Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by representative of the Russian Federation Evgeny Varganov during the ECOSOC Management Segment under agenda item 12 (f) «Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases»

Madam Chair,

Dear colleagues,

We are grateful for the report of the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), as transmitted by the UN Secretary-General.

It is hard to underestimate the importance of joint international efforts aimed at addressing the global NCDs burden, identifying optimal approaches and supporting the related national work. The non-communicable diseases not only account for 70% of all deaths worldwide, as well as provoke vast socio-economic impact. They also present an additional challenge in the context of the current fight against the COVID-19, as people living with the NCDs are estimated to be more susceptible to the risk of developing severe symptoms and are among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Conversely, the outbreak itself puts strain on national health systems and may affect the NCDs-related healthcare.

In these circumstances the activities of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force are more relevant than ever. We welcome its continued work on a wide range of issues affecting the NCDs situation, including the current pandemic, and the progress made in this regard through various initiatives involving partnerships and the use of ICTs. Especially noteworthy are the long-awaited advances in the establishment of a multi-partner trust fund on NCDs and mental health, which should become a powerful tool to catalyze pertinent country action, especially in low and middle-income countries. Thus, the achievement of SDG target 3.4, which is estimated to be off track in many parts of the world, could benefit from an additional useful instrument.

The non-communicable diseases are a priority for Russia both domestically and internationally. In April 2011, our country together with the WHO hosted the first Global Ministerial conference on healthy lifestyles and NCDs’ control, while 2014 saw the establishment of the WHO NCDs Office in Moscow. Our strong commitment to the NCDs agenda was further reaffirmed in February last year through a dedicated voluntary contribution to the WHO amounting to more than 40 million USD for 2019-2023. We are also honoured to traditionally facilitate the intergovernmental discussions on the draft ECOSOC resolution about the work of the Task Force.

This year, despite multiple challenges posed by the COVID-19, the discussions on the draft appeared to be not less substantive than ever before. The active engagement of delegations clearly showed their keen interest in addressing this important topic even amid the pandemic which also found its proper reflection in the document. We would like to sincerely thank all the delegations involved in the negotiation for their constructive and flexible approach, as well as the WHO Office in New York for their sound expertise, all of which allowed us to finalize a balanced draft resolution based on consensus. We are also deeply grateful to those countries that already co-sponsored the draft and kindly invite all Member States to support that document that has been officially put under the silence procedure for adoption by the Council.

Thank you very much.