RUSSIA’S POSITION AT THE SEVENTY-FIFTH SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
1. The goal of the seventy-fifth anniversary session of the UN General Assembly (GA) is to reaffirm the central and coordinating role of the UN in international affairs and provide support for a multipolar system of international relations. The Organization is rightfully viewed as a unique platform for a frank and equitable dialogue aimed at elaborating solutions with due regard for different opinions, as well as at building a just world order.
2. We have consistently advocated for the strengthening of the multilateral framework of international relations and world economy based on the universal norms of international law, above all on the UN Charter, with an emphasis on the unconditional respect for the sovereignty of States and the inadmissibility of interference in their internal affairs. We firmly oppose the policy of Western States that seek to replace the universally recognized principles and norms of international law with concepts such as the so-called "rules-based world order."
3. We support the coordinated efforts of the international community to curb the spread of the coronavirus infection as well as to mitigate its political, social and economic consequences. In this regard, we welcome the UN Secretary-General’s initiatives aimed at establishing a ceasefire in situations of armed conflict to counter the pandemic and at suspending unilateral sanctions against affected countries. We consider it unacceptable to politicize the issue of the coronavirus as well as to antagonize certain States or organizations within the UN system.
4. The primary responsibility for preventing conflicts and addressing their consequences invariably rests with States themselves. Any international assistance, including via the UN, should only be rendered in line with the UN Charter and upon consent of the countries concerned. Preventive diplomacy, good offices and mediation should be provided on the basis of the principles of impartiality and the sovereignty of States. Furthermore, it is imperative to remember that each situation calls for a delicate and impartial approach as well as a thorough search for a tailored solution that would take into account the roots and evolution of the conflict.
5. We believe that the goal of the UN Security Council reform is to increase the representation of developing States from Africa, Asia and Latin America in the Council without prejudice to its effectiveness and operational efficiency. Efforts to identify the best reform model should continue in the current format of intergovernmental negotiations. The prerogatives of the UNSC permanent members, including the veto power, are not subject to revision.
We support realistic initiatives to revitalize the work of the UN General Assembly. We attach particular importance to the tasks of fine-tuning its working methods, streamlining its overloaded agenda and strengthening multilingualism. Any innovation should be reasonable and correspond to the current needs. Any redistribution of the powers of other statutory bodies, including the Security Council, in favor of the General Assembly is unacceptable.
6. We support increased cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations in line with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. It is essential to further enhance constructive partnership between the UN and such organizations as the CSTO, the SCO, the CIS, the BRICS and the EEU, whose international role is steadily increasing. Against this backdrop, we are looking forward to the unanimous adoption of the biennial resolutions on cooperation between the UN and the CIS, the CSTO and the SCO at the upcoming 75th session of the General Assembly.
7. We firmly stand for the UN principle of the inadmissibility of distorting history and revising the outcomes of the Second World War. In this regard, Russia will again submit the draft UNGA resolution on Combating Glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and Other Practices that Contribute to Fuelling Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, which has traditionally enjoyed support of the majority of UN member States. We call on the delegations that abstained or voted against the draft resolution last year to reconsider their position.
8. We support a comprehensive approach to resolving conflicts in the region of the Middle East and North Africa by peaceful means. Our proposal to create a regional security architecture in the Persian Gulf and, in the longer term, throughout the Middle East remains on the table.
9. We encourage an early stabilization in Syria and a successful political and diplomatic resolution of the conflict, while fighting the terrorist threat. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a party to the Astana format, Russia supports the efforts of Special Envoy Geir Pedersen and facilitates his work by engaging with the Syrian sides, including on establishing an intra-Syrian dialogue in the framework of the Constitutional Committee. We are open to collaboration with other international players, but we will not let the effective Astana format be undermined. We will continue to counter the attempts of Western States to put the blame for the use of chemical weapons on Damascus. Linking the allocation of funds for the reconstruction in Syria with the so-called "political transition" is inadmissible. We firmly reject any attempts to politicize the humanitarian aspects of the Syrian conflict. Humanitarian assistance should only be provided in line with the UN guiding principles. We advocate rendering assistance to the reconstruction of the liberated areas and support the lifting of unilateral sanctions against Syria.
10. We consider it necessary to step up efforts to restart direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Any actions that undermine the internationally recognized framework of the Middle East peace process, including plans for the annexation of the West Bank, should be abandoned. The two-state solution is the only viable option. We continue facilitating the peace process using our bilateral ties and as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, as well as a member of the Middle East Quartet. It is important to engage with key regional States and the League of Arab States.
11. We believe that there is no alternative to a political settlement in Libya. We highlight the need to take into account the views of all Libyan sides, including while planning for international assistance aimed at putting an end to the conflict. We engage with all parties and call for an early cessation of hostilities and the restoration of sustainable and integrated state institutions, including security agencies.
12. We reaffirm the importance of overcoming the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, which was brought about by a protracted internal political crisis and exacerbated by an external military intervention. We continue to reach out to all those involved in the Yemeni conflict, encouraging them to move towards a comprehensive political settlement. We contribute to the work of Special Envoy Martin Griffiths.
13. We support the Iraqi leadership's efforts to reinforce security and reach a long-term normalization in the country. We emphasize the need for consistent and thorough work to bridge the differences among ethnic as well as sectarian segments of the Iraqi society in the framework of a nation-wide dialogue.
