Russia's position at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly

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  1. The 72nd session of the UN General Assembly (GA) is meant to reaffirm the central and coordinating role of the UN in global politics. The UN enjoys an unparalleled legitimacy and remains an organization that has no equal in terms of its representational and universal nature as well as a platform that provides for equitable dialogue aimed at seeking and working out compromises with due regard for different views and opinions and based on the purposes and principles of its Charter. Any attempts to undermine the UN's authority are extremely dangerous and may lead to a collapse of the entire system of international relations.
  2. Amid the worsening of global situation and the spread of terrorism, we strive to make the international community pool its efforts with a view to addressing new challenges based on international law. We believe that the UN's key task is to ensure peace and regional and global stability. We have consistently advocated a polycentric world order and equal and indivisible security for all countries based on unconditional respect for their sovereignty and peoples' rights to independently determine their path.
  3. At the UN we have firmly and consistently asserted the principle of inadmissibility of distorting history and revising the results of World War II. In this context and as part of the fight against all forms and manifestations of racism, discrimination and xenophobia, Russia will resubmit the UN GA draft 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. It enjoys increasing support from a substantial majority of the UN Member States. We hope that the delegations that abstained from voting or voted against the initiative in 2016 will revise their position and join the co-sponsors of Russia's draft resolution.
  4. We advocate respect for the principle of supremacy of international law, the UN Charter and the Charter prerogatives of the UN Security Council (SC) which bears the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. The UN Charter remains the basis of international law and reflects universal human values which our efforts to work out solutions to global problems should build on.
  5. We consistently support the creation of a broad anti-terrorism front involving all countries to the best of their abilities with the consent of the States whose territories have become the battleground in the fight against terrorism, with the UN's central and coordinating role, and in line with the principles and rules of international law. We believe that establishing a counter-terrorism coordinator's post and office under the UN Secretariat would serve these goals.
    We are committed to a comprehensive approach to war on terror and effective implementation of the relevant universal conventions and resolutions of the UN General Assembly and Security Council. We attach special importance to a comprehensive implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
    We call for greater joint effort to curb the spread of terrorist ideology and propaganda, including by implementing "a comprehensive framework for combating terrorist propaganda" and UN Security Council resolution 2354. We regard the activities to counter foreign terrorist fighters as crucial. 
  6. The reform of the UN should aim at adapting the Organization to modern realities while maintaining its intergovernmental nature and unconditionally observing the principle of separation of powers between its principal bodies which is enshrined in the Charter.
    The objective of the UN SC reform process is to make it more representative without compromising its efficiency and effectiveness. We should continue searching for an appropriate reform model without setting artificial deadlines. It should enjoy maximum possible support from the UN Member States, otherwise we will fail to achieve the stated goals of the reform. The prerogatives of its current permanent Members, including their power of veto, should remain intact.
    We support leasable initiatives to rationalize the UN General Assembly. Our top priority is to improve its working methods and to streamline its overloaded agenda. Any innovation should be reasonable and be based on strict compliance with the separation of powers among the main UN bodies. 
    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda) requires the UN to take more purposeful actions. However, the idea to limit the agendas of the UN GA and its main committees, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and its subsidiary bodies exclusively to the 2030 Agenda does not take into account that the latter is far from covering all the issues of sustainable development, and it is fraught with the risk of narrowing down the discussion solely to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  7. We are in favor of enhancing and improving the UN's cooperation with regional and sub-regional mechanisms on the basis of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. In this context, we stand for greater constructive collaboration between the UN and such organizations as the CSTO, the SCO and BRICS.
  8. We regard enhancing the UN potential for crisis prevention as an important aspect of our political effort. The relevant tools, such as preventive diplomacy, good offices and mediation, should be used fairly and impartially, while respecting sovereignty of States and without employing double standards, and in case of internal conflicts we should use them in the interest of an inclusive nation-wide dialogue while preserving ethnic and religious unity.
  9. We believe that there is no alternative to a diplomatic settlement of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, through smoothing relations between the regional stakeholders and preventing ethnic and religious divides from widening. We underscore the importance of a collective counter-terrorism effort in the region. We emphasize the inadmissibility of concealing the threat of chemical terrorism in the region by making allegations about Damascus' involvement in chemical attacks and covering up ISIL's and other terrorists' chemical capability. We actively pursue the policy of promoting a peaceful Syrian settlement. We support the inter-Syrian dialogue taking place in Geneva under the auspices of the UN and stand for its inclusiveness. The future form of the country's government should be determined by Syrians themselves, while maintaining continuity of public administration and secular and multicultural nature of the State. We deem it crucially important to continue with the Russia-initiated Astana process to de-escalate the situation and promote a political settlement. We impede the politicization of the humanitarian dossier and to that end resist the attempts to defame the government of the Syrian Arab Republic.
