic growth sources, creating their own reserves and mechanisms of response to the global challenges in order to reduce their dependence on the external financing.
The landlocked developing countries are also facing the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the OECD, the official development assistance to these countries has declined in recent years. A number of them have made notable progress. Nevertheless, sustainable infrastructure development, trade facilitation, digital transformation and deeper involvement in the global economic relations systems remain the priority areas for their efforts.
In this regard, we would like to emphasize the relevance for these countries of the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initiative of the building-on the so-called "green corridors" free from trade wars and sanctions, first of all to facilitate the movement of the essential goods such as food, remedies, personal protective equipment.
The Russian Federation regularly provides, including through the UN system organizations, the assistance to these countries in accordance with their national priorities. In particular, in September, the Russia-UNDP Trust Fund projects aimed at combating the consequences of COVID-19 for a number of the Central Asian countries were approved.
We are ready for further cooperation with these states and other development partners in order to assist this group of countries.
Thank you for attention.