14. We consistently pursue the policy aimed at facilitating the process of a national reconciliation in Afghanistan and at building a country free from terrorism, drug-related crime and foreign military presence. Russia will further work towards an early launch of inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations. We are seriously concerned about ISIS’ increased influence in the north and north east of the country and the threat of the spillover of terrorist activities into Central Asia. There is an urgent need to consolidate international efforts to eliminate the drug threat in Afghanistan. We believe that regional cooperation, first of all in the format of the Moscow consultations, as well as at the SCO and the CSTO, has a crucial role to play. We support the work of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
15. There is no alternative to the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, enshrined in UNSC Resolution 2202, as a framework for the internal settlement in Ukraine. International assistance, including those led by the UN, can only prove effective if they are aimed at backing up the current format, which includes the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.
Sustainable settlement of the internal crisis in Ukraine can only be achieved by political and diplomatic means through a direct dialogue between Kyiv and Donbass, while taking into account the legitimate demands of all the regions of Ukraine and its linguistic, ethnic and sectarian groups at the constitutional level. Russia will continue its tireless efforts to help relieve the dire humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine brought about by Kyiv, including by rendering assistance in overcoming the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
In line with UNSC Resolution 2166, we insist on a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the flight MH17 crash over the Ukrainian territory based on irrefutable facts. Neither the technical investigation into the causes of the Malaysian Boeing crash by the Dutch Safety Board nor the criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team can be regarded as such.
We expect that all cases of violence against civilians and journalists that have occurred since the beginning of the internal crisis in Ukraine will be investigated fairly and impartially, and that all those responsible will be brought to justice.
16. The territorial status of Crimea was definitively determined by the Crimean population itself during the 2014 referendum. Any discussions on the situation in this Russian region that do not involve its residents bear no relation to reality. This issue cannot be part of the UN-led discussion on the developments in Ukraine. The same goes for the situation around the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, which lies within the scope of the Russian-Ukrainian bilateral relations.
17. There is no military solution to the problem of the Korean Peninsula. A comprehensive settlement in North-East Asia can only be achieved through joint political and diplomatic efforts of all stakeholders. The creation of a new security architecture in North-East Asia that would take into account the legitimate interests of all states in the region, including the DPRK itself, is key to achieving this goal. Sanctions are but a means to encourage Pyongyang to engage in negotiations and cannot replace diplomacy. The maximum pressure policy promoted by the US will not bring long-term stability to North-East Asia, as it is nothing but an attempt to improve the security of certain States in the region at the expense of that of the DPRK.
18. The destructive actions of the US have resulted in a critical situation with regard to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. In pursuit of its opportunistic interests Washington violated its obligations under UNSC Resolution 2231 and Article 25 of the UN Charter by taking steps to subvert the aforementioned agreement.
We call on the international community to provide support to the JCPOA and oppose any illegitimate attempts by the United States to undertake the revision of UNSC Resolution 2231.
19. The solution to the Cyprus issue can only be elaborated by the Cypriot communities themselves in line with the relevant UNSC resolutions and without any external pressure. Such a solution should include a two-community and two-zone federation with a uniform international legal personality. The outdated community security guarantee system must be brought under the UN Security Council’s control.
20. With regard to Bosnia and Herzegovina, ensuring respect for the equality of the two entities and three state-constituting peoples in full compliance with the 1995 Dayton Accords is a prerequisite for sustainable functioning of the country’s institutions. The Bosnians deserve the right to decide independently on the future of their country. In this context, we believe that the abolition of the Office of the High Representative is long overdue.
21. The situation in Kosovo should be resolved in line with UNSC Resolution 1244. The agreement between Belgrade and Pristina will only be viable if both sides arrive at it independently, without any ready-made solutions imposed from abroad. We advocate preserving the budget and staff parameters of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
22. The political crisis in Venezuela can only be resolved by the Venezuelans themselves, through a direct dialogue between the government and the opposition, with strict respect for the country’s Constitution. International support will only be effective if it aims to establish and support a direct intra-Venezuelan dialogue. We firmly reject the use of force or threat of force under any pretexts, including humanitarian ones. Humanitarian assistance should be provided in line with the UN guiding principles enshrined in UNGA Resolution 46/182 and should not be politicized.
We continue to oppose any attempts to question the mandates of Venezuela’s official delegations at various international organisations.
23. The Final Peace Agreement is the cornerstone of the settlement in Colombia. This document made it possible for the UNSC to support the peace process. Unilateral attempts to alter the substance of its provisions are unacceptable. Sustainable settlement in Colombia is impossible without involving the National Liberation Army (ELN) in the peace process. We are looking forward to an early agreement on the status of the ELN negotiators currently residing in Cuba based on a constructive dialogue between Havana and Bogota.
24. We stand for a balanced and non-politicized approach to assessing the situation in Myanmar and identifying ways to bring the humanitarian situation in the Rakhine State back to normal. We are convinced that bilateral consultations between Myanmar and Bangladesh are key to resolving the complex refugee problem.
25. Russia has always been and remains a loyal proponent of the normalization of the Indo-Pakistani relations. We hope that the parties involved will avoid a new flare-up of tensions in the Kashmir region. We advocate resolving the Kashmir issue through bilateral negotiations between New Delhi and Islamabad.
