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24 September 201918:00

Russia's position at the seventy-fourth session of the UN General Assembly

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RUSSIA'S POSITION AT THE SEVENTY-FOURTH SESSION
OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

(Talking points)

 

1. The goal of the seventy-fourth session of the UN General Assembly (GA) is to continue efforts to strengthen the central and coordinating role of the Organization in international affairs and shape a polycentric world order. The UN is a unique platform for a frank and equal dialogue aimed at developing solutions with due regard for different opinions, as well as at building a just architecture of international relations.

2. We focus our work on strengthening the multilateral framework for interstate relations and the global economy based on universal norms of international law and the UN Charter, with special emphasis on the respect for the sovereignty of countries and the inadmissibility of interference in their internal affairs.

We continue to counteract Western policies aimed at substituting fundamental norms and principles of international law, including the UN Charter, with such concepts as the "rule-based world order".

3. The main responsibility for preventing conflicts and overcoming their consequences lies with the states themselves. The UN should provide assistance in line with its Charter. The existing tools, such as preventive diplomacy, good offices and mediation, should be used fairly and impartially, while respecting sovereignty of states.

4. The objective of the UN Security Council reform is to expand representation of developing states from Asia, Africa and Latin America in the Council while maintaining its efficiency and responsiveness. The best reform model that would gain the widest possible support should be identified through intergovernmental negotiations, without setting artificial timeframes. Prerogatives of the permanent members, including their veto right, are not to be revised.

We support feasible initiatives to revitalize the activities of the UN General Assembly. Our top priority is to fine-tune its working methods and streamline its overloaded agenda. Any innovation should be reasonable. Any attempts to redistribute the powers of other statutory bodies, including the Security Council, in favor of the General Assembly, are unacceptable.

5. We stand for enhanced and strengthened UN cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations on the basis of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. We consistently advocate further development of constructive cooperation between the UN and such organizations as the CSTO, the SCO, the CIS, the BRICS and the EAEU, whose "visibility" has been steadily improving.

6. We share the comprehensive approach to conflict resolution in the Middle East and North Africa based exclusively on peaceful means. Our proposal to create a regional security structure in the Persian Gulf and, in the longer term, in the entire Middle East remains relevant.

7. We are interested in an early stabilization of the situation in Syria and successful political and diplomatic settlement of the conflict, while pursuing counter-terrorist efforts. As a permanent UNSC member and Astana format participant, Russia supports efforts applied by special envoy Geir Pedersen and contributes to his work in coordination with Syrian sides. We are ready to interact with other players, but we will not let the effective Astana format be undermined. We will continue blocking Westerners' attempts to blame Damascus for the use of chemical weapons. Linking the allocation of funds for reconstruction in Syria with the so-called "political transition" is inadmissible. We do not accept any steps aimed at politicizing humanitarian aspects of the conflict in the SAR and speculations based on unverified information to accuse Damascus and Russia's Aerospace Forces of violating the international humanitarian law. We are in favor of providing assistance in reconstructing the freed areas, an early return of refugees and the removal of unilateral sanctions against the SAR.

8. Efforts should be stepped up to restart the direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. Unilateral attempts to develop a plan for conflict resolution are doomed. Actions that undermine internationally recognized framework of the Middle East settlement should be abandoned. The only viable scheme is a two-state solution. We continue to work towards this goal using our bilateral ties and as a UNSC permanent member. It is important to resume the collective efforts of the Middle-East Quartet of international mediators, engage key regional stakeholders and the League of Arab States. Our proposal to offer a Moscow-based "platform" for top-level Palestinian-Israeli talks remains relevant.

9. We believe that there is no alternative to a political settlement in Libya in line with the UN Action Plan. When dealing with all Libyan sides, we call for an early cessation of hostilities and restoration of sustainable and integrated state institutions, including security agencies.

10. We reaffirm the importance of overcoming the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, which was in fact caused by a protracted internal political crisis and an external military intervention. We continue to reach out to all parties involved in the conflict, encouraging them to implement the Stockholm Agreement as soon as possible.

11. We support the Iraqi leadership's efforts to restore security and bring the situation in the country back to normal. We emphasize the need for consistent work to bridge differences among ethnic as well as sectarian segments of the Iraqi society.

