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Russia's Position at the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly

Russia's Position at the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly

 

 

Unofficial translation

 

1. The objective of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) is to reaffirm and strengthen the central and coordinating role of the Organization in international affairs. The UN is a unique platform for equitable dialogue aimed at seeking solutions with due regard for different opinions on the basis of the purposes and principles of its Charter. Any attempts to challenge the UN authority are dangerous and may lead to dismantlement of the system of international relations. We have been consistently advocating a polycentric world order, equal and indivisible security with unconditional respect for sovereignty and peoples' right to independently choose their path of development.

2. We believe that modern terrorist threat should be confronted through a concerted effort with the UN central and coordinating role, and in compliance with the principles and rules of international law, without any "hidden agendas" and "double standards". We support the creation of a broad anti-terrorist front under auspices of the UN.

We hope that enhanced cooperation between relevant antiterrorist agencies of the UN General Assembly and UN Security Council on the basis of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism set up in 2017 and currently headed by Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, would serve these aims.

We are committed to a comprehensive approach to combatting terror and efficient implementation of relevant universal UN General Assembly and Security Council conventions and resolutions (particularly the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and UNSC fundamental counter-terrorist resolutions 1373 and 1624).

We regard the work on countering foreign terrorist fighters on the basis of UNSC resolutions 2178 and 2396 as crucial.

We call to step up the joint efforts to curb the spread of terrorist ideology and propaganda, including by implementing "a comprehensive framework for combating terrorist propaganda" and UNSC resolution 2354.

We proceed from the necessity to effectively identify the sources and channels for financing terrorism and undertake collective steps to prevent any material and technical supply to international terrorist groups, primarily IS, Al-Qaida and associated terrorist organizations. At the moment, consolidated coordination in preventing the supply of military items to terrorists is particularly urgent. We call for full implementation of the relevant UNSC resolutions and FATF Standards.

We oppose the substitution of international counter-terrorism cooperation with controversial concepts such as "countering violent extremism" (CVE). CVE should be carried out in the UN only under the "umbrella" of counterterrorism work and remain within the limits of agreed decisions.

3. The reform of the UN should aim at adapting the Organization to modern realities while maintaining its intergovernmental nature and the principle of separation of powers between its core bodies enshrined in the Charter.

The objective of the UNSC reform process is to make the Council more representative without compromising its efficiency and effectiveness. The best reform model enjoying maximum support should be searched for without setting up arbitrary time frames. The prerogatives of the current permanent Members, including their veto power, should remain intact.

We support realistic initiatives to rationalize the UN General Assembly. Our top priority is to optimize 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.

4. We advocate the enhanced and improved UN cooperation with regional and sub-regional mechanisms on the basis of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. In this context, we consistently promote UN interaction with the CSTO and SCO who are gaining ever more importance. We also prioritize BRICS-EAEU cooperation.

5. The main responsibility for preventing conflicts and overcoming their consequences lies with the States themselves. Assistance from the UN should be within the framework of the Charter. The existing tools, such as preventive diplomacy, good offices and mediation, should be used fairly and impartially, while respecting sovereignty of States. There can be no templates and universal indicators of impending crises.

6. We advocate a comprehensive approach to the settlement of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa without double standards, legitimization of some governments and marginalization of others. Differences, even the deepest ones, should be ironed out by political and diplomatic means, whereas international support should be truly collective. We believe creating a regional security architecture that would be comprehensive, unified and indivisible for all MENA countries is a matter of urgency.

7. We continue our vigorous efforts aimed at peaceful settlement of the conflict in Syria on an agreed international basis, while respecting the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It should be attained through inclusive inter-Syrian negotiations with the participation of a wide range of constructively inclined opposition groups, capable to respect the reached agremeents, on the basis of UN SC resolution 2254. We intensively cooperate with participants of the Astana process and other key players. We attach particular importance to the implementation of the outcomes of the Congress of the Syrian national dialogue held in January 2018 in Sochi, primarily focusing on the establishment of a constitutional committee to work on the conatitutional law of the country. We support mediation efforts of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, aimed at assisting Parties to the Syrian crisis in their search for compromises. We block any attempts to recreate the mechanism for identifying those responsible for the use of chemical weapons "according to Western guidelines". Linking the allocation of funds to reconstruct Syria with the so-called "political transition" which implies, in the western interpretation, the withdrawal of Bashar al Assad, cannot be accepted.