26. We believe that crisis prevention and conflict settlement in Africa should be based on a leading role of the countries of the African continent and efficient support provided by the international community. We support strengthened cooperation between the UN and the African Union as well as the continent's sub-regional organizations. We intend to continue facilitating a political resolution of the crises in the CAR, the DRC, South Sudan, Somalia, Mali and the Sahara-Sahel region as a whole, as well as in other hot spots in Africa. We support national efforts of the countries of the continent to address the root causes of conflicts, restore state institutions and reform the security sector.
We intend to continue monitoring the stabilization and national reconciliation process in the CAR in line with the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation of 6 February 2019, which is particularly important in the context of the general elections scheduled for late 2020 and early 2021. Russia will continue rendering assistance to the CAR authorities in building up the country’s security capacity. We are open to collaboration with stakeholders on the ground who are interested in the settlement of this protracted conflict.
We are ready to provide all the necessary support to Sudan, which has just entered an important period of transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding. We are convinced that decisions concerning any international presence on its soil should first and foremost take into account the interests and opinions of the Sudanese people.
We consider it necessary to remove the issue of Burundi from the UNSC agenda, as the situation in that country no longer constitutes a threat to international peace and security.
27. We will continue to actively engage in the work of the UN General Assembly's Special Committee on Decolonization (C24). This body will retain relevance until a definitive solution to the issue of all 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories is reached.
28. UN peacekeeping should strictly comply with the basic principles of the Organization’s work in this area (consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force, except for self-defence and defence of the mandate) and the UN Charter. Efforts should be focused on promoting political settlement of conflicts and national reconciliation. The peacekeeping reform must only be carried out in full compliance with the decisions of the member States. Peacekeeping intelligence should only be used to ensure peacekeepers’ safety and protection of civilians. Vesting peacekeepers with additional powers, including with respect to the use of force, is only possible upon a UNSC decision that takes into account the specific situation in each country.
We believe that the UN General Assembly's Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34) should play a leading role in defining the development of UN peacekeeping.
Peacebuilding and sustaining of peace are inextricably linked and based on the principle of national ownership. International support should only be provided upon request of the host government and should be aimed at enhancing the states' own capacity.
29. For the UNSC, sanctions are an effective auxiliary tool for political and diplomatic resolution of conflicts. Their use is a last resort. Sanctions should only aim to suppress an activity that threatens international peace and security, be task-specific and time-limited, be regularly reviewed, and take into account political, socio-economic, humanitarian, and human rights consequences. Any attempts to use sanctions for economic strangulation and destabilisation of "rogue regimes", or as a means to generate unfair competition, are unacceptable. We support securing guarantees in international sanctions regimes against infliction of damage on population and disruption of work of humanitarian organizations in countries under sanctions. We seek to expand the institute of the Ombudsperson acting in the interests of persons listed by the Al‑Qaeda and "Anti-Taliban" sanctions committees, to embrace other UNSC sanctions committees. We condemn the practice of supplementing international sanctions with unilateral restrictions, especially those with extraterritorial effect.
30. We stand for strengthened international cooperation in fight against terrorism with the UN playing a central coordinating role, eradication of double standards, and rejection of hidden agendas in this area. We commend Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov for his work to consolidate counter-terrorism efforts under the auspices of the Organisation and raise the profile of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office (CTO) under his leadership. We will continue to provide the CTO with political and financial assistance and expertise.
We consider it particularly important to efficiently use tools offered by such UNSC subsidiary bodies as the Counter-Terrorism Committee and sanctions committees on ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban movement.
We call for ensuring a comprehensive compliance with UNSC resolutions against the financing of terrorism, as well as with standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). In keeping with UNSC resolutions 2462 and 2482, we promote the objectives of enhancing measures to suppress financing and arming of terrorists and break the linkage between terrorism and organised crime.
We consider it essential to apply joint efforts against foreign terrorist fighters so as to prevent their movements, prosecute them in a manner duly reflecting the seriousness of the offenses (as enshrined in UNSC resolutions 2178 and 2396). Special attention should be paid to the issue of family members (women and children) of foreign terrorist fighters, as it raises concern not only in the humanitarian field, but also in the area of human rights, due to a high degree of radicalisation and challenges experienced by the said category of persons when reintegrating into society.
We consider it wrong and short-sighted to focus the attention of UN counter-terrorism structures on minor gender and human rights-related aspects or exert pressure on them under the pretext of engaging civil society in the international counter-terrorism collaboration. An excessive humanitarian and human rights focus in the UN "division of labour" system is encouraging a paralysis of structures vested with unique powers in the security sector, thereby playing into the hands of terrorists.
We should strengthen efforts to implement UNSC Resolution 2354 aimed at curbing the spread of terrorist ideology and propaganda, including through the Internet.
It is necessary to further emphasize the inadmissibility of the concept of "countering violent extremism", which in fact provides grounds for terminating counter-extremism cooperation in the intergovernmental format and creates preconditions for interference in the internal affairs of states, to the extent of supporting terrorist and extremist groups and provoking "colour revolutions".
We stress our commitment to fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. It is also important to counter attempts to use the fact of the upsurge of right-wing extremism, which is an important factor in the escalation of violence, first of all in a number of Western nations, for political manipulations and increasing the sanction pressure on Russia.
