Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Gennady Kuzmin in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly at its seventy-sixth session

Agenda item 28 “Social development”


Mr. Chair,

Promotion of social development contributes to eradicating poverty, reducing inequality, eliminating hunger, creating conditions for a healthy life for all and providing quality education – these are the issues highlighted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as the UN priorities. We are convinced that further elaboration of specific measures aimed at the implementation by states of the decisions of the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995) and the 24th special session of the UN General Assembly is the key to successful achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Socially just transition towards sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda is primarily people-centred, welfare-enhancing and empowering.

Unfortunately, the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on social development and well-being of people around the world, practically jeopardizing the gains made in recent years. And the most vulnerable are those who, even in normal times, require special support and attention. These are, of course, the elderly, people with disabilities, families with children and young people.

Paradoxically, however, it is the current situation that has provided an effective impetus to accelerate the pace and change the ways in which the objectives are pursued.

Mr. Chair,

In the current circumstances, the Government of the Russian Federation has taken a number of immediate measures with regard to providing social support to citizens without personal visits to the relevant bodies and organizations. The provision of government services has been partially transferred to an online format. For example, the awarding of old-age pensions, the establishment of pensions and other payments to citizens recognized as disabled, the provision of technical means of rehabilitation and services without personal visits to the relevant structures, the medical and social expert assessment, etc. In addition, telephone counselling has been made available, including by means of increasing the number of specialists serving citizens through telephone hotlines and contact centres.

Moreover, new forms of employment, such as telecommuting and platform employment, are being actively developed and are gradually being incorporated in the labour legislation. Thus, on 1 January 2021, earlier amendments to the Labour Code came into force, giving equal rights to remote workers and those who work in office settings.

The spread of telecommuting places new demands on the qualifications of workers. That is why employment promotion programmes pay particular attention to the training and skills development of those who have been put out of work and the adaptation of young professionals to the labour market. It is noteworthy that the pandemic crisis has accelerated the introduction of innovations to provide online training.


Mr. Chair,

In general, digitalization offers labour market participants both new jobs due to the development of new industries, and new employment opportunities. Modern technologies make it possible to look for a job outside one's region of residence and help with self-realization, especially for young people and those who have limited mobility for health reasons or because of the need to look after their relatives.

Russia's state youth policy takes into account key provisions of the World Programme of Action for Youth. In a difficult period of socio-economic downturn particular attention is paid to the employment and stable work of young people, which ultimately contributes to increasing their well-being.

Mr. Chair,

In conclusion, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that all these topics, whose immediate relevance is difficult to challenge, constitute the agenda of the Commission for Social Development. This, in our view, clearly proves that the Commission has not become obsolete, as certain opponents have been trying to convince us over the years, but on the contrary is as relevant as ever.

Agenda item 29 “Advancement of women”

Mr. Chair,

In the context of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, challenges to achieving gender equality and advancement of women require particular attention and coordinated efforts by all States concerned. Relevant instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the outcome document of the 23rd special session of the UN General Assembly, and Goal 5 of the 2030 Agenda, which focuses on achieving gender equality, provide a roadmap in this direction.

The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the main intergovernmental forum for constructive dialogue on the full range of issues related to women. We believe that the Commission, which has proved its effectiveness and relevance over the past 75 years, should continue to be the key body within the UN system to address gender issues.

The CSW's general policy should continue to serve as indispensable guidance for operational activities carried out by UN-Women. However, these activities have been controversial. There have been attempts to pressure States into implementing measures that are inconsistent with their international and national commitments.

In particular, it is bewildering that this Entity participates in certain events without a mandate from the Executive Board or the CSW. Moreover, the concepts and programme details of such meetings run counter to the approaches and terminology agreed within the intergovernmental format. As a result of the subsequent incorporation of such non-agreed concepts into the Entity's documents, the Executive Board acknowledged, by decision adopted at its second regular session in 2021, that the UN-Women Strategic Plan 2022–2025 had not been intergovernmentally endorsed. This decision requests UN-Women to implement the mentioned document in accordance with the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the outcome documents of their reviews, and applicable United Nations instruments, standards and resolutions, as well as with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Entity was also instructed to take into account the different national realities, national legislation, ownership and cultural backgrounds of host countries when implementing its Strategic Plan. In this regard, we would like to once again emphasize that the Entity's practical work should extend to all countries without exception, and that its field presence and assistance in any form can only be carried out at the request and with the permission of the States concerned.