Any attempts to politicize humanitarian aspects of the conflict in the SAR are absolutely unacceptable. We are committed to reconstruction assistance in the freed areas and the removal of unilateral sanctions from the SAR. Respect for sovereignty and close cooperation with official authorities are fundamental for the successful work of humanitarian agencies in Syria.

We reaffirm our commitment to overcoming the protracted crisis in Yemen, early stabilization of the situation in Iraq and re-establishment of a stable statehood in Libya. An inclusive national dialogue and suppression of terrorist threats are key to normalizing the situation in these countries. The efforts to resume direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations should be urgently boosted. Any unilateral actions deepen the mutual distrust of the parties and move away the prospects of a relaunched dialogue. We continue to work with all key players of the Middle East settlement to overcome the deadlock in political process. We will be further contributing to the settlement process both through bilateral channels and within the Quartet of international mediators involving key regional stakeholders and the League of Arab States.

8. We support the efforts by the Afghan authorities to advance national reconciliation and dialogue with the armed opposition, being deeply concerned about the risk of terrorist activity spilling over from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan into Central Asia and about the rise of IS, primarily in northern provinces of the country. We believe that the SCO, CSTO and enhanced regional cooperation in general should play a crucial role in combating threats originating from Afghanistan. We support the work of UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan as the main coordinator of international civilian efforts. The pressing issue of suppressing Afghan drug production which provides a powerful source of support to the terrorist structures in Afghanistan requires a comprehensive strategy that would incorporate the best practices developed by the CSTO, SCO, OSCE and Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG).

9. The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements is the international legal basis for the settlement of the internal Ukrainian crisis. This is enshrined in UNSC resolution 2202. International assistance, including initiatives to establish a UN peacekeeping mission, is only possible with a view to support the current format with the OSCE and its Special Monitoring Mission as the key actors. This is the aim of our UNSC draft resolution on the establishment of a UN Support Mission to Protect the OSCE SMM in Southeast Ukraine of September 5, 2017.

A sustainable solution to the internal crisis in Ukraine may only be achieved by political means, through consistent and complete implementation of the Package of Measures, while taking into account, at the constitutional level, the legitimate claims of all Ukrainian regions and Ukraine's language, ethnic and religious communities, and through a direct dialogue between Kiev and Donbass.

We look forward to an unbiased and impartial investigation of all incidents that have resulted in violence and numerous victims since the beginning of the internal Ukrainian crisis.

We insist on a comprehensive, thorough and independent international investigation of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash over the territory of Ukraine on the basis of irrefutable facts and in compliance with UNSC resolution 2166.

10. Crisis prevention and conflict settlement in Africa are based on a combined approach where Africans themselves would play a leading role with efficient support from the international community. We stand for enhanced cooperation between the UN and African Union, as well as with the continent's sub-regional organizations. We actively contribute to the political resolution of crises in the CAR, DR Congo, Sudan's Darfur, Southern Sudan, Somalia, Mali and the Sahara-Sahel region in general, as well as in other "hot spots" in Africa. We support the national efforts by Africans to address the root causes of conflicts, restore State institutions and reform security sector.

11. We support only such a solution to the Cyprus issue which would be agreed upon by the Cypriot communities without any external pressure. The settlement should be based on UNSC resolutions and provide for a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation with single and indivisible sovereignty, citizenship and international legal personality. The existing system of guarantees has become outdated.

 

12. The sustained operation of Bosnia and Herzegovina institutions is possible if the equality of the two entities and three state-forming peoples is ensured, as stipulated by the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement. Transfer of responsibility for the fate of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Bosnians themselves remains the primary task. In this regard, abolition of the Office of the High Representative has been long overdue.