31. Further consolidation of efforts of the international community is needed to address the world drug problem while strictly abiding by the provisions of the three UN drug control conventions. We strongly oppose any initiatives to revise the existing international drug control system, legalize certain types of drugs, as well as impose questionable practices of treatment of drug addicts as "universal standards."
We believe that WHO recommendations concerning changes of the conventional regime regarding cannabis and its derivatives are not sufficiently thought-through. They lack substantiation for adoption, as well as the analysis of risks that would be generated by the weakened international cannabis control mechanisms.
It is necessary to increase efforts to counter the spread of Afghan drug trafficking. We note the importance of enhancing cooperation in curbing the threat of Afghan drugs in multilateral fora, such as the Paris Pact, the SCO, the CIS, and the CARICC. We consider it a priority for Afghanistan to consistently implement its commitments to solve the drug problem based on the principle of common and shared responsibility of states. In our view, international efforts will only prove successful if combined with an effective drug policy by the Afghan authorities aimed primarily at eliminating poppy plantations.
It is essential to ensure special monitoring of issues related to the spread of new psychoactive substances, the use of Internet for drug trafficking, and the use of cryptocurrencies as payment for trafficked drugs.
We support the central coordinating role of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) as the UN main decision-making body on international drug control. Russia considers that the CND should comprise states that strictly and scrupulously comply with their international obligations under the UN drug control conventions. Russia is one of the leaders in the CND, and we are determined to proactively use our best practices approved by this body when agreeing on resolutions and decisions at the 75th Session of the General Assembly.
32. We have consistently supported the UN’s central coordinating role in consolidating international efforts to combat global challenges and threats, including those posed by transnational organised crime.
We attach particular importance to strengthening the legal framework of international cooperation in countering criminal challenges and threats, including the possible development and adoption of new international legal instruments.
We highlight the importance of the work currently underway to finalize the Mechanism for the Review of the Implementation of the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
33. We attach great significance to strengthening international anti-corruption cooperation, with the UN playing the central and coordinating role, based on the UN Convention against Corruption (CAC). We welcome the initiative to hold a General Assembly special session on corruption in 2021. We consistently support joining efforts of all stakeholders under the UN auspices to prevent corruption in sports pursuant to the Russia-sponsored resolution 8/4 on safeguarding sport from corruption adopted by the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
34. We believe that the UN should play a key role in the consolidation of joint efforts to ensure international information security (IIB), which should result in the elaboration and adoption under the UN auspices of genuinely universal and comprehensive rules of responsible behaviour of states in information space aimed at preventing conflicts therein. The rules should consolidate such principles as the non-use of force, respect for the sovereignty of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, and respect for human rights, as well as guarantee equal rights for participation in Internet governance for all states.
We believe that it is crucial to ensure continued discussions on international information security at the UN in the framework of the Open-Ended Working Group on IIB (OEWG), the first genuinely democratic, transparent, and inclusive negotiating mechanism created upon Russia’s initiative. Currently, a number of states are striving to shift the focus from achieving key objectives in ICTs to less relevant issues, seeking to stall the discussion and even disrupt the negotiation process at the UN by postponing the OEWG closing session (initially scheduled for July 2020) to late spring 2021. Besides, the work of the OEWG is being linked with the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on information security established in line with US-sponsored UNGA resolution 73/266 of 2018. The GGE mandate expires in May 2021. In this context, it is necessary to avoid the duplication of the OEWG and the GGE negotiation processes and the disruption of the OEWG’s status.
We call on our partners to support our stance and expressly come out in favour of intensifying and ensuring the continuity of the OEWG’s work on all aspects of its mandate, first of all on drafting rules, standards, and principles of responsible behaviour of states in information space.
35. We have consistently advocated strengthening the existing treaty regimes and developing, through consensus, new arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation (ACDNP) regimes. The UN and its multilateral disarmament mechanism should play a central role in this process. We put in efforts to improve the performance of its key elements – the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the UN Disarmament Commission and the Conference on Disarmament.
We consider it essential for these fora to render their work result-oriented and fully and unconditionally compliant with the UN Charter, other norms of international law and their respective mandates. Furthermore, we are convinced that any measures taken should not infringe on sovereign rights of states.
We deem it necessary to counter any attempts to revise or undermine the disarmament architecture that has been shaped over decades, as well as to weaken the defence potential of other states through the pressure of unilateral sanctions, bypassing the UN Security Council. At the 75th session of the General Assembly, Russia will submit another ACDNP draft resolution to the First Committee.
36. We strictly comply with our obligations under the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and advocate for the document’s early entry into force, which requires ratification by eight states. The US is playing the most destructive role here; it is the only state to have officially refused to ratify the Treaty. We are particularly concerned with the discussions currently held in the US administration regarding the resumption of nuclear tests. This policy will threaten not only the CTBT, but the regime of non-proliferation as a whole.
37. We support the noble cause of shaping a world free of nuclear weapons and make a substantial practical contribution to achieving that goal. We believe that a realistic and balanced approach should be promoted here. Progress towards nuclear disarmament should continue with due account for all factors affecting the strategic stability, so as to enhance the security of all states without exception. We encourage all states possessing nuclear capability to join the process of nuclear arms reduction and limitation.
We would like to note that progress in the field of nuclear disarmament has been hindered by the unrestricted development of the US global missile defence system, unwillingness of certain states to denounce the idea of possible deployment of weapons in outer space, the quantitative and qualitative imbalances in the area of conventional armaments, the implementation of the US concept of prompt global strike, and the US’s refusal to ratify the CTBT.