12. We are committed to the policy aimed at facilitating an early launch of an inclusive process of national reconciliation in Afghanistan and building a state free from terrorism, drug-related crime and foreign military presence. We support the promotion of the intra-Afghan dialogue initiated for this purpose in Moscow. We are seriously concerned about ISIS's strengthening its positions and the deteriorating situation in the north and north-east of the country, about the threat of the spillover of terrorist activities from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan into Central Asia. We consider it necessary to consolidate efforts of the international community to eliminate the drug threat in Afghanistan. We believe that regional cooperation, first of all within the Moscow consultations format, as well as within the SCO and the CSTO, has a crucial role to play here. We support the work of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

13. There is still no alternative to the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements as a framework for resolution of the Ukrainian internal conflict, as enshrined in UNSC Resolution 2202 and confirmed in the UNSC President's statement of 6 June 2018. International assistance, including the potential UN peacekeeping presence in Ukraine, will only prove effective if it helps uphold the existing format, which involves the Contact Group in Minsk and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.

The settlement of the internal crisis in Ukraine can be achieved solely by political and diplomatic means, through consistent and full implementation of the Package of Measures by the Ukrainian sides, while taking into account, at the constitutional level, the legitimate demands of all regions of Ukraine and its linguistic and ethno-sectarian groups, as well as through a direct dialogue between Kyiv and Donbass. Russia will continue its efforts to relieve the difficult humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine, which was brought about by Kyiv.

We insist on the comprehensive and independent investigation of the Malaysian MH17 aircraft incident over the territory of Ukraine, on the basis of irrefutable facts and in line with UNSC Resolution 2166.

We expect that all cases of violence against civilians and journalists which have occurred since the beginning of the internal crisis in Ukraine will be objectively investigated, and all those guilty will be brought to justice.

The issue of state affiliation of Crimea was resolved once and for all by Crimeans themselves in the course of the 2014 referendum, and should therefore be left out of the UN-led discussion in the context of current developments in Ukraine. We have a similar stance on the situation concerning the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, which lies within the scope of Russian- Ukrainian relations.

14. There can be no military solution to the problem of the Korean Peninsula. It is only by joint political and diplomatic efforts of all stakeholders that a comprehensive settlement in North-East Asia can be achieved. Establishing a new security infrastructure in North-East Asia with due regard for the legitimate interests of all countries in the region, including the DPRK itself, is key to achieving this goal. Sanctions are but a means of bringing Pyongyang to the negotiating table and should not substitute for real diplomacy. The U.S.-proposed "policy of maximum pressure" will not lead to the desired stability in North-East Asia since it represents an attempt to enhance the security of certain countries of the region at the expense of that of the DPRK.

15. We are concerned about the upsurge of tensions around Iran. The consistent implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to address the issue of the Iranian nuclear program by all the parties involved seems the only reasonable way to achieve stabilization. We call on JCPOA participants to refrain from any steps that hinder the realization of the Plan and create uncertainty about its future prospects. We deem it indispensable to step up collective efforts within the JCPOA framework to identify effective solutions that would guarantee its full and sustainable implementation.

16. As regards the Cyprus issue, we will only support a decision which is taken by the Cypriot communities themselves, without external pressure. It should be based on UNSC resolutions and provide for the creation of a two-community, two-zone federation with single and indivisible sovereignty, nationality and international legal personality. The current system of security guarantees for the communities is outdated and should be put under UN SC control.

17. It is possible to achieve sustainable performance of institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina by ensuring respect for the equity of the two entities and the three constitutive peoples of the country, as provided for in the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement. The transfer of responsibility for the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina to its own citizens remains the main objective. The abolition of the Office of the High Representative is therefore long overdue.

18. The situation in Kosovo should be addressed on the basis of UNSC Resolution 1244. We are concerned about the degradation of the security situation in the area and the dampening of prospects for achieving an agreement by Belgrade and Pristina. We are in favor of keeping the budget and staff parameters of the UN Mission in the region unchanged.

19. The situation in Venezuela can only be resolved by political means through a direct dialogue between the government and opposition, without external pressure, while respecting the national constitution. International involvement should serve the aim of facilitating this process and remain free from preconditions. We condemn external threats of the use of military force under any pretexts. Humanitarian assistance should be rendered in accordance with the UN guiding principles enshrined in UNGA Resolution 46/182, and its politicization is unacceptable. We are against any encroachments on mandates of Venezuelan official delegations to the UN and other international organizations.