We hope that the new Executive Director of UN-Women will draw appropriate conclusions and mainstream the aforementioned considerations into its work. We call on this Entity to strictly adhere to its mandate and focus its efforts on the primary objective, which is to support the work of intergovernmental bodies of the United Nations system on issues related to the status of women.

Mr. Chair,

For our part, we can assure you that, despite the ongoing pandemic, our country is committed to upholding its international obligations for the advancement of women. In November, the 80th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will consider the ninth periodic report of the Russian Federation under the Convention.

An Action Plan is currently underway to implement the second phase (2019–2022) of the National Strategy on Women 2017–2022. The range of remote social services has expanded, as well as special additional payments for children and dependent students, which will be paid automatically. These measures primarily support young mothers, who inevitably bear the brunt of housework and childcare.

In conclusion, we would like to inform you that the 3rd Eurasian Women's Forum, which proved to be a valuable international platform for discussing the women's agenda, will take place in St. Petersburg from 13 to 15 October.

Agenda item 69 “Report of the Human Rights Council”

Mr. Chair,

Sadly, we must note that the past year has not improved the work of the Council, made the human rights discussion more constructive, or fostered dialogue between the international human rights community and interested countries, meaning that the Council has not managed to make any significant contribution to improving the human rights situation in specific countries. It therefore looks like the Council has fallen short of its mandate. We believe that this situation cannot be tolerated, and that in order to rectify it we, the States, must exercise good political will and have genuine desire to assist those in real need.

After returning to the Council, the Russian Federation identified the strengthening of the principle of cooperation in the work of the HRC as a priority. We are convinced that this approach is supported by the majority of the Council’s Member States and observers. In this regard, the most pressing issues in the work of the HRC are currently the following.

  1. Abandoning the use of the Council’s platforms to replace undesirable governments. Under pressure from the Western countries, over the past year, the Council has adopted several resolutions that amount to open interference in the internal affairs of sovereign States. Sometimes, it was done under the guise of one aspect of human rights or another, and sometimes by declaring the results of national elections illegitimate and invalid. The authors of such initiatives do not care that such actions clearly interfere with the internal affairs of sovereign States, as well as flagrantly violate not only UNGA resolution 60/251 that established the HRC and statutory resolutions 5/1 and 5/2 of the Council itself, but also the UN Charter and the foundations of international law, including the Bill of Human Rights.
  2. Strictly adhering to the mandate of the Council as stated in UNGA resolution 60/251 and HRC resolution 5/1. Regretfully, we have to state that today, a certain group of countries use the potential of the Council to achieve their opportunistic political and economic goals. It is also concerning that the HRC agenda continues to expand due to the inclusion of issues that are not directly related to human rights and are discussed on other specialized UN platforms.
  3. Restoring the balance between the Council’s monitoring functions and the provision of technical and consultative assistance to countries in need. We would like to recall that the HRC is an intergovernmental dialogue platform, not an international prosecutor or court that carries out its own investigations and passes accusatory verdicts.
  4. Restoring order in the work of HRC special procedures, as experience shows that they are not ready to strictly abide by their mandates or be guided in their work by the Code of Conduct approved by HRC resolution 5/2. Moreover, we believe that the practice of automatically extending the mandates of special rapporteurs for a second three-year term is unjustified. This issue needs to be cleared up.
  5. Preserving the exclusively technical nature of the powers of the HRC President, as stipulated in HRC resolution 5/1. Unfortunately, in recent years, HRC Presidents have been actively using their position for political gain of their States or a separate group of States. Therefore, we once again propose to consider the introduction of an oath to be taken by the HRC President before assuming office that would contain a promise to follow in his or her work the principles of objectivity and impartiality to ensure effective and constructive work of the Council.