We do not support radical initiatives on introducing an early nuclear weapons ban (including the treaty on its prohibition) that undermine the NPT and divert attention from pressing problems of international security caused primarily by the US’s destabilizing actions to dilute the arms control system.
38. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the entry into force of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Russia considers this treaty the most important international legal instrument on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, as well as one of the pillars of the modern world order.
Given the current trends caused by the destabilization of the situation with arms control and non-proliferation, NPT member states should by all means work to ensure that the upcoming 2021 Review Conference helps strengthen the Treaty and not spur controversy around it. The ultimate goal is to elaborate a document that would reaffirm the Treaty’s resilience, commitment to obligations under the NPT, and the necessity to increase efforts to strengthen the Treaty.
We appreciate and fully support the work of the IAEA as an international organization that possesses the necessary authority and competence to monitor the observance of the non-proliferation obligations under the NPT. Safeguards developed by the Agency play a key role here. We believe that further development of the safeguards system serves to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, provided that it keeps intact the general principles of verification – impartiality, technical feasibility, and transparency.
39. We regard the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction as a landmark event both in terms of ensuring stability and sustainability in the region and in the context of global efforts towards WMD non-proliferation. We intend to further support the idea of such conferences. We believe that efforts to elaborate a legally binding agreement on creating a zone free of nuclear weapons and other WMDs in the Middle East serve the interests of all states in the region.
40. We note that international security has been negatively affected by yet another destructive move made by the United States in this area by withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (the INF treaty), which was consequently terminated. We call on all states interested in maintaining stability in a "world without the INF treaty" to make necessary efforts to ensure predictability and reserve in the missile-related issues.
We reaffirm our commitment to the strict compliance with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (the New START) and our readiness for substantive negotiations with the US regarding the extension of the treaty. We are convinced that the extension would prevent the situation from deteriorating and win time to explore possible new approaches to arms control while taking into account new factors in this area, including the development of new military technologies and new armaments.
41. We highly commend efforts of the UN Security Council and its ad-hoc 1540 Committee on the WMD non-proliferation. We are determined to engage in a substantive and constructive dialogue in the framework of the comprehensive review of the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540. We expect that the procedure will result in the confirmation of the 1540 Committee’s current mandate.
42. Russia has initiated the development of important multilateral agreements on arms control and non-proliferation, such as the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space treaty (PAROS) and the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Chemical and Biological Terrorism. We believe that a constructive dialogue on these issues will provide an opportunity to engage in substantive work (including negotiations) on the UN platform. By promoting such initiatives, Russia strictly adheres to the principles of equality and consensus through the balance of interests.
43. At the 75th session of the General Assembly, we will traditionally submit to the First Committee draft resolutions on the no-first placement of weapons in outer space and on transparency and confidence-building measures in space activities. The globalization of the "no-first-placement" initiative is an important but only interim step on the way towards the conclusion of an international treaty on the prevention of placement of weapons in outer space on the basis of a relevant Chinese-Russian draft treaty.
44. We consider it necessary to strengthen the central and coordinating role of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in international cooperation on the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes. We are against the practice of addressing issues that fall within the competence of the Committee at other international fora and non-profile international organizations. We stress the need to develop and adopt national norms to ensure the fulfilment of international legal obligations with regard to space activities.
We continue to actively engage in the work of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to ensure long-term sustainability of space activities, as well as to agree upon a balanced Space 2030 agenda and its implementation plan.
45. We are in favour of strengthening the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention, the 1925 Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, as well as the Secretary-General’s Mechanism for Investigation of Alleged Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons (Russia will submit a new draft resolution on that issue).
We regard as illegitimate the actions of Western states aimed at vesting the Technical Secretariat (TS) of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) with functions to "identify those responsible" for the use of chemical weapons. The decision to create the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) within the OPCW imposed by the West contradicts the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and infringes upon the exclusive prerogatives of the UNSC. It is important to avoid vesting the purely technical OPCW with functions outside its competence.
The publication of the IIT pilot report on three chemical weapons incidents that occurred in the Syrian settlement of Al Lataminah in 2017 concluding that the Syrian political and military authorities were responsible for the incidents has confirmed concerns that this mechanism had been created to suit certain interests. The analysis of the document clearly shows the adherence to the faulty principles of the work of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission, which investigated the use of chemical weapons in Syria, as well as the former OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM).
We encourage impartial and highly professional international investigations into the cases of provocations involving chemical weapons on the part of the opposition forces and all manifestations of "chemical terrorism" in the Middle East in full compliance with the high standards of the CWC.
46. We regret that the US has decided to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies following its pretentious allegations of Russia’s violations of the Treaty. Washington’s actions are fully in line with its policy aimed at destroying the entire complex of agreements on arms control and aim to undermine the European security system. We are looking into potential further developments around the Treaty on Open Skies as well as considering possible response.
47. As regards the law of the sea, we continue to support the fundamental role of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as a universal instrument creating a comprehensive regime of cooperation in the World Ocean and making it possible to effectively counter new global challenges related to the sustainability of maritime activities, maritime security and efficient management of marine biological resources. As always, we highly value the work of the convention mechanisms such as the International Seabed Authority, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. We believe it is vital that they work strictly within the mandates, avoiding their broad interpretation.
