Statement by the representative of the Russian Federation Ivan Konstantinopolskiy in the Second Committee of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly under agenda items 24 “Eradication of poverty and other development issues” and 26 “Agriculture development, food security and nutrition”
We thank the Secretariat for preparing the reports on poverty eradication, as well as agriculture development and food security, that are logically considered in one block.
The negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, keeping the most vulnerable at high risk. In this regard, today it is especially important to expand international cooperation in terms of stimulating economies and trade in agricultural products to provide the population with food, preserve jobs and livelihoods.
Development and poverty alleviation are inextricably linked, which is why we are convinced that eradicating poverty is an absolute priority of the 2030 Agenda. We consider it important to focus on finding mechanisms to eradicate poverty among the working population, as well as in rural areas, where 75% of the poor live. Success in this work requires a balanced consideration of all three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – focusing on the needs and health of people.
We welcome the recent convening of the UN Food Systems Summit, which allowed to comprehensively discuss a wide range of issues in the agricultural and related fields. In preparation for this meeting, a national dialogue was successfully organized in Russia with the involvement of interested partners, including representatives of government agencies, parliamentarians, scientific experts and sectoral business. The Summit helped to build useful multi-stakeholder platforms such as the School Meals Coalition. We hope that the leading role in the Summit’s follow-up will belong to the governments of Member States with the support of the UN Rome-based agencies – FAO, WFP and IFAD.
These organizations also work together within the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), and we were interested to review the note on its activities. We highly appreciate the attention of the CFS to the topic of improving nutrition and the related alignment of agri-food systems. In this regard, it should be noted that, in our opinion, the effectiveness of the Committee depends on the quality preparation of intergovernmental decisions on the basis of consensus and in strict accordance with its competence, and not on the excessive ambition of its programme of work or new reform processes.
We look with a positive eye at the consideration by the General Assembly of the issue of agricultural technologies, which are meant to be effective, affordable and safe. Technological advances based on traditional knowledge can help to unlock the potential of using natural plant fibers for sustainable development, including such a promising crop as flax. Therefore, a five-year comprehensive programme of support for the production of flax products has been launched in Russia since 2020.
It is symbolic that our yesterday's discussion on this item coincided with the Agricultural Workers’ Day in Russia. On the same day, the major agrarian forum of our country was officially opened – the annual “Golden Autumn” exhibition, which will discuss a wide range of issues relevant for this sector, including the development of specialized science, organic production and women's agenda in the agro-industrial complex.
Sustainable agriculture development is one of our priorities both domestically and internationally. Last year, despite the novel coronavirus disease pandemic, the export of Russian agricultural products to 150 countries of the world grew by 20% and reached a record figure of USD 30.7 billion. Moreover, Russia has become a net food exporter. We continue to strengthen our international development assistance in the field of food and agriculture. Thus, in 2020, Russia's contribution to the UN World Food Programme exceeded USD 72 million.