We are convinced that the steps we have proposed will make the work of the Council more constructive and effective, and its decisions will have a positive impact on the human rights situation in specific countries.

Agenda item 70 “Promotion and protection of the rights of children”

Mr. Chair,

Today's children and their families suffered the greatest impact of anti‑COVID restrictions introduced in many countries of the world. Their long-term effect is yet to be assessed, though it is clear that by the time the pandemic ends, which is still difficult to predict, the world will never be the same again. If we do not abandon self-serving interests and do not unite efforts against a common threat, our younger generation deprived of the right to overall development will have to pay the price.

The current crisis has set us back by decades, it has significantly worsened the social and economic situation and impoverished the world's population. It would seem that the most developed countries could and should have become a driving force for getting out from protracted stagnation. That said, they continue to introduce new illegitimate unilateral restrictive measures and deviate from discussing the most acute problems of combating poverty under the cloak of protecting human rights.

It is hard to believe the words of our Western partners while the United States, their self-proclaimed symbol of democracy and human rights, has only recently returned to the Human Rights Council and has not joined the Convention on the Rights of the Child for decades, which for this reason alone has not yet become universal in its scope. After all, this is a fundamental international treaty, since it contains provisions that are defining in the promotion and protection of the rights of the child, including in the face of contemporary challenges.

In particular, the Convention proclaims the need for family environment for the growth and well-being of a child and his best interests. Unfortunately, families with children have become most vulnerable during the pandemic crisis. Falling income levels were complicated with psychological stress triggered by anti‑COVID restrictions. Many children in the world faced difficulties with continuing comprehensive studies. Against this background, the countries that are most developed in terms of economic growth, instead of strengthening and supporting the family, continue to undermine it. How else to consider the campaign of granting the children full rights that they are not able to enjoy due to their age, immaturity and inexperience and without proper parental guidance. There seems to be a real danger of manipulation of such children by strangers for selfish purposes.

We cannot agree with such approaches and remain convinced that healthy, strong and happy family where parents have a vested interest in providing the best future for their children is the solution to the vast majority of problems faced by today's children. We are committed to defend the prior right of parents to raise their children, the presumption of good faith on the part of parents in pursuing their rights, as well as to provide guarantees of family privacy and to protect family from arbitrary and unjustified interference.

Mr. Chair,

The Russian Federation regularly and timely reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child on its compliance with the provisions of the Convention. Our country shows its commitment to the principles of the outcome document of the 27th special session of the UN General Assembly A world fit for children, including by pursuing a socially oriented policy in the framework of the Decade for Childhood. The second phase of this programme, an Action Plan for the period 2021-2027, has started this year. It is aimed at ensuring safety and health, improving the well-being and quality of life, developing the upbringing and education of children, as well as modernizing the relevant infrastructure. The Plan focuses on children without parents or with disabilities, on large families and families with low income.

Mr. Chair,

We would like to draw attention to the Alliance for the Protection of Children in Digital Environment created this month by Russia's largest sectoral companies. The members of the Alliance have taken commitments to unite efforts aimed at creating safe and friendly digital environment that would provide children with opportunities for creative and professional self-development, socialization and safe communication in the digital space. We urge all those who are truly interested in ensuring children's safety on the Internet to support cooperation between the Alliance and other participants of the global digital market.

Agenda item 71 “Rights of indigenous peoples”


The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted structural inequalities and discrimination against indigenous peoples remaining in certain regions of the world. Indigenous peoples have found themselves in a vulnerable situation compared to other groups of population in certain regions of the world.

To that end, we deem important the collection of information and the analysis of the impact of this epidemiological emergency on the situation of indigenous peoples and measures taken by governments in this regard done by UN human rights mechanisms, including by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

In the context of the current epidemiological emergency, the Russian Federation focuses on the situation of small indigenous peoples living in remote or difficult-to-reach places, with nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyles and takes significant effort to provide medical, social and other assistance. Indigenous peoples have been provided with direct and feedback communication, including mobile and satellite phones, radio sets and Internet. Air medical service teams were created for surgical cases. In addition, Russia has had one-off payments, tax and rent payment deferment, and extended preferential credit schemes. Remote and difficult-to-reach settlements were supplied with food products and essential goods, including fuel and ammunition used for traditional economic activity. The full-fledged educational institution-specific process was ensured in all regions.

