Statement by Representative of the Russian Federation Mr Ian Naumkin on Preparations for a High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly to Assess Progress on the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda
We emphasize the important role of cities and human settlements in sustainable development. The New Urban Agenda has become a key document guiding urban issues and cooperation between all relevant stakeholders in this regard. Nevertheless, we notice that, in various discussions on the advancement of sustainable development, the New Urban Agenda is often omitted. Therefore, the upcoming high-level meeting should serve as a booster for highlighting the urban component along with its purpose of assessing progress in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.
We fully support the position of UN-Habitat as the focal point on sustainable urbanization and human settlements within the UN system. In this respect, UN-Habitat’s expertise and experience should be duly utilized for shaping the high-level meeting.
Paragraph 162 of the New Urban Agenda states that the process of its follow-up and review should take into account “contributions of national, subnational and local levels of government and be supplemented by contributions from the UN system, regional and subregional organizations, major groups and relevant stakeholders, and should be a continuous process aimed at creating and reinforcing partnerships among all relevant stakeholders and fostering exchanges of urban solutions and mutual learning”. We expect the high-level meeting to be crafted with these aspects in mind. Although the event will be of a global nature, it is critical to integrate strong local and regional components of urban development since the achievement of the SDGs is largely driven by the local context. And, as the urban population continues to grow, it is vital to look at specific circumstances in cities and human settlements that determine the rate of our progress overall. We also welcome the organizers’ plans to reach out to regional commissions that possess relevant knowledge and data that could be helpful in assessing the situation in different regions of the world with a view to sharing best practices.
Over the years, the Russian Federation has been dedicating special attention to the development of cities. We are working with UN-Habitat to introduce its expertise in Russia and to share our best practices with other countries. We are focusing our efforts on shaping comfortable urban environment, controlling its quality, expanding green public spaces and introducing the “smart city” concept aimed at digital transformation and increasing the efficiency of urban infrastructure. We are also sharing our experience internationally by organizing thematic events in Russian cities and presenting their perspectives on the SDGs at the United Nations in New York and Geneva together with regional governments and NGOs. The City of Moscow is currently our candidate to organize the World Expo 2030.
With all of this in mind, we will be happy to contribute to the high-level meeting and we look forward to its success.