20. The settlement in Colombia should be based on the Final Peace Agreement. Its signing by the National Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in 2016 made it possible for the Secretary-General and the UN Security Council to offer support to the peace process. Any unilateral modifications to this instrument, including its provisions pertaining to the key element of the treaty, the special transitional jurisdiction, are inadmissible. It is unacceptable to try and link the settlement in the country to the situation in neighboring Venezuela as every situation has its own unique causes and states should focus on achieving their own tasks.

21. We pursue a balanced approach in discussing the situation in Myanmar and seeking ways to normalize the humanitarian situation in Rakhine. We are convinced that the solution to the refugee problem lies in bilateral cooperation between Myanmar and Bangladesh.

22. Conflict prevention and conflict resolution in Africa are based on an approach that embraces Africans' own leading role and efficient support provided by the international community. We stand for enhanced cooperation between the UN and the African Union, as well as with the continent's sub- regional organizations. We intend to contribute to the political resolution of crises in the CAR, DR Congo, Sudan's Darfur, South Sudan, Somalia, Mali and the Sahara-Sahel region as a whole, as well as in other "hot spots" in Africa. We support efforts by Africans to address the root causes of conflicts, restore state institutions and reform the security sector.

We will continue to monitor the settlement in the CAR on the basis of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation signed in Bangui on February 6, 2019. We will contribute to the security and capacity-building of the national armed forces. We are ready to cooperate with all players who seek to stabilize the CAR without applying double standards and a "hidden agenda".

23. We will further support the work of the UN General Assembly's Special Committee on Decolonization (C24), which will remain relevant until a final solution to the issue of all 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories is reached.

24. We advocate the leading role of the UN General Assembly's Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34) in developing general parameters for peacekeeping. We believe that attempts to circumvent this platform, including through the UN Security Council, are counterproductive.

UN peacekeeping should be carried out in strict compliance with the basic principles of the UN Charter. Efforts should be focused on facilitating political settlement and national reconciliation. The peacekeeping reform should be implemented only in keeping with the decisions of states. Intelligence in peacekeeping may only be used to ensure the safety of peacekeepers and the protection of civilians. Vesting peacekeepers with additional powers, including those to use force, is only possible by a Security Council decision taking into account the situation in each individual country.

Peacebuilding and preservation of peace are inextricably linked. They build on the principle of national responsibility of states. International assistance can only be provided upon request of the host government and should focus on building the states' own capacity.

25. For the UNSC sanctions are an effective auxiliary tool for political and diplomatic conflict resolution. Their use is a last resort. International sanctions should only be aimed at suppressing threats to international peace and security, be task-specific and time-limited, be regularly reviewed and take into account political, economic, social and humanitarian consequences. Any attempts to use SC sanctions for economic strangulation and destabilization of "unwelcome regimes", as well as a means to generate unfair competition, are not acceptable. We object to supplementing the SC-imposed restrictions with unilateral restrictions, especially with extraterritorial effect.

26. In the context of fight against terrorism, we believe that the central role should belong to the United Nations. We commend the efforts of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, headed by Vladimir Voronkov, as a coordinator of the process.

The relevant efforts should be undertaken collectively. It is important to suppress the movement of terrorists and bring them to justice on the basis of UNSC resolutions 2178 and 2396. There is a need for states to provide prompt information exchange on this category of persons and to simplify mechanisms for their extradition. Efforts should be stepped up to curb the spread of terrorist ideology and propaganda, including through the implementation of a "global framework on countering terrorist propaganda" and UNSC Resolution 2354. It is essential to implement the relevant SC resolutions on countering the financing of terrorism, as well as FATF Standards.

Russia opposes the substitution of international counter-terrorism cooperation with controversial concepts such as "countering violent extremism". We consider it unacceptable to burden the relevant United Nations bodies with gender and human rights aspects related to counter-terrorism, as well as to exert pressure on them under the pretext of involving the "civil society" in the work process.

27. We emphasize the need for states to strictly comply with international drug control conventions and the inadmissibility of the use of so- called "light drugs" for recreational purposes. We stand for maintaining the leading role of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs. We welcome the outcome of the high-level segment of the review of the implementation of the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action to address the drug problem. We are confident that the ministerial declaration adopted at the sixty-second session of the Commission will become one of the pillars of international drug policy in the coming decade.