The situation in Kosovo should be settled on the basis of UNSC resolution 1244. We are concerned about the deteriorating security environment in the region and endangered prospects of reaching agreement between Belgrade and Pristina due to the fault of Kosovo Albanians.

13. We will continue to promote the work within the UN General Assembly's Special Committee on Decolonization that remains relevant until a final solution to the issue of all 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories is reached.

14. The UN peacekeeping should be carried out in strict compliance with its basic peacekeeping principles and the UN Charter. Efforts should be focused on promoting political settlement and achieving national reconciliation. The peacekeeping reform may only take place in strict compliance with the decisions of States, without their subsequent arbitrary interpretation (as was the case of "peacekeeping intelligence"). Vesting peacekeepers with additional powers, including to use force, is possible only by Security Council decision depending on the situation in each individual country.

15. Peacebuilding and preservation of peace are inseparably linked. Their underlying principle is national responsibility of States. International assistance can be provided only at request of the host government and should focus on building the own capacity of States.

16. Sanctions are an important UNSC tool of the political and diplomatic settlement of conflicts.

They should be aimed at suppressing activities that threaten international peace and security, targeted in nature, limited in duration, subject to regular reviews and not detrimental to social and economic development and humanitarian activities in countries under sanctions. Attempts to use UNSC sanctions for the economic strangulation and destabilization of the situation in States, as well as an instrument of unfair competition, are inadmissible. It is unacceptable when the SC imposed restrictions are "complemented" by unlawful unilateral restrictions, especially with extraterritorial effect.

17. We support strengthening the existing treaty regimes in the field of arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation and developing new ones on the basis of consensus. The central role in this area should be played by the UN Disarmament Machinery. We undertake efforts to achieve greater efficiency and  coherence of its key elements – the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the UN Disarmament Commission, and the Conference on Disarmament. Any problem in the field of arms control within the said formats should be addressed in strict compliance with their mandates. It is our belief that action we take in these fora should be impartial and without prejudice to the sovereign rights of States.

Russia initiated the development of major multilateral agreements in the field of arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation aimed at preventing an arms race in outer space (PAROS) and countering acts of chemical and biological terrorism. A constructive dialogue on these matters will provide an opportunity to start an extensive work (including negotiations) within UN fora. While promoting these initiatives, we strictly adhere to the principles of non-discrimination, and equal and indivisible security for all. One of our priorities is preventing an arms race in outer space. That is the goal pursued by the relevant Russian-Chinese draft treaty as well as Russia's initiative on a 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 of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. We actively promote within the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space the issue of standards and regulations of the safety of space operations on the basis of the idea of the long-term sustainability of outer space activities.

18. We share the noble goal of achieving a world free from nuclear weapons but we believe that there is a need for a realistic and balanced approach which would strengthen international security and stability. We are conviced that the Nuclear Zero can be achieved but only as an ultimate result of a phased process of nuclear disarmament within the multilateral treaty framework while taking into account all factors that affect strategic stability. We oppose radical initiatives to prohibit nuclear weapons as soon as possible, including the TPNW, that are contrary to the NPT and divert attention from solving urgent international security issues caused primarily by the U.S.' destabilizing actions in the strategic area. We are extremely concerned about the intention declared by the U.S. to maintain readiness for a possible resumption of nuclear tests.

19. We advocate the development of international cooperation in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy, strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and improving international mechanisms of global nuclear safety and security. We consistently support the efforts of the IAEA as a unique international organization that fully supports greater development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

We support the universal adherence to the CTBT and its earliest entry into force. We are deeply concerned about the recent U.S.' decision to withhold the CTBT ratification thereby undermining the prospects of bringing the Treaty into force at the earliest date possible. The intention declared by the U.S. to maintain readiness to resume nuclear tests is another cause of our profound concern.

20. We appreciate the efforts of the UN Security Council and its relevant committees, including the 1540 Committee, to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

21. We are deeply concerned with the U.S. unilateral decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which is a significant violation of the agreements on Iran's Nuclear Program as well as UNSC resolution 2231, and abolishes all the U.S. rights under the JCPOA. On our part, we are committed to the fulfillment of the obligations under the JCPOA.