    We are in favor of overcoming the protracted crises in Libya, Yemen and Iraq, of restoring unity of these countries through an inclusive national dialogue and by suppressing terrorist threats therein.
    There is a the in the format of the Quartet of international mediators involving key regional stakeholders and the League of Arab States.
  10. We support the efforts of the government of Afghanistan to advance national reconciliation and dialogue with the armed opposition. We are deeply concerned about the risk of terrorist activity spilling over from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan into Central Asia and about the rise of ISIL in Northern provinces of the country. We believe that the SCO, the CSTO and an enhanced regional cooperation in general play a crucial role in this regard. We support the work of UNAMA which serves as the main coordinator of international civilian efforts to assist Afghanistan. 
    In order to suppress Afghan drug production which poses a threat to international peace and stability, we need a comprehensive strategy that would incorporate the best practices developed by the CSTO, the SCO, the OSCE and the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG).
  11. We will continue to support the key role of the OSCE and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in international efforts to promote the settlement of the internal Ukrainian crisis. Creation of new international formats will distract from the implementation of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements approved in 2015 by UN SC resolution 2202 which forms the basis for seeking a way out of the crisis. By promoting its comprehensive implementation, Russia will continue to make a positive contribution to an early cessation of violence and mitigation of the humanitarian plight in the south-east of the country caused by actions of the current Kiev authorities. A solution may only be achieved by political means, while taking into account, at the constitutional level, the legitimate claims of all the Ukrainian regions and Ukraine's language, ethnic and religious communities, and through a direct dialogue between Kiev and Donbas within the Contact Group in Minsk. 
    We insist on a comprehensive, independent and transparent international investigation of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash over the territory of Ukraine, with ICAO playing the decisive role and in compliance with the UN SC resolution 2166. We expect an unbiased and impartial investigation of all incidents that have resulted in massive violence and numerous victims since the beginning of the internal Ukrainian crisis.
  12. With a view to effectively overcoming crises and settling conflicts in Africa, we need to adopt a combination approach where Africans themselves would play a key role while receiving efficient support from the international community. We argue in favor of enhancing multidimensional cooperation between the UN and the African Union, as well as sub-regional organizations in Africa. 
    We welcome the tangible progress towards a return to normal conditions in Darfur and towards the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, which makes the issue of withdrawal of UNAMID even more pressing. Stabilization in South Sudan could be achieved solely through ensuring a full cessation of hostilities and launching an inclusive political process. Further joint efforts by the parties to the conflict, including the high-level political dialogue, are the key to an inter-Sudanese settlement.
  13. We support such a solution to the Cyprus issue which would be agreed by the Cypriot communities without any external pressure. The settlement should be based on the UN SC resolutions and inter-communal agreements that provide for the establishment of a bi-communal bi-zonal federation enjoying a single and indivisible sovereignty, citizenship and international legal personality. The existing system of guarantees has become outdated.
  14. The sustained operation of Bosnia and Herzegovina institutions is possible if the equality of the three state-forming peoples is unconditionally respected, as stipulated by the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement. Transfer of responsibility for the fate of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Bosnians themselves remains the primary task. In this regard, the abolition of the Office of the High Representative is long overdue. 
    The internal political crisis in Kosovo, coupled with degrading security situation and radicalization in the Kosovo Albanian environment, can lead to dangerous consequences for the entire region.
  15. We call for a balanced analysis of the results of work of the UN missions in Haiti and Colombia and a calibrated approach to decisions on their curtailment or transformation.
  16. We will continue to promote interaction within the UN General Assembly's Special Committee on Decolonization that will remain relevant until a final solution to the issue of all 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories is reached.
  17. The UN peacekeeping remains a key instrument for resolving conflicts and addressing post-conflict tasks. These activities should be carried out in strict compliance with the UN Charter and the basic peacekeeping principles. It is unacceptable to manipulate peacekeeping mandates and abuse opportunities, including those of intelligence, to interfere in domestic processes of States. Efforts should be focused on promoting political settlement of conflicts as well as overcoming their root causes and consequences. The primary responsibility for ensuring the safety of population, including from terrorist threats, lies with host governments.