Russian also understands the importance of the participation of indigenous peoples in the pandemic-related work: dissemination of information and provision of necessary social assistance. Russia's organizations of indigenous peoples have actively joined the volunteer movement and help the community members in need.

In view of the growing importance of information technology, there is ongoing systematic work to ensure access of indigenous communities to Internet, which gives them an opportunity to study and work remotely in emergencies. Internet access is a priority of the Russian State policy with respect to indigenous peoples, which is implemented in practice in various forms, e.g. IT-stoybishche (IT-nomad camp) (Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District), in the framework of which access to modern information and communication technologies is provided in the territories of indigenous peoples.

Despite the pandemic, the work to improve the legislation and increase the effectiveness of law-enforcement continues. The Regulation on the procedure for compensation for losses caused to the indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation as a result of damage to the original habitat of indigenous small-numbered peoples of the Russian Federation by the economic activities of organizations of all forms of ownership was adopted in 2021. There is ongoing discussion of the unified standard of responsibility of industrial companies in their relations with indigenous peoples of the Arctic zone. Russia's indigenous peoples themselves initiate amendments to legislation and their public discussion.

The institutional development of the system of authorized representatives of indigenous peoples is a key condition for enhancing effective participation of indigenous peoples in governance. There are specific committees, assemblies of representatives of indigenous peoples, commissions on indigenous peoples and other consultative bodies within representative federal, regional and municipal bodies. All regions have institutions of human rights ombundsmen, whose work increasingly focuses on special rights of indigenous peoples. The overview outcome report of the federal Human Rights Ombudsman includes a separate section on the rights of indigenous peoples.

There is ongoing active work to prepare the UN GA-proclaimed International Decade of Indigenous Languages. The issue of preservation and development of the language diversity is extremely important for our country. 277 languages and dialects belonging to various language families and groups are used in the country. 36 languages of Russia's peoples along with the Russian language are State languages in the territories of the Republics that are part of the Russian Federation, school education is in 24 languages with 81 languages studied as an optional course. We continue to do practical work to encourage language diversity and multilingualism, and preserve and protect the intangible cultural heritage of indigenous peoples.

Russia is open and ready for further cooperation with subsidiary bodies and special procedures on indigenous peoples. We believe that progressive development of cooperation in this field is possible only via a constructive and non-politicized dialogue.

Agenda item 72 “Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”

Mr. Chair,

The horrors of World War II, the heinous crimes of National Socialism, which sought to put into practice the doctrine of racial superiority and ethnic exclusiveness, stirred with new force the struggle against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and prompted the realization of the need to establish a truly universal international organization which would take an obligation to maintain international peace and security, promote development, as well as protect human rights.

Throughout the UN's 75-year history, the struggle against racism has been one of its most important human rights activities. Thanks to concerted and coordinated action by all stakeholders much has been achieved over the years. It must be said, however, that in recent times the growing friction between the Organization's Member States, specialized international bodies and representatives of civil society has significantly reduced the effectiveness of the relevant measures.

In the year since our last debate at the UN General Assembly on this issue, the situation has not changed for the better. On the contrary, various manifestations of racism, xenophobia and intolerance are on the rise in many countries around the world, including against the backdrop of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Openly racist slogans and appeals are very popular in public space, primarily in the media and the Internet, and extremist ideas and beliefs of all kinds are spreading almost freely. At the same time, the States that call themselves "democratically mature" and "committed to human rights standards" do little or nothing, hiding behind references to the right to freedom of expression and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, which are allegedly absolute.

Their arguments that these rights cannot be restricted in any way or by anything are not only fundamentally flawed but also contrary to a holistic and integrated approach to human rights, including the basic principles set out in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. One should not indulge in complacency and hope that "mature democratic societies" will themselves reject racist ideas as alien. And it is certainly an inappropriate scheme to grant even more freedom to the relevant racist and extremist circles and forces.