22. We are encouraged by the evolution of the situation on the Korean Peninsula in the context of a Chinese–Russian "road map" for the settlement of the situation. The DPRK's constructive steps towards denuclearization as well as decrease in the military activity in the region, particularly due to the cancellation of the U.S. and its allies' drills scheduled for August, are commendable. We welcome the building of the inter-Korean dialogue and holding of the North Korea–U.S Summit. The settlement of the Korean Peninsula issues, including the nuclear problem, is possible uniquely through joint efforts and multilateral consultations on peace and security in Northeast Asia. Given the current situation, We also believe that the time has come to consider reviewing a number of restrictions on cooperation with North Korea introduced by the UN Security Council, the adjustment of which is provided for in the sanctions resolutions of the Security Counci. We support the early lifting of the unilateral restrictions against the DPRK.

23. We believe the international agenda in the field of international information security (IIS) should prioritize development and adoption under the auspices of the UN of a universal Code of Conduct in the information space aimed at conflict prevention therein. Such rules should embody the principles of the UN Charter in the digital field, 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 the Internet governance. We are firmly convinced that there are no alternatives to the UN which plays the key role in ensuring IIS. We believe that it is necessary to re-launch as soon as possible the discussion on IIS on this track in the format of the relevant group of governmental experts. We will submit the relevant draft resolution to the First Committee of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.

24. We deem it necessary to ensure that all States comply with the international drug control conventions and we consider unacceptable the use of drugs for recreational purposes. We support strengthening the coordinating role of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs as the main policymaking body in the UN system on drug control. We support the holding of the ministerial segment of the review of the implementation by States of the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action to counter the drug problem as well as the  Outcome Document of the 30th special session of the UN General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (2016).

25. We consistently support the UN central and coordinating role in consolidating international efforts to counter global challenges and threats, including those that emanate from transnational organized crime. We attach particular importance to strengthening the legal framework for international anticriminal cooperation to counter criminal challenges and threats, including possible development and adoption of new international legal instruments, particularly on returning asset to countries of origin and combating wildlife crimes.

We note the importance of work towards the launch of the review mechanism for 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. We stand for strengthening international cooperation against corruption with the central coordinating role of the UN and on the basis of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which is the only universal international treaty providing for the full range of measures to prevent and counter corruption. We attach great importance to the intergovernmental, depoliticized, transparent and open nature of the Mechanism for the Review of the Implementation of the UNCAC. We support the development of a universal convention on criminal asset recovery under the auspices of the UN.

26. We support the activities of the International Court of Justice as the major judicial body of the UN. At present, we are involved in proceedings initiated by Ukraine regarding the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

We express continued dissatisfaction with the work of the International Criminal Court. We note the low quality and politicization of its work, as well as the absence of any tangible contribution of this body to conflict settlement. We closely follow the processes in the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, which should complete the remaining work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) (closed in December 2017) in shortest time possible.

Discussions on the rule of law at the UN platform should concentrate on its international dimension. We will oppose attempts to use the concepts of "the rule of law" and "the responsibility to protect" for arbitrary interference in internal affairs.

27. We will continue to uphold the principle of inadmissibility of distorting history and revising the outcomes of World War II. In this context, Russia will re-submit the UN General Assembly 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.

28. The primary responsibility for the protection and promotion of human rights lies with the States, whereas the activities of the UN executive structures are aimed to play a supporting role. In our view, the key principle of the UN human rights protection and promotion activities should be equitable cooperation between States based on the rule of international law, respect for sovereignty and equality of States. The integration of human rights dimension into all areas of the UN activities should not lead to duplication of the work of its main bodies. We believe that the work of the UN Human Rights Council should not be carried out in conjunction with the work of the UN Security Council. We are against the HRC reform aimed at transforming it into a quasijudicial monitoring mechanism.

29. We strongly condemn the use of human rights issues as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of States and to undermine the fundamental principles of international law. We consider it unacceptable that certain States  bring into the agenda of the UN mechanisms for the protection of human rights the subjects that are beyond their powers in order to achieve their timeserving political objectives.