28. We support the UN's key role in consolidating joint efforts to combat transnational organized crime. We welcome the adoption of the review mechanism for the implementation of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto. At the same time, we believe that the existing international treaties are insufficient for combatting certain crimes. We attach particular importance to strengthening the legal framework for international cooperation, including the possibility of elaborating further international legal instruments.

29. We attach great importance to the promotion of international anti-corruption cooperation, first of all the UN Convention against Corruption (CAC), and remain committed to the functional principles of the CAC review mechanism.

30. We strongly believe that there is no alternative to the UN's key role in ensuring international information security (IIB). We welcome the resumption of the discussion on IIB in the Organization in two specialized entities: the Open-ended Working Group on IIB and the Group of Governmental Experts on IIB. It is important to ensure that both groups work in a complementary, non-confrontational, constructive and cooperative manner, and the outcomes of their work complement each other rather than compete.

The priority of negotiation efforts on international information security in the UN is to develop and adopt universal rules of responsible behavior of states in the information space that are aimed at conflict prevention therein. Such rules should embody the principles of the UN Charter in the digital sphere, namely non-use of force, respect for national sovereignty, non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms, as well as guarantee to all states equal rights to participate in Internet governance.

31. 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 - in compliance with the UN Charter, other rules of international law and their mandates.

We oppose attempts to revise or undermine the established disarmament architecture and arms control regimes and to weaken the defense potential of other countries through unilateral sanctions, bypassing the UN Security Council. We plan to submit a draft resolution on strengthening the system of agreements on ACDNP to the First Committee at the seventy-fourth UNGA session.

We share the noble goal of building a world free of nuclear weapons, and make a great practical contribution to solving this task. We believe that this work requires a realistic and balanced approach. Progress towards nuclear disarmament should incorporate all factors affecting strategic stability, so as to help strengthen the security of all states without exception. We encourage all states possessing nuclear capability to join the process of nuclear arms reduction and limitation.

32. We strictly fulfill our CTBT obligations and advocate the Treaty's prompt entry into force, which currently depends on its ratification by eight states. We disapprove of the American stance on this issue which questions the future of the CTBT.

33. We do not support radical initiatives on placing an early ban on nuclear weapons (including the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons), that undermine the NPT and divert attention from pressing challenges to international security caused primarily by the destabilizing actions the US takes to dilute the arms control system.

34. We note that international security has been negatively affected by yet another move the United States made in this direction by withdrawing from the 1987 INF Treaty, which was terminated as a result. We reiterate our commitment to the strict implementation of the START Treaty and our readiness to hold thorough negotiations with the United States regarding its extension.

35. We highly appreciate the efforts of the UN Security Council and its specialized 1540 Committee to prevent the WMD proliferation. We are determined to take an active part in the comprehensive review of the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1540 which will be held in 2020. We expect that it will result in the reaffirmation of the 1540 Committee's current mandate.

36. Russia has initiated the elaboration of important multilateral agreements on ACDNP, namely on the prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS) and on the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism. We are committed to a constructive dialogue on these issues provided that the principles of non-discrimination and equal and indivisible security for all are respected.

The prevention of an arms race in outer space remains one of our priorities, at which a number of steps are aimed, such as the Russian-Chinese draft treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and of the threat or use of force against outer space objects as well as the globalization of Russia's initiative on a political commitment by states not to be the first to place weapons in outer space. Traditionally, we will submit the relevant draft resolution to the First Committee at the seventy-fourth session of the UN General Assembly.

The globalization of the initiative on no first placement of weapons in outer space is a significant but interim step towards the conclusion of an international treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer

Space. We use a systematic and comprehensive approach to the issues of international legal safety regulation of space operations. We actively engage in the work of the UN Outer Space Committee to build a multilateral mechanism for ensuring the long-term sustainability of space activities.

37. The proposal put forward by a number of Western countries in the vein of anti-Syrian and anti-Russian sentiments to vest 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 (attribution function) contradicts the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the objectives of the OPCW as a technical organization. Moreover, it is an encroachment on the exclusive prerogatives of the UN Security Council. We advocate strengthening of the CWC and restoration of the spirit of consensus within the OPCW.