Moreover, we are convinced that any racially motivated assembly, speech or action should be subject to prosecution by the relevant state structures, as required by the provisions of the aforementioned international treaties. In this regard, we support the position of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in calling for the withdrawal of the reservations made by several countries to Article 4 of the relevant Convention.15

Mr. Chair,

Meanwhile, in the heart of Europe, the practice of honouring veterans of Waffen-SS units and various kinds of collaborators is not only continuing but gaining momentum. Those who collaborated with the Nazis and committed war crimes and crimes against humanity are treated as national heroes and participants in national liberation movements. The ever-growing war with monuments and memorials in honour of those who liberated Europe and the whole world from Nazism and fascism cannot be qualified otherwise than as a deliberate attempt to falsify history, to whitewash evil and to consign to oblivion the memory of the horrors and crimes of that war. What example is being set to future generations? We believe that in the year of the 75th anniversary of the verdict of the Nuremberg Tribunal it is important to reaffirm the inviolability of the outcome of the victory in World War II, enshrined in the UN Charter and the Nuremberg documents, among others.

Mr. Chair,

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as well as the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference established the legal framework for combating various manifestations of racism and racial discrimination. It is therefore important to strengthen the Convention regime in every way possible, including by supporting the work of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination established under the Convention. The Russian Federation supports the work of the Committee and considers any attempts to restrict its competence, including with regard to the resolution of disagreements between States Parties, as set out in that international instrument, to be inadmissible. We are convinced that the provisions of the Convention regarding the terms of reference of the specialized committee should be observed as strictly as those regarding specific human rights.

Mr. Chair,

We remain seriously concerned about the situation of so-called non-citizens and, more broadly, the persistent discrimination against national minorities in the Baltic States. We find it unacceptable that almost 350,000 people in the centre of Europe are deprived of their fundamental human rights and freedoms. The optimistic reports from Riga and Tallinn on the gradual decrease in this figure, which they present as their "achievement", cannot be called anything other than blatant cynicism. With the current extremely low rate of naturalization, the so-called solution to this problem is actually largely at the expense of natural processes, including mortality and migration.

Agenda item 73 “Right of peoples to self-determination”

Mr. Chair,

The exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter, International Covenants on Human Rights and the UN Declaration on Principles of International Law is particularly important to finally shed the legacy of colonialism; however, to view this matter only in that context would mean to deliberately oversimplify it. We are convinced that achieving a fair international order that would enable peoples to choose their political future in accordance with the UN Charter and rules and principles of international law requires contributing to the genuine promotion of the rights of all peoples without using double standards and advancing the self-serving interests of certain States and groups of States.

Attempts made by certain States to use the tactic of collective punishment for the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, enshrined among other instruments in the International Covenants on Human Rights are unacceptable. We therefore deem the policy of several States aimed at restricting the entire spectrum of human rights of Crimean people for their exercise of their right to self-determination and freedom of expression during the Referendum on the reunification of Crimea with the Russian Federation held in March 2014 to be inappropriate.

Agenda item 74 “Promotion and protection of human rights”

Mr. Chair,

It will soon be two years that the world has been living in a new reality that has undergone significant changes due to the coronavirus pandemic. You would think that the common threat should bring the international community together, prompt it to consolidate its efforts and elaborate common updated approaches to ensuring a stable and sustainable development of humankind and promotion of human rights and freedoms, in particular, that respond to the times. Yet, nothing has changed. The coronavirus pandemic has not brought us together, as one would expect. Quite the opposite. The crisis has exacerbated the severe social stratification both within States and between them. Furthermore, several countries have decided to take advantage of the situation to achieve their own self-serving political and economic objectives. For instance, the countries already weakened by the illegal regime of unilateral coercive measures have come under even more pressure. Attempts to directly interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign States, including through electoral processes, have become more rampant. The countries that have traditionally been undesirable to the West have come under more criticism due to the limitations on the enjoyment of some civil and political rights imposed for health reasons. At the same time, these very critics and vigilantes of the world order continue to violate fundamental human rights and tolerate racism and xenophobia within their own borders. More importantly, these very countries have contributed to the emergence of a new kind of discrimination, which is the vaccine discrimination. Strangely enough, it is the political leaders of these countries that have assumed the functions of medical professionals to judge the effectiveness of specific COVID vaccines. People vaccinated with “wrong” vaccines face discrimination and restrictions wherever they go.