48. The Russian Federation supports the work of the International Court of Justice as the main judicial body of the United Nations and is ready to assist the creation of conditions enabling its effective and unbiased functioning.
We closely monitor the situation around the implementation of the UNGA resolution of May 23, 2019, concerning the Chagos Archipelago, which was adopted in accordance with a relevant advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice. It is in the context of decolonization that we view the above-mentioned UNGA resolution, and we hope that it will help complete the decolonization process.
49. The Russian Federation closely follows the work of the International Law Commission (ILC), which significantly contributes to the codification and progressive development of international law. We believe that the UN should further build on its most valuable outputs.
In the autumn of 2021, during the seventy-sixth session of the UN General Assembly, elections to the ILC are scheduled to take place. The Russian Federation nominated the current member of the Commission, Director of the Legal Department of the MFA of Russia Evgeny Zagainov, for re-election to the Commission for 2022–2026. We hope that the UN Member States will support our candidate in the upcoming elections and are actively laying the groundwork to this end.
50. The credibility of the International Criminal Court (the ICC) is steadily declining. It is becoming more politically biased and one-sided while the financial costs of its activities are getting unreasonably high. We note the low quality of its work and the lack of any tangible contribution to conflict settlement.
51. We underline that the mandate of the Residual Mechanism is strictly limited, and it is necessary to complete all cases referred to it as soon as possible. We have to acknowledge yet again that the Mechanism inherited the worst practices from its predecessors, particularly the ICTY, which is demonstrated by its consistent anti-Serbian attitudes. We do not consider it expedient at this point to establish new judicial bodies of that kind.
52. We remain convinced that the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011, which was established by the UN General Assembly acting beyond its authority, is a legal nullity. We oppose the idea of funding the Mechanism from the UN budget.
53. We continue to regard the issue of "the rule of law" with an emphasis on its international dimension, i.e. the primacy of international law. We are very cautious about implementing the concept within the UN, seeing how a number of states seek to push through, under its guise, initiatives that do not have broad support. We will counter the attempts to make use of the concept in order to interfere with internal affairs of states.
We will also continue to block attempts by certain countries to legitimize within the United Nations the concept of "responsibility to protect" (R2P), which no longer enjoys consensual support.
54. It is states that bear the primary responsibility for promoting and protecting human rights while the UN executive structures are to play a supporting role in this area. We believe that equal cooperation between states based on the rule of international law, respect for sovereignty and equality of states should be the main principle in the work of the United Nations to promote and protect human rights. Integration of human rights issues into all areas of the United Nations' activity should not lead to duplication of the work of its main bodies. We do not support the idea of linking the activities of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) to the UN Security Council. We oppose attempts to reform the HRC in order to turn it into a quasi-judicial monitoring mechanism.
We oppose adoption of politicized country-specific resolutions, especially in view of the successfully operating mechanism of the Universal Periodic Review under the auspices of the HRC. We strongly condemn the use of human rights issues as a pretext for interfering in internal affairs of states and undermining the fundamental principles of international law.
It is in this light that we regard the resolution on the situation with human rights in Crimea, which, since 2016, has been regularly submitted to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly by the Ukrainian delegation. This document has nothing in common with the actual situation in this region of the Russian Federation.
By the same token, the Georgia-sponsored resolution on the status of internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia is obviously counterproductive and entails the risk of aggravating the situation in the region and stalling the Geneva discussions, which remain the only platform for a dialogue between representatives of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Georgia.
The work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) should become more transparent and more accountable to the UN Member States in order to avoid politically motivated approaches to assessing human rights situations in different countries.
55. We strongly condemn any forms and manifestations of discrimination. The ban on discrimination enshrined in international human rights instruments is universal and applies to all persons without exception. We see no value added in segregating new vulnerable groups (such as members of the LGBT community, human rights activists, bloggers) that allegedly require a special legal protection regime and new categories of rights. Such steps by a number of countries only lead to greater politicization and confrontation within the UN human rights mechanisms.
56. Active practical work in the area of social development, particularly efforts to eradicate poverty, promote social integration, ensure full employment and decent work for all, will facilitate effective implementation of the decisions adopted at the World Summit for Social Development and the twenty-fourth special session of the UN General Assembly.
We consider the UN Commission for Social Development to be the main UN coordinating body that develops framework for harmonized action on general issues of social protection, ensuring equal opportunities for persons with disabilities, problems of ageing population, improving the situation of young people and strengthening the role of the traditional family. We resolutely oppose any initiatives that undermine its role as well as the calls for its dissolution.
57. The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) remains the main intergovernmental platform for discussion of a broad range of issues relating to improvement of the status of women, and achieving gender equality in particular. We believe it important to avoid politicization of these issues or their automatic inclusion into UN documents focusing on other topics. Special attention in documents on improving the status of women should be devoted to social and economic rights, as well as social protection and support for women and their families. We commend the work by UN Women, which should render assistance only upon request and authorization by states. We attach great importance to the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women to be held in the autumn of 2020.
58. We support further development of international cooperation to promote and protect the rights of the child based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as the outcome document of the twenty-seventh special session of the UN General Assembly entitled "A world fit for children". We point out the inadmissibility of attempts by some countries to deprive parents and legal guardians of their role in the upbringing of children and development of their potential, including by granting young children the autonomy to make decisions. Family support programs, as well as programs to facilitate access to education and healthcare are among the things that are needed to create favorable environment for child rearing.
