- The primary objective of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly is to reaffirm the central and coordinating role of the universal Organization in global affairs and to strengthen the multipolar system of international relations. The UN rightly remains a unique platform for an open and equal dialogue aimed at finding collective solutions to global problems while taking into account diverse opinions, as well as at creating a genuinely just world order.
- We have consistently advocated strengthening the multilateral framework of international relations and world economy based on the universal norms of international law, first and foremost the provisions of the UN Charter, focusing on the unconditional respect for the sovereign equality of states and non-interference in their internal affairs. It is pivotal to prevent a small group of Western countries from taking control of the UN by striving to substitute generally recognized principles of cooperation between the states with non-consensual constructs. We oppose the legitimization of the concept of the “rules-based world order” implying the imposition of rules, standards and norms developed without the equal involvement of all the interested states. This concept is promoted in contrast to collective approaches based on the UN Charter and poses a serious threat to the stability of international relations
- The unending eight-year-long war waged by the Kiev regime against the people of Donbass and the intentional sabotage of the Package of measures for the Implementation of the Minsk agreements by Ukraine forced Russia to take measures to protect the region’s civilians. The Special Military Operation that began in 2022 is conducted in strict compliance with Article 51 of the UN Charter and will continue till the threats to Russia’s security are eliminated.
Ukraine’s Western allies contribute to the escalation and perpetuation of the conflict by providing Kiev with heavy weapons, financial and technical assistance, and recruiting and supplying mercenaries. NATO countries’ weapons are used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine to mount strikes against civilian infrastructure and peaceful citizens of Donbass. Thus, the West has virtually become a party in the hostilities responsible for the crimes of the Kiev regime.
Violations of international humanitarian law and terrorist attacks carried out by Ukraine are carefully recorded, and all the perpetrators will face their punishment. Kiev’s actions and rhetoric show that it clearly lacks interest in settling the conflict by peaceful means. Russia has never refused the option of diplomatic settlement and stands ready for negotiations taking into consideration the situation on the ground and its own legitimate interests.
- The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson Oblasts became part of Russia after their population freely expressed its will in September 2022 in accordance with the UN Charter and the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among states. This document guarantees the territorial integrity of states, with “government representing the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction as to race, creed or colour”. The Kiev authorities obviously fail to meet this criterion, holding a record of having persecuted a considerable part of the country’s population precisely on the grounds of ethnic origin, creed, language and culture for years.
The recognition of the referendums held in the Zaporozhye and Kherson Oblasts, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and the accession of Crimea to Russia after the expression of the free will by its citizens in 2014, is a key precondition for reaching an agreement on a comprehensive settlement of the situation in Ukraine.
We are gravely concerned over the UN General Assembly’s growing inclination to reach outside its competence, which resulted in a series of confrontational anti-Russian resolutions adopted since 24 February 2022 in connection with the situation in Ukraine in violation of Article 12(1) of the UN Charter. The UN General Assembly, seeking in its resolutions to qualify the Special Military Operation as an “aggression”, calling for its cessation, reparation of damage, etc., goes far beyond its mandate and appropriates the functions of the UN Security Council.
- Primary responsibility for preventing conflicts and addressing their consequences rests with the states involved. International assistance, including that rendered by the UN, is only possible with their consent and in line with the UN Charter. Mediation and good offices – not to mention preventive diplomacy – should be based on the principles of impartiality and unconditional respect for the sovereignty of states.
- The UN Security Council reform should aim to strengthen the representation of developing states from Africa, Asia and Latin America in the Security Council without prejudice to the UNSC’s effectiveness and operational efficiency. We believe that Brazil and India are legitimate candidates for the permanent membership in the Council, should a decision be made to expand both categories of its members. Low twenties seems the optimum number of members of the reformed Council. The search for the best reform model that would secure the broadest possible support should continue in the current format of intergovernmental negotiations. Embarking on text-based discussions before agreeing on the basic reform parameters is counterproductive. The prerogatives of the current permanent members, including their veto power, are not subject to revision.
- We support realistic initiatives to revitalize the work of the UN General Assembly within the relevant Ad Hoc Working Group. In our view, it is of paramount importance to fine-tune UNGA working methods, streamline its overloaded agenda and strengthen multilingualism. Any innovation should be reasonable and meet the current needs. Any redistribution of other statutory bodies’ powers, especially those of the Security Council, in favour of the General Assembly is unacceptable.
- We support developing and fostering the UN’s cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations in conformity with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. It is essential to enhance meaningful collaboration between the UN and organizations such as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), BRICS and Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The relevance of this topic was confirmed by the adoption of the biennial resolutions on the UN–CSTO and UN–CIS cooperation by the 77th UNGA session, which reflect steady progress and positive dynamics in strengthening these relations.
- We categorically oppose the distortion of history and the revision of the outcomes of the Second World War. We attach special importance to the annual draft Resolution of the UN General Assembly “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”. We stress the relevance of this document in view of the tragic consequences of the Kiev authorities’ efforts to encourage the neo‑Nazi ideology in Ukraine with the connivance of their Western patrons.