Unfortunately, the COVID “lessons” have also failed to enhance the awareness of the need for a nuanced approach towards the human rights situation in certain countries, that would take into account national and regional specificities and various historical, cultural and religious particularities, as well as the level of economic development of a State.

The United Nations and its human rights bodies and mechanisms have also failed to adequately respond to the new challenges brought about by the pandemic. The UN got carried away with control and monitoring, while countries needed advice and technical assistance.

Mr. Chair,

We are convinced that new global challenges should be viewed as an opportunity to objectively assess the effectiveness of the response toolbox available to the international community, as well as the adequacy of its use. The coronavirus has vividly demonstrated that human rights approaches need to be changed. We should move from the accusatory rhetoric and total monitoring for the sake of monitoring to a constructive dialogue and cooperation with a view to assisting States in strengthening their national capacity in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Agenda item 108 “Crime prevention and criminal justice”


The Russian Federation has consistently supported the central coordinating role of the UN in the consolidation of international efforts to counter global criminal challenges and threats in accordance with the basic principles of international law.

We are grateful to the Japan Government for holding the 14th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in March 2021 and welcome the adoption of the Congress outcome document – the Kyoto Declaration.

We note the importance of the launch of the Mechanism for the Review of the Implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Russia is the reviewed State this year.

We support the strengthening of international counter-corruption cooperation on the basis of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (CAC) with the central coordinating role of the UN. We remain committed to the principles of the CAC Implementation Review Mechanism, its open, inter-governmental and technical character.

We welcome the adoption of the political declaration of the June 32nd special session of the UN General Assembly «Challenges and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation» providing guidance for the development of interaction of States in countering corruption in the coming years. We deem it important that the document notes the need for examining the international law gaps concerning asset recovery regulation, and pays attention to protecting sport from corruption and to promoting anti-corruption education and awareness-raising. We stand ready to actively work towards implementation of the Declaration.

In line with its provisions, we attach great importance to strengthening the international legal regime of criminal asset recovery building on the results of the second cycle of the CAC Implementation Review and have consistently supported the development of a new international instrument complementing the Convention and setting forth a clear and unified procedure for asset recovery based on the principles of justice and legality. 

Agenda item 109 “Countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes”


The issue of countering the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for criminal purposes has firmly integrated into the agenda of many international organizations and forums, including the UN. While in 2018, UN Secretary-General António Guterres estimated the damage from illegal online activities at $1.5 trillion, in 2021 it could be as high as $6 trillion.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting rapid introduction of new technologies have made it evident that the existing instruments to combat rampant ICT-related crime are clearly insufficient. The current efforts by States on this track are to a large extent multidirectional and are often hampered by artificial obstacles, including those that have political overtones. Therefore, it is particularly important to engage in dialogue and work out universal solutions under the auspices of the UN, where all 193 states are represented.

First, the 10-year cycle of the UN Intergovernmental Expert Group on Cybercrime (IEG), which studied the phenomenon of cybercrime and became a platform for the exchange of best practices among subject matter experts from around the world, has been successfully completed. In the course of the Group's work in 2013, a Comprehensive Draft Study was prepared containing a number of interesting proposals, including the idea of a universal convention in this area. The IEG held consecutive discussions on the chapters of this document and presented 63 conclusions and recommendations during its last meeting in April of this year.

Secondly, in May of this year, the elaboration of a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of ICTs for criminal purposes was finally officially launched within the framework of the open-ended Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Committee of Experts, established back in 2019 at the initiative of Russia and 46 other States. On May 26 this year, the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a new resolution 75/282 entitled "Countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes", which established the rules governing the work of the negotiating forum. Now the world community has two and a half years to elaborate a global convention involving all stakeholders and submit it to the UN General Assembly for consideration and approval during its seventy-eighth session.