We devote close attention to the problem of children in armed conflict, including in the work of the UN Security Council. We support the mandate of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and engage in cooperation with her, including as part of the program for repatriation of Russian children from Syria and Iraq.
59. We support discussions within the UN General Assembly on interfaith and intercultural collaboration, as well as the development of intercivilizational dialogue, including within the Alliance of Civilizations (AoC). We see the need for active engagement of members of the AoC and other structures of the UN Secretariat in the preparations for the World Conference on Inter-religious and Inter-Ethnic Dialogue to be held in Russia in 2022.
60. We are ready for cooperation on the UN agenda issues with all interested non-governmental organizations. We seek to ensure adequate representation of Russian NGOs in the work of various UN structures.
61. We believe that coordinated efforts of all states with the UN playing a coordinating role are needed to overcome the consequences of migration crises. Approaches to addressing migration challenges, including the issues of ensuring and protecting the rights of refugees, cannot contradict the basic principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, while the actions taken should not violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States and be implemented without consent of the countries in which they are applied.
Russia makes a substantial contribution to protecting refugees and resolving migration issues, which is manifested in Russia's large‑scale humanitarian activities in many countries and regions, as well as its political efforts to prevent and overcome crises.
We appreciate the role of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in enhancing the effectiveness of international protection of refugees and other categories of persons falling under its responsibility. Every year Russia voluntary contributes about USD 2 million to the budget of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
We note efforts by the UNHCR regarding Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). The Russian Federation actively contributes to funding UNHCR humanitarian operations aimed at assisting these people. Life itself confirms the importance of Russia's initiative to facilitate voluntary repatriation of Syrian refugees, which requires international support. We look forward to the world community pursuing a non-politicized approach in dealing with this issue.
We commend and support, including financially, UNHCR efforts to address the humanitarian consequences of the Ukrainian crisis.
We deem it necessary for the UNHCR to focus its attention on stateless persons, including in Europe.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we welcome the UNHCR focus on developing close interaction with national authorities to combat this infection. Our country supports, including financially, the Office's efforts to contain the spread of the disease among refugees.
Russia supported the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) designed to make an important contribution to strengthening the international refugee protection regime. We expect the Global Refugee Forum to help draw worldwide attention to refugee issues and strengthen implementation of the GCR.
We note the relevance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). We welcome the strengthened constructive interaction between the UN and the IOM. We trust it would enhance both organizations' capacities so that the international community can successfully respond to emerging migration challenges.
We view migration not merely as a current challenge, but also as an important driver for social and economic development. We assume that a key development objective in the migration area shall be finding mechanisms for optimizing and controlling migration processes in order to enhance their positive contribution to the socio-economic sphere while taking into account national interests and priorities.
We attach great importance to strengthening international cooperation in the area of migration. Russia supported the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. It should be noted that the Compact's principles and objectives echo a number of provisions of the updated Concept of the State Migration Policy of the Russian Federation. Our country participated actively in the consultation process to develop modalities of the first International Migration Review Forum to be held in 2022.
62. We support the process of the "strategic transformation" of UNESCO launched by its Director-General. We believe that the process of this leading humanitarian organization's adaptation to modern challenges should not be detrimental to UNESCO mandate and its intergovernmental status, or lead to the duplication of activities with other UN structures. The ultimate goal of the UNESCO reform is to improve its performance by depoliticizing its work and avoiding discussing topics that are outside its main area of expertise and lead to widening disconnection between member states.
We insist that remote working methods of UNESCO governing bodies were introduced out of necessity in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and should be discontinued upon expiration of the coronavirus restrictive measures. The establishment of a temporary work mode should not lead to the revision of existing rules and procedures, nor set precedents for the future.
63. We view cooperation in the field of sports and the promotion of sport ideals worldwide as effective ways to foster respect and mutual understanding among nations.
We believe that politicization of sports and discrimination of athletes, including Paralympians, through collective punishment are unacceptable. We advocate the development of a universal system of international sport cooperation based on the principles of independence and autonomy of sports.
64. In the context of revitalizing international efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda), we support deeper and enhanced international cooperation on the social, economic, environmental and other relevant tracks of the UN work. We underscore the comprehensive, non-politicized, and indivisible nature of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the key one being poverty eradication.
We support strengthening intergovernmental processes within ECOSOC using the dialogue platform of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), including for reviewing global implementation of the 2030 Agenda and achieving its goals.
Russia's voluntary national review of progress towards the SDGs demonstrated our country's progress in the social, economic and environmental areas. These efforts have been given considerable impetus by the Presidential Executive Order No. 204 dated May 7, 2018 On National Goals and Strategic Objectives of the Russian Federation through to 2024, which also laid the groundwork for further implementation of all the 17 SDGs in Russia. We call on all our partners to familiarize themselves with the review posted on the official UN website.
Given the comprehensive and inclusive nature of the 2030 Agenda, we believe that the participation of the business sector in its implementation is extremely important. We therefore support the work of the UN Global Compact as an effective mechanism for promoting the principles of corporate social responsibility in the areas of human rights, labour and environment.