  18. The principle of national responsibility of host States for determining appropriate strategies and realizing objectives lies at the heart of the promotion of peacebuilding and the preservation of peace. External support can be provided only at the request or with the consent of the host government, with unconditional respect for sovereignty, and should focus on building the capacity of host States. We are against taking the "concept of preserving peace" out of the peacebuilding context. It is unacceptable to distort the concept in order to link the human rights dimension and conflict prevention tasks.
  19. We consider sanctions to be an important tool applied by the UN Security Council to promote political and diplomatic settlement of conflicts. Sanctions should be aimed at suppressing unlawful and destructive activity of the parties, and be of a targeted nature, with minimum costs for regular citizens and third parties. 
    There must be a regular review of sanctions regimes, taking into account the changing realities "in the field". Unilateral restrictions in addition to those imposed by the UN Security Council undermine the collective nature of international efforts and are unacceptable and counterproductive.
  20. We have consistently called for strengthening the existing treaty regimes and developing the new ones in the field of arms control and non-proliferation of WMD. The central role in this process should be played by the UN multilateral disarmament mechanism. We take efforts to increase effectiveness and coherence of its key elements – the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the UN Disarmament Commission and the Conference on Disarmament – in strict compliance with their mandates. We will accept the convening of the fourth special session of the UN General Assembly on disarmament if its work is conducted on the basis of the principle of consensus and without jeopardizing multilateral activities within the framework of the review processes of the disarmament instruments in force. 
    We are committed to achieving a world free from nuclear weapons. We consider the complete elimination of nuclear weapons to be the ultimate goal of a phased multilateral process of universal and complete disarmament in an environment of equal and indivisible security for all. Further progress in the field of nuclear disarmament is possible only if all factors that affect strategic stability are taken into account in a comprehensive manner. Attempts to "delegitimize" nuclear weapons create illusions and overly optimistic expectations regarding the prospects for genuine nuclear disarmament and lead to the weakening of strategic stability. For this reason, we do not participate in negotiations on a hasty development of a legally binding international instrument banning nuclear weapons. The adoption of a convention on this issue is fraught with undermining not only the NPT regime, but also the integrity of other institutions, primarily the IAEA.
    One of Russia's priorities is to prevent the placement of weapons in near-Earth space. That is the goal pursued by the Russian-Chinese draft treaty on prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and of the threat or use of force against outer space objects, as well as globalization of Russia's initiative on a political commitment by States not to be the first to place weapons in outer space as an interim measure of strengthening security and confidence. Traditionally, we will submit the relevant draft resolution to the First Committee of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.
  21. We have consistently worked to promote full implementation of UN SC resolution 2231 and of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action aiming to definitively resolve all the issues related to Iranian nuclear programme and lift the remaining restrictions against Iran.
    In the context of growing sanction pressure on the DPRK, which continues to pursue its military programmes in violation of the UN SC resolutions, we emphasize that there is no alternative to the renewal of the negotiating process for finding solution to the nuclear missile problem of the Korean peninsula. We support a refusal to build up military infrastructure, including elements of a global missile defense system in South Korea, a reduction in the scope of US-South Korean exercises and alleviation of military and political tensions in North-East Asia as a whole. We support the efforts of a "double freeze" and "parallel progress" to solve the North Korean problem.
  22. The efforts aimed at ensuring international information security, with the UN playing the key role, should be focused on the prevention of conflicts in the information space and of the use of ICTs for interference in the domestic affairs of States, for terrorist and other illegal purposes, as well as on the development and adoption of universal rules of responsible behaviour for States regarding the use of ICTs.
  23. We stand for consistent implementation of the decisions of the UN General Assembly 2016 special session on the world drug problem on the basis of the three relevant UN conventions. We strongly reject any calls for legalizing drugs and renouncing the current international anti-drug regime. We call for intensifying efforts to counteract the Afghan drug expansion, as well as the spread of new psychoactive substances.
  24. We attach great importance to strengthening the legal framework for international anti-criminal cooperation while maintaining the central coordinating role of the UN, including a possibility of developing and adopting new international legal instruments that take into account the specific features of new types of crimes.
    It is necessary to continue efforts to launch a mechanism for reviewing the implementation of the 2000 UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols, which should be intergovernmental, non‑politicized, non-intrusive and funded from the regular budget of the UN.