We support the establishment of an impartial and highly professional international mechanism under the auspices of the UN Security Council to investigate cases of "chemical terrorism" in the Middle East in strict compliance with the high standards of the CWC.

38. We deem it necessary to strengthen the central and coordinating role of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in the area of international cooperation in the exploration and peaceful use of outer space. We oppose consideration of issues that fall within the competence of the Committee at other international fora and non-relevant international organizations. We stress the need to develop and adopt national norms ensuring implementation of international legal obligations concerning space activities.

39. As regards the law of the sea, we believe it is essential to ensure the integrity of the regulatory regime established by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and other fundamental instruments in this sphere. New processes, including the Intergovernmental Conference on Biodiversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction, should be without prejudice to the provisions of the existing universal and regional treaties as well as to the mandates of competent intergovernmental organizations.

In our opinion, it is vital that the International Seabed Authority, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf continue to function in strict conformity with their mandates and avoid broad interpretations of their powers.

40. 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 abovementioned UNGA Resolution, and we hope that it will help complete the decolonization process.

41. 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 growing but its effectiveness remains low.

42. 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 do not think that it is appropriate to establish new judicial bodies of that kind at this stage.

43. We consider 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 in excess of its authority, to be a legal nullity. We oppose the idea of funding the Mechanism from the UN budget.

44. The issue of the "rule of law" should be considered with emphasis on its international dimension - the primacy of international law. We oppose the use of this aspect in order to promote controversial human rights concepts within the UN framework, to interfere in national legal systems, to apply national legislation extraterritorially infringing upon the sovereignty of other countries and to unreasonably build up secretariat structures in this area.

In our view, the attempts by some countries to legitimize the concept of "the responsibility to protect", which has lost the consensual support at the seventy-second session of the General Assembly, are inappropriate.

45. Within the UN, we strongly defend the principle of inadmissibility of attempts to distort history and revise the outcomes of the Second World War. As part of that effort 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 traditionally enjoys support of the majority of the UN Member States. We call on the delegations that abstained or voted against it to review their position.

46. We assume that states 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 advocate separation of functions between bodies and mechanisms of the Organization bearing in mind that integration of human rights issues into all its areas of activity should not lead to duplication of the work of its main bodies.

We block all attempts to link the activities of the United Nations Human Rights Council (the UNHRC) to the UN Security Council and resist efforts applied by westerners to reform the UNHRC and turn it into a quasi-judicial mechanism for monitoring and promoting controversial ideas.

We strongly condemn the use of human rights issues as a pretext for interfering in internal affairs of states and undermining the principles of international law. We consider it unacceptable that certain states seek to put on the agenda of UN human rights mechanisms items that are beyond their powers in order to achieve their political objectives.

It is in this light that we regard the resolution on the situation with human rights in Crimea, which is regularly submitted by the Ukrainian delegation to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly. During the seventy-fourth session of the UN General Assembly, Russia will vote against this document and calls on its partners to do the same.

We oppose the adoption of politicized country-specific resolutions, especially in view of the successfully operating mechanism of the Universal Periodic Review under the auspices of the Human Rights Council.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) should enhance its transparency and accountability to UN Member States. We condemn politically motivated approaches of the OHCHR to assessing human rights situations in specific countries.

47. We condemn any forms of discrimination. The ban on discrimination enshrined in international human rights instruments is universal and applies to all without exception. We see no added value in segregating new vulnerable groups that allegedly require a special legal protection regime or new categories of rights. Such steps of a number of countries exacerbate politicization and confrontation within the UN human rights mechanisms.

48. We support efforts of the international community in the area of social development, which are aimed at further implementation of decisions adopted at the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the UN General Assembly.

We highly appreciate the activities of the UN Commission for Social Development, which is the main UN coordinating body in the field of ensuring equal opportunities for persons with disabilities, supporting elderly persons, improving the situation of young people and strengthening the role of the traditional family.

49. We advocate a balanced approach to incorporating the issues of gender equality across the UN system without their overemphasizing and selective application. We believe that the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) is a major intergovernmental forum in charge of these issues. We stress the importance of celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, which took place during the UNCSW sixty-fourth session. We consider that on-site assistance provided by the UN Women is effective when rendered on request and with permission from the states concerned.