65. We place great emphasis on promoting cooperation within the framework of regional economic commissions of the United Nations – Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia (ESCAP). These structures have significant potential to advance the socio-economic agenda, through both establishing sectoral convention mechanisms and providing technical assistance to States in need.
66. We support a balanced and transparent dialogue between donors and recipient countries regarding further implementation of the UN Secretary‑General's initiative to reform the UN development system (UNDS), including the resident coordinator system.
We hope that the practical implementation of the UNDS reform will contribute to greater performance and help to avoid overlapping in the activities of the programs, foundations and special agencies of the UN. The UNDS efforts should be in line with the decisions of the Quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system (UNGA Resolution 71/243), remain unbiased and free from imposing of political agendas, and focused on providing for the basic needs of developing states in the context of the 2030 Agenda implementation.
We believe that the reform will not diminish the policy-making role of the relevant UN regional commissions.
67. We support the accelerated implementation of the Addis-Ababa Action Agenda decisions on financing for development to mobilize and effectively use resources for achieving the SDGs.
We will further increase Russia's "visibility" as a key and predictable donor in assisting international development, including through promotion of innovative practices and national experience.
We recognize the importance of open and equitable cooperation on fiscal matters, including in the framework of combating tax evasion and illicit financial flows.
68. We intend to offer support to the WTO and foster the development of a universal, open, non-discriminatory, and just multilateral trade system. We reject protectionist measures, unilateral trade restrictions, and sanctions imposed by some countries in violation of generally recognized international legal norms.
69. We view poverty eradication as the central objective on the socio‑economic track of the UN activities. In the framework of the Third United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, we support further elaboration of practical measures to eradicate poverty (including in rural areas), socio-economic and technological transformations related to the development of industrial production, particularly in the least developed countries.
70. We support multilateral efforts to address climate change. Despite the pause in negotiations forced by the coronavirus pandemic, we count on the constructive interaction of all parties to the negotiations to finalize the rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement particularly as regards market and non-market mechanisms, and present them for approval at the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2021.
Emphasizing the importance of climate issues, we oppose the artificial grouping of this important topic with peace and security, human rights and migration. We believe that climate change should be used as the unifying agenda for the world community.
71. We are committed to increasing international cooperation to ensure global food security.
72. We believe that the Rome-based UN agencies (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, World Food Programme, International Fund for Agricultural Development) should maintain their leading role in the strengthening of intergovernmental cooperation in the field of agricultural development and fight against hunger.
We support the development of a multilateral partnership aimed at ensuring balanced nutrition, food safety, and awareness raising. We welcome the efforts of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in developing food standards and addressing antimicrobial resistance, as well as practical implementation of measures within the framework of the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016–2025). We expand cooperation with the World Food Programme (WFP) in rendering humanitarian food aid, first of all in conflict zones (Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and Palestine) and areas affected by natural disasters (Cuba, Nicaragua, Burundi, Djibouti, Somalia, Sierra Leone, the Central African Republic), as well as to Eastern Africa, suffering from a locust invasion (Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan).
We will actively contribute to preparing and ensuring that the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 is filled with substantive content. We expect it to become a prominent political event that will give practical impetus to the transformation of food systems to ensure food security, including in the context of the crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
73.We support the strengthening of the international humanitarian response system. We are concerned about the politicization of the humanitarian aid issues and attempts to use the plight of people in countries as a pretext for imposing domestic policy changes. Such situations are observed in the Middle East, and in other regions.
We note that, in practice, politicized actions of third parties only deepen mistrust between legitimate authorities and the UN humanitarian leadership, which is of no help in addressing humanitarian issues but is rather in the interests of those willing to further destabilize the political situation.
We believe that the UN member states should cooperate to ensure the observance of the humanitarian aid principles enshrined in UNGA Resolution 46/182 and other repeatedly reaffirmed decisions of the UNGA and ECOSOC.
74.We attribute the leading role in international health cooperation to the WHO. However, we recognize the need to improve its work in implementing the International Health Regulations. We stand against creating parallel structures to this Organization, transferring them some of its functions and politicizing the health agenda.
Other priority global health topics include the fight against non‑communicable diseases (NCDs) and, in this context, we will continue to fully support the work of the UN Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of NCDs, as well as universal access to health services, prevention of antimicrobial resistance, tuberculosis prevention.
75.In the context of the international Chernobyl-related cooperation, we are committed to seamless interaction among Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, as well as other donor countries, with a view to overcoming the socio-economic and environmental consequences of the accident and developing the affected areas.
76.We support the enhanced cooperation on disaster risk reduction within the framework of the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015–2030). We are ready to develop partnerships with all stakeholders to successfully hold the high-level SAMOA Pathway meeting (SAMOA – Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action) (September, 27 2020).
77.We intend to curb the growth of the budgets for the 2021 UN programs, as well as budget estimates for peacekeeping operations and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. We attach great importance to ensuring the budgetary discipline, mainstreaming the accepted recommendations of advisory and oversight bodies, and to more efficient use of financial and human resources, and greater transparency and accountability in the UN Secretariat work. We stand against the endorsement of underdeveloped reform initiatives without a precise analysis of potential benefits and costs.
78.The respect for the principles of multilingualism and full equality of all the six official UN languages is one of the main criteria when assessing the quality of the Organization's conference services, as well as the access of Member States to information on its functioning. We insist on ensuring the unconditional parity in the funding of all the language services.