  25. We stand for promoting the central coordinating role of the UN in international anti-corruption cooperation and maintaining the intergovernmental nature of the mechanism for reviewing the implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption. We support the development of a universal convention on the return of assets under the auspices of the UN.
  26. It is important to preserve the integrity of a fundamental international legal instrument in the field of maritime law – the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. We stand for fully implementing its norms and opposing attempts to erode the mandates of the bodies established in accordance with the Convention.
    We support the activities of the International Court of Justice of the UN as the major judicial body of the Organization. We stand for effective and impartial performance of its functions. We note that the International Court of Justice did not support the interim measures requested by Ukraine in proceedings on the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
    The International Criminal Court has not lived up to expectations and has not become a truly independent, authoritative body of international justice. We note a low quality and high cost of its work, as well as the absence of any tangible contribution of this body to the settlement of conflicts.
    We support the completion, in December 2017, of the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in accordance with the strategy adopted in UN SC resolution 1966. We insist on the need for investigation of the ICTY medical unit work by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services.
    We are against the ongoing establishment of the so‑called "International Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of those Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011". In the absence of a relevant UN SC resolution, such activities constitute an interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state that violates the purposes and principles of the UN and its Charter.
    It is crucial to place the main emphasis on the importance of the rule‑of‑law principle in the context of international relations. We stress that extraterritorial application of national legislation to the detriment of the sovereignty of other States exerts a negative impact.
  27. The primary responsibility for the protection and promotion of human rights lies with the States, while the activities of the UN executive structures should play a supporting role. Its key principle in this field should be equal cooperation between States based on the primacy of international law, respect for sovereignty and sovereign equality of States. 
    We stand for the preservation of the division of labour between the UN bodies and mechanisms, which is enshrined in the UN Charter. The integration of human rights dimension into all areas of UN activities should not lead to duplication in the work of its main bodies.
    We strongly condemn the use of human rights issues as a pretext to intervene in the domestic affairs of States and to undermine the fundamental principles of international law. We are against the adoption of politicized country-specific resolutions, especially given the success of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism within the UN Human Rights Council
  28. If the Ukrainian delegation introduces a draft resolution on the human rights situation in Crimea Russia calls to vote against it. The document that had been introduced by Ukraine at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly has nothing to do with the real situation in this region of the Russian Federation and pursues political goals. It completely ignores the massive human rights violations by the Ukrainian authorities in the South-East part of that country that have been repeatedly recorded, including by the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights.
  29. We have long expressed our doubts regarding counterproductive and politicized Georgian initiative on the internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia which may complicate the situation in the region and stall the Geneva Discussions that remain the only dialogue format for the representatives of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Georgia.
  30. The UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights should enhance its transparency and accountability to the UN Member States in order to avoid the politically biased approaches when assessing the human rights situation in various countries.
  31. We strongly condemn any forms and manifestations of discrimination. The prohibition of discrimination enshrined in the international human rights instruments is general by its nature and applies to all people without exception. We see no added value in establishing new vulnerable groups (especially LGBT, human rights activists and journalists) that allegedly require a special protection regime or creating new categories of rights. We oppose, in every possible way, the attempts to do so as they lead to further confrontation within the UN human rights mechanisms.
  32. The outcomes of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly are decisive in implementing the practical measures aimed at eradication of poverty, promotion of social integration and ensuring full employment and decent work for all.
    We regard the UN Commission for Social Development as the main coordinating body of the United Nations system to elaborate joint measures for equal opportunities of disabled people and address the issues of ageing population, improve the status of youth and strengthen the role of the traditional family.
  33. The key role in ensuring the gender equality belongs to the UN Commission on the Status of Women as it is the main intergovernmental forum in this field. Noting the importance of achieving equality between men and women for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, we believe that the gender aspects should not be absolutized.
    We have a positive view of the activities of UN Women, whose assistance at the local level should be provided uniquely upon request and with an approval of relevant States.
  34. Strengthening the international cooperation in the field of promotion and protection of children's rights and practical implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child are essential for creation of an environment fit for children.
  35. We support the development of interreligious and intercultural communication and inter-civilizational dialogue including the Alliance of Civilizations. We follow the policy of shaping of world culture as crucial prerequisite for conflict prevention and establishment of international cooperation for peace and development.
  36. 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. The Office should pay particular attention to stateless persons, including people in Europe, and fulfil its mandate in a non-politicized manner.
    We note the effectiveness of UNHCR's work with Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons. We commend and support, including our financial aid to the UNHCR's efforts in addressing the humanitarian consequences of the Ukrainian crisis.