In our view, the future convention can qualitatively change international cooperation in this area, harmonize the fragmented experience accumulated at the national and regional levels, and eliminate conflicting legal norms in this area. As a priority we see the provision of technical assistance to developing countries, the creation of the necessary conditions for capacity building, and the exchange of best practices. These measures will help to reduce the digital divide between countries and achieve the sustainable development goals of States.

Preparations for the first substantive session of the Ad Hoc Committee (New York, 17 – 28 January 2022) are currently underway. We look forward to the active involvement of the New York missions, especially those without representation in Vienna, where informal consultations on the Ad Hoc Committee largely take place, as well as the direct participation of law enforcement expert practitioners. This will ensure the equitable participation of all States of the world, particularly developing countries, and will also allow for the elaboration of a truly effective convention.

The key issue at this point is the adoption of the agenda for the first substantive session of the Ad Hoc Committee and the dates for the remaining sessions. We believe that the important aspect here is to lay down conditions under which States will be able to proceed without delay to the drafting of the text of the global convention and have time to approve it during the seventy-eighth session of the UNGA. To this end, it is important to proceed from the very first session to the discussion of primary, practical and substantive issues and to consider ready-made proposals from States in this regard.

On July 27 of this year, Russia submitted its draft of the universal convention on countering the use of ICTs for criminal purposes to the Ad Hoc Committee in view of the limited timeframe for its work. The document reflected the latest trends in the field of countering this global phenomenon, as well as the approaches of many countries of the world to address this challenge on the basis of existing regional treaties and mechanisms. Particular attention should be given to the section of the draft devoted to technical assistance to developing countries and building their technological capacity.

We invite partners to study it and hasten to submit their proposals with a view to starting the constructive and pragmatic work of the Ad Hoc Committee and fulfilling its mandate within the established timeframe.

Agenda item 110 “International drug control”


COVID-19 has become a major challenge to the global drug control system. We note with apprehension and concern that the pandemic has had a positive influence on the organized crime, including related to drug trafficking. We believe that the crisis generated by COVID-19 can lead to further increase in drug production, trafficking and consumption in the mid-term.

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) contributed to reflecting this shared threat and adopted at its 64th session in April 2021 the Statement on the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the implementation of Member States’ joint commitments to address and counter all aspects of the world drug problem initiated by Russia. It is important that this document is submitted to ECOSOS as the CND's contribution to achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Russia adopted its new State Antidrug Policy Strategy until 2030, which fully represents our approaches to all current drug challenges. It focuses on reducing drug trafficking and drug availability for illicit consumption, decreasing the impact of such consumption, and developing the public’s informed negative attitude towards narcotic drugs and participation in drug trafficking. Moreover, the law on imprisonment for inducing to drug consumption via Internet was adopted last February.

The Strategy emphasizes the improvement of international cooperation in drug trafficking control. Our country continues to stick to the approach that no one can solve the drug problem alone. Together with our allies and partners we build a strong and effective mechanism of defence against drug aggression within the CSTO, SCO, CIS and BRICS. The CARICC work has become a significant factor of counter-drug cooperation in Eurasia. We expect the greater role of the OSCE in countering drugs as well.

Another shared challenge for our countries is the drug trafficking from Afghanistan. The country transformed into a drug State in 20 years of the presence of the NATO troops. An alarming signal for us is the fact that Afghanistan will soon become the world leader in illegal production and consumption of methamphetamine, following opiates. In this context, it is important to accelerate efforts to strengthen the anti-drug capacities of Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries. Russia, without exaggeration, is the ‘standard-bearer’ in this process, fully contributing to the preparation of thousands of drug police officers in relevant educational institutions in Russia and abroad.

We would like to note once again that the three anti-drug conventions are fundamental and inviolable acts in the field of drug control. The outcome document of the 30th UN GA special session on the world drug problem of 2016 and Ministerial declaration on strengthening our actions at the national, regional and international levels to accelerate the implementation of our joint commitments to address and counter the world drug problem of 2019 are additional instruments providing up-to-date guidance for countering the trans-border drug challenge. Once again we encourage the use of this international legal framework for a drug-free world, not a drug-tolerant one.

Thank you.