- We believe that there can be no alternative to the political and diplomatic settlement of crises in the Middle East and North Africa. We have consistently advocated peaceful resolution of current conflicts without external interference, while taking into account the interests of all parties involved and based on the provisions and norms of international law.
- The Syrian settlement remains at the top of the Middle East agenda. Achieving durable and long-term stabilization and security in the country is only possible through the full restoration of the country’s territorial integrity and Damascus’s sovereignty over the national territory. The continued combat against international terrorist groups recognized as such by the UN Security Council remains another critical task on the ground.
The degradation of the humanitarian and socio-economic situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, amidst the tightening of unilateral sanctions and chronic underfunding of the international humanitarian programmes, remains the main challenge, particularly in the wake of the earthquake of 6 February 2023. We call on the responsible members of the international community to renounce the politicization of purely humanitarian issues and provide assistance to all Syrians in need without discrimination and preconditions in coordination with authorities in Damascus, as envisaged by the norms and guidelines of international humanitarian law.
On the political track, we support the progress of a Syrian-led and Syrian‑owned settlement facilitated by the UN, as provided for in UNSC resolution 2254. We support the relevant efforts by the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen, which should not, however, go beyond the mandate defined by the Security Council.
- We believe that reviving the Middle East settlement process, while placing the efforts to address the Palestinian problem at its core, is a prerequisite for bringing peace and security to the Middle East.
We attach key importance to preventing the escalation of violence between Palestinians and Israelis and to providing extensive humanitarian assistance to those affected and in need in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. We call on the sides to show restraint, refrain from unilateral steps and provocative actions, and respect the special status and integrity of the Holy Sites in Jerusalem. We support the resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on all issues concerning the final status based on a universally acknowledged international legal framework, including the two-state formula.
- We note with concern the impasse of the political process in Libya and the persisting division among the country’s leading political actors. We are convinced that there can be no alternative to an inclusive dialogue taking into account the concerns of all sides in Libya. We support an early restoration of a single government institution system and the conduct of presidential and parliamentary elections.
- We note positive developments in Yemen against the backdrop of regional normalization. We firmly believe that resuming the comprehensive truce will contribute to a lasting political settlement in the country. We insist on the need to engage in UN-brokered negotiation with all parties to the conflict. We support the work of the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg. Assisting the Yemeni people in overcoming a major humanitarian catastrophe is one of the key tasks.
We oppose the excessively broad interpretations of the UNSC resolutions on sanctions against Yemen. Restrictive measures should be used to promote peaceful settlement rather than fuel political turbulence in the region. We note with concern that certain foreign naval presences manipulate the UNSC decisions when conducting inspections of vessels in waters off the Yemeni coast.
- We have consistently supported the efforts of the Iraqi leadership to achieve a lasting normalization of the social and economic situation in the country and counter the terrorist threat. We stress the need for consistent and focused work to reconcile the differences between various ethnic and religious groups of Iraqi society through a national dialogue. We emphasize that turning Iraq into an arena of regional confrontation is unacceptable.
- We have consistently pursued the policy of facilitating national reconciliation and settlement in Afghanistan, as well as maintaining stability and making it a state free from terrorism and drugs. We are seriously concerned about the growing influence of ISIL and the threat of its terrorist activities spilling over into Central Asia.
We stand for sustained and pragmatic interaction of the international community with the Taliban de facto authorities. We are convinced that expanding dialogue with Kabul is in the interests of the security and economic development of the entire region.
We will continue work within credible multilateral platforms, such as the Moscow Format of Consultations, the Neighbouring Countries of Afghanistan mechanism, the regional Quartet (Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan), as well as within regional organizations, primarily the CSTO and the SCO. We have taken steps to establish a new regional Five format involving Russia, China, India, Iran and Pakistan.
We believe that the US and its allies, who are responsible for the critical situation in Afghanistan following their 20-year presence, should bear the major costs of the post-conflict reconstruction of the country.
We attach great significance to the activities of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, first and foremost in the context of increasing humanitarian support to the local population, creating conditions for an early unfreezing of Afghan assets and mobilizing donor funds to revive the national economy.
- Primary focus in the efforts aimed at a comprehensive normalization of the Azerbaijani-Armenian relations should be placed on the implementation of trilateral top-level statements of 9 November 2020, 11 January and 26 November 2021, including the unblocking of trade, economic and transport ties in the region, the delimitation/demarcation of the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and assistance to the parties in negotiating a peace treaty.
- We are seriously concerned about the destructive consequences of attempts by the US and its allies to increase pressure on the DPRK, including by conducting large-scale military exercises. We oppose all efforts to further tighten the UN SC sanctions regime. We consider this idea both wrong and inhumane in terms of negative humanitarian consequences for ordinary North Koreans. While condemning the provocative military activity in the region, to which Pyongyang is forced to respond, we call for breaking the vicious circle of escalating tensions. The only effective means of breaking the deadlock is to resume political and diplomatic dialogue to reduce the level of confrontation and achieve a lasting settlement on the Korean Peninsula, as well as establish a resilient security system in Northeast Asia, taking into account the legitimate interests of all states in the region, including the DPRK. Jointly with China, we have consistently promoted relevant initiatives.
- We believe