  37. Cooperation in the field of sports and promotion of the sporting values in the world are effective instruments for fostering respect and mutual understanding between nations. Politicization of sports and discrimination of athletes by means of collective punishment are unacceptable. We advocate creation of a comprehensive system of the international sports cooperation on the principles of independence and autonomy of sports.
  38. We support the empowerment of the UN system to enhance the quality of assistance provided to Member States in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Introduction of any changes to the work of the system should fully meet the decisions adopted within the Quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations.
  39. We advocate preservation of interrelated and integral nature of the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the leading role of the High-level Political Forum under the aegis of ECOSOC in reviewing the progress in their achievement. We do not share the intentions of particular countries to prioritize separate goals and create separate mechanisms to review them.
  40. We see the comprehensive and sustainable industrialization and the development of the real sector of economy as an important basis for successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We support the work of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in this field. We note its leading role in the implementation of the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (2016‑2025) announced by the General Assembly in 2016. We expect the States that left UNIDO to return to this Organization and contribute to attaining the industrialization and implementing the "clean" technologies in the industry.
  41. We advocate enhancement of the international cooperation to ensure food security. In order to radically change the situation, we need to achieve sustainability of agricultural production, rational use of natural resources, enhanced efficiency and introduction of best practices in all the stages of the food "chain". One of the pressing issues is the mainstreaming of balanced nutrition in the integrated strategies of social and economic development.
  42. In the context of the upcoming review of the implementation of the UN General Assembly resolution 68/1, we intend to promote further improvement of the ECOSOC's working methods in order to achieve practical results of its activities, with due understanding that its agenda is not limited to the SDGs but also covers the issues of policy-making and subsequent activities in economic, social, ecological and relevant areas.
  43. We advocate reinforcement of control on the part of the States over the implementation of the decisions of international conferences and UN high-level meetings on economic, social and environmental issues.
  44. We support the multilateral efforts to combat climate change, including the consensus-based elaboration of pragmatic and effective rules of implementation of the Paris Agreement, under the auspices of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  45. We welcome the adoption of the "New Urban Agenda" (NUA) as a comprehensive framework paper that enables the countries to approach flexibly to the development of national policy in the area of sustainable urban development with due account of their own priorities in the context of the 2030 Agenda, including the SDGs. We believe that the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) plays an important role in expanding the international cooperation in the field of urbanism, including in the implementation of NUA.
  46. In the context of health issues we shall actively support the work of the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Road Safety, the UN Interagency Task Force on Noncommunicable Diseases and the UN High‑level Expert Group on Antimicrobial Resistance. We urge the Member States to join their efforts in preparing the First WHO Global Ministerial Conference on ending tuberculosis in the Sustainable Development Era: A multisectoral response which is to be held in Moscow in November 2017 and subsequent high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly. We aim to develop ambitious, targeted outcome documents of the said meeting and of the Third UN General Assembly High-level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases (2018).
  47. We agree on the need to reform the international humanitarian response system with a view to reinforce and enhance the speed of delivery of humanitarian aid, on the basis of fundamental principles, contained in resolution 46/182 and other UN General Assembly "humanitarian" resolutions. The arrangements of the World Humanitarian Summit cannot be automatically integrated in the work of the UN as they were not agreed in the intergovernmental format. However, some initiatives, including those aimed at enhancing the transparency, accountability and efficiency of the humanitarian agencies' activities might be implemented upon the approval of the Member States.
    Under the lack of funding, we believe that conflict prevention and resolution is the main way to reduce the burden on humanitarian response system.
  48. We stand for enhanced collaboration on disaster risk reduction in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015‑2030. We welcome the results of the 5th session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (Cancun, May 2017).
  49. We aim to contain the budget of the UN programmes for 2018‑2019 and the financial estimates of the peacekeeping operations and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. We place a special emphasis on ensuring the budgetary discipline, taking into account the approved recommendations of advisory and supervisory bodies, more rational use of financial and human resources and enhancing the transparency and accountability of the UN Secretariat's work. We oppose the approval of poorly elaborated reform initiatives without clear cost-benefit analysis.
  50. Achievement of the principles of multilingualism and full equality of the six official languages of the United Nations is an undeniable basis for evaluation of the Organization's activity in the areas of conference services, and access of the Member States to information on the functioning of the UN mechanism and the UN media resources. We insist on ensuring the unconditional parity in terms of financing of all language services.