Statement by Representative of the Russian Federation Boris Meshchanov at the UNGA Second Committee joint general discussion on items 17 (ICTs for sustainable development) and 22 (Globalization and interdependence)
Dear Ms. Moderator, distinguished colleagues,
We thank UNCTAD for the report on the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). In 2021, its Forum is chaired by Russia.
In the Second Committee, we intend to promote the use of technology for development, including in the productive sectors of the economy - industry, agriculture, energy, education, healthcare, public services, and the creation of a favorable and equitable business environment. We support re-skilling people at the current stage of digital transformation of the labor market and the financial sector, non-discriminatory access to information, protection of consumers, especially children. Coping with threats in the online environment will require reaffirming the special role of States in Internet governance.
We note the recommendations of the Secretary General's report concerning the importance of the UN's coordinating role in digital discussion and its socio-economic track. We are interested in expanding international cooperation. At the same time, equality, development and fair competition will remain unachievable amid the unilateral coercive measures against developing countries still in force, impeding acquisition of technological equipment, investments, and access to online payments and software.
In Russia, the IT industry is developing dynamically in accordance with the national program “Digital Economy of the Russian Federation”. Over the past 5 years before the start of the pandemic, the export of Russian software had doubled; Russian enterprises regularly win at WSIS Prizes. By the end of 2023, digital transformation will affect 40% of the economy. AS far as we are concerned Russia remains the only State transferring to other States not only vaccines, but also technologies for their manufacturing. Participation in international scientific cooperation to combat climate change and the introduction of nuclear and hydrogen technological developments in the energy and other carbon-intensive industries will form the basis of Russia's contribution to the transition to low-emission development, without prejudice to the social sphere and the competitiveness of the economy.
In the context of a pandemic, culture has become one of the connecting links between peoples, contributing to development. Artists in all countries of the world supported the population in a virtual format. One of the most striking examples in our country was the project of the Bolshoi Drama Theater of St. Petersburg called "Help Doctors", when famous Russian actors read doctors' letters on the air.
Many middle-income countries have shown less resilience in the face of the socio-economic crisis due to inadequate social support, weak economic diversification, and high levels of debt. A revision of approaches to solving the problems of this group of countries is required, including an international assessment of their vulnerability. We propose to take more decisive measures to support the strengthening of their social systems, macroeconomic and fiscal policies, increasing the share of high-tech industries and increasing exports, improving investment attractiveness, as well as facilitating access to long-term foreign financing while simultaneously developing local and regional capital markets.
Thank you for attention.