This is the context in which we consider the draft resolution on the human rights situation in Crimea that the Ukrainian delegation has regularly submitted to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly since 2016. The document has nothing to do with the real situation in this region of the Russian Federation. We have long expressed our doubts regarding the counterproductive 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 new categories of rights. Such steps of a number of countries lead to increased politicization and further confrontation within the UN human rights mechanisms.

32. Active practical efforts in the field of social development aimed at eradicating poverty, promoting social integration and ensuring full employment and decent work for all will contribute to the efficient implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit for Social Development and of the 24th special session of the General Assembly.

We regard the UN Commission for Social Development as the main coordinating body of the United Nations system to elaborate joint measures to address common concerns related to social protection, equalization of opportunities for disabled persons, ageing populations, improvement of the status of youth and strengthening of the role of the traditional family. We strongly oppose its dissolution.

 

33. The UN Commission on the Status of Women is the main intergovernmental forum on gender equality. Providing equal rights and opportunities for men and women plays an important role, including in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda). At the same time, we do not consider it appropriate to always put women at the core of all efforts within the UN. The Second Eurasian Women's Forum "Women for Global Security and Sustainable Development" to be held in Saint Petersburg on September 20-21, 2018 is intended to highlight Russia's commitment to women's empowerment. We commend the activities of UN Women, whose assistance should be provided exclusively upon request of relevant States.

34. We note the particular importance of international cooperation in the field of promotion and protection of children's rights on the basis of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the outcome document of the UN GA 27th special session entitled "A World Fit for Children". Attempts made by certain countries to deprive parents and legal guardians of their role in children's upbringing and development of their potential are unacceptable. For children to be brought up successfully, inter alia, family support programs are needed. 35. We support the discussion on interreligious and intercultural communication issues within the UNGA, as well as the development of intercivilizational dialogue, including within the Alliance of Civilizations.

We are willing to cooperate with all competent non-governmental organizations concerned on the issues on the UN agenda. We work to facilitate  adequate representation of Russian non-governmental actors in the work of the relevant segments of UN bodies and entities.

36. Successful response to current migration challenges requires conflict prevention and settlement, coordination of political, social and economic, humanitarian and other efforts, promotion of security and human rights, as well as establishment of links between humanitarian assistance and development assistance. Approaches addressing migration problems cannot contradict the basic principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States and be implemented without the consent of the countries in which they are applied. The States involved in the interference in the internal affairs of other countries, which provoked migration, should assume major responsibility for assisting the victims.

We believe that the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration that is currently being drawn up should focus on the issues of reducing the negative impact of migration and facilitating its positive contribution to development. We welcome the strengthened constructive interaction between the UN and the IOM, provided that it helps the capacity of both organizations.

Russia makes annual voluntary contributions of about USD 2 million to the budget of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). We commend it for its role.

The global compact on refugees drafted by the UNHCR in consultation with states aims at helping the international community strengthen refugee protection and provide a long-term solution to the problem of the mass exodus of people.

We note the UNHCR's efficient work with Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons. We call for intensifying efforts aimed at restoring the infrastructure and providing conditions for their early return. We  appreciate and support the UNHCR's work to address the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the internal Ukrainian crisis in the southeast of the country. We deem it necessary for the UNHCR to focus its attention on stateless persons, including in Europe.

 

37. We regard cooperation in the field of sports and promotion of sport values worldwide as effective ways of encouraging respect and mutual understanding among nations.

We believe that politicization of sports and discrimination of athletes by means of 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.

38. We attach great importance to fostering international cooperation on the social, economic, financial, environmental and other related tracks of the UN work with a view to ensuring the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We support the comprehensive, interrelated, non-politicized and indivisible nature of the Sustainable Development Goals, the strengthening of the high-level political forum on sustainable development under the aegis of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as a major platform for the global follow-up on their implementation.

39. We support the practical steps taken by the UN Secretary-General to reform the UN development system aimed at rendering it more robust, efficient and coherent, and at improving the quality of assistance offered to developing, and first of all the least developed countries. This reformation process should be in line with decisions of the Quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities of the UN development system.