50. We support international cooperation in the area of promotion and protection of the rights of the child based on the principles enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. We underline the continuing relevance of the outcome document adopted at the twenty-seventh special session of the UN General Assembly and entitled "A world fit for children", which we regard as a practical "how-to" guide in this area. We attach great importance to two high-level events, which will take place this autumn and will be dedicated to celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

51. In the area of promotion and protection of human rights we are pursuing the policy of stepping up the intercivilizational, intercultural and interfaith dialogue, taking into account cultural and civilizational diversity, specificities of traditions and historical development. We advocate the development of mutual respect and understanding, peaceful coexistence of ethnic and religious groups.

52. We believe that coordinated efforts of all states with the UN playing a coordinating role are needed to overcome the consequences of migration crises. Political settlement in states which face the outflow of migrants is the most effective solution to migration problems, provided that they are rendered the necessary assistance.

The Russian Federation annually allocates $2,000,000 to the budget of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and commends its work. We note in particular the UNHCR efforts to address the humanitarian consequences in Syria and in eastern Ukraine. Russia actively contributes to funding these efforts. We deem it necessary for the UNHCR to place a greater emphasis on stateless persons, including in Europe.

The Russian Federation supported the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees as well as the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. We expect that these non-legally binding documents will promote long-lasting international cooperation in the mentioned areas.

We welcome enhanced interaction between the UN and the International Organization for Migration. We hope that this will help improve their potential.

53. We support the process of the "strategic transformation" of UNESCO launched by its current Director-General Audrey Azoulay and are actively engaged in it. The process of the Organization's adaptation to modern challenges should not be detrimental to its mandate and intergovernmental status, or lead to the duplication of activities with other UN structures. We believe that the ultimate goal of the UNESCO reform is to improve its performance by depoliticizing its work and keeping the focus of its discussion on topics that fall within its competence.

54. 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 for international cooperation in sports that will be based on the principles of independence and autonomy.

55. In the context of revitalizing international efforts to achieve goals and targets of 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), among which is the goal of eliminating poverty. We support the strengthening of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) as a central "platform" for reviewing the 2030 Agenda implementation at the global level. The HLPF under the auspices of the General Assembly (24-25 September 2019) and its outcome political declaration are aimed at highlighting the interim assessments of the SDGs achievement and outlining ways to intensify international efforts in this area.

56. 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 (DS), 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 UN funds and programs. 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 policymaking role of the relevant UN regional commissions.

57. 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 are committed to the successful holding of the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development (26 September 2019).

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.

58. 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.

59. We view poverty eradication as the central objective on the socio­economic track of the UN activities. In the framework of the Third United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, we support the 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.

60. We support multilateral efforts to address climate change. We expect the forthcoming 25th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Chile next December to bring tangible results, which will contribute to an effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.

We view the UN Climate Summit (23 September 2019) as an essential step in preparing for the 25th UNFCCC session. Hopefully, it will not be used to create parallel negotiation formats, but will provide a healthy contribution to the ongoing process within the UNFCCC.

61. We are committed to increasing international cooperation to ensure global food security. We seek due coordination on the social and economic track of the UN work for the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

62. We commend the leading role of the UN agencies based in Rome (the WFP, FAO, and IFAD) in strengthening intergovernmental cooperation for agricultural development and food security.

We support the development of a multilateral partnership aimed at ensuring balanced nutrition, food safety, and raising awareness. We welcome the efforts of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in developing food standards and addressing antimicrobial resistance, as well as the launch of real actions 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, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somali, Uganda and the Sahel countries).

63. 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 in crisis 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 interest 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.

64. In the context of efforts to address health issues we intend to actively and constructively participate in the UN High-Level Meeting on universal health coverage (23 September 2019). We expect to elaborate a comprehensive, ambitious, and results-oriented outcome document of the meeting. We will further fully support the work of the UN Interagency Task Force on Non-communicable Diseases and the intergovernmental processes concerning antimicrobial resistance launched by the UN General Secretary. It is crucial to refrain from the politicization of the health agenda.

65. 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.

66. 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) (27 September 2019).

67. We intend to curb the growth of the budgets for the 2020 UN programs, 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 the more rational 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.

68. 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, access of Member States to information on the UN mechanism functioning, and the UN media resources. We insist on ensuring the unconditional parity in the funding of all the language services.

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Russia's position at the seventy-fourth session of the UN General Assembly

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