 40. We are ready for constructive collaboration on the implementation of the Addis-Ababa Action Agenda, which seeks to ensure financing for development so as to mobilize and effectively use resources to achieve the SDGs. We intend to increase Russia's visibility as a major,  predictable and significant donor in rendering assistance to international development. We stress the importance of building international cooperation on fiscal matters, intensifying work to combat illicit financial flows and tax evasion.

41. We intend to offer support to the WTO and work to foster the development of a universal, rule-based, open, non-discriminatory and just multilateral trade system. We cannot agree with unilateral trade restrictions imposed by a number of countries in violation of universally recognized norms of international law, as well as with protectionist measures.

42. We regard poverty eradication as the central objective on the socio-economic track of UN activities. We support the proclamation of the Third UN Decade for the eradication of poverty and further elaboration of practical measures to eradicate poverty, develop industrial facilities, particularly in least developed countries. We call for increased international cooperation on ensuring global food security.

43. In the context of efforts to address health challenges, we intend to actively participate in high-level GA meetings on ending tuberculosis (on 26 September 2018) and on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (on 27 September 2018). We expect to agree on practically oriented outcome documents of these meetings in line with the guidance provided by the First Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Noncommunicable Diseases (Moscow, April 2011) and the WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending Tuberculosis (Moscow, November 2017).

44. We support the consistent development of cooperation between the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and the UN.

 

45. We attach great importance to advancing the collaboration in the field of information and telecommunications technologies. We are convinced that such cooperation will contribute to identifying innovative solutions for development-related problems and foster gradual, inclusive, fair economic  growth. We are committed to the implementation of the principles of the Geneva Declaration elaborated at the World Summit on the Information Society.

46. We encourage efforts to strengthen the international humanitarian response system building on fundamental principles contained in humanitarian resolutions of the UN General Assembly, inter alia, in resolution 46/182, with a view to improving its responsiveness and effectiveness. We stand for a nonpoliticized and unbiased nature of the work of UN humanitarian agencies, which render assistance to those in need upon consent from host governments and on the basis of reliable and objective information. We believe that, with financial resources currently lacking, conflict resolution and prevention are a primary means of minimizing the burden on the international humanitarian response system.

47. We support the enhancing cooperation on disaster risk reduction based on the Sendai Framework 2015-2030. We are ready to collaborate with all stakeholders with a view to preparing and successfully holding the 6th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva in 2019.

48. We support multilateral efforts to address climate change. We hope for a set of rules on the implementation of the Paris Agreement to be adopted at the forthcoming 24th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will take place in Katowice (Poland) in December 2018.

We encourage efforts to improve the performance of the UN Environment Program (UNEP) so as to achieve the SDGs. We consider it important to work on the strengthening of the UNEP central role in tackling the pressing issues on the environment agenda.

We believe that introducing a new name for the UNEP (UNEnvironment) for wide use – without the relevant authorization by the UNEP  governing body with its subsequent approval by the UN General Assembly – is premature.

We place hope in fruitful cooperation with the UN General Assembly in the context of preparations for the 70th session of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which will take place in Sochi in October 2018.

49. The major objective of the UN Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) is the effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda adopted at the Third Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III). We are convinced that it is inadmissible to politicize the UNEP's and UN-Habitat's mandates, particularly with regard to the issue of conflicts and humanitarian crises.

50. We support the holding of the High-level meeting on middle-income countries dedicated to the search for feasible solutions for these countries to achieve the SDGs.

51. On the issues of the UN's funding, we encourage keeping expenses under control and observing a strict budgetary discipline. We are ready to elaborate austerity measures, but without prejudice to intergovernmental mandates. We insist on a more effective use of the Organization's budgetary funds, including by increasing the practical benefit of the reforms already underway, whose main course should be determined by Member States that are to play the key role here by seeking an agreement upon the relevant UN General Assembly decisions.

52. The respect for the principles of multilingualism and parity of all the six official UN languages is one of the main criteria when assessing the quality of the Organization's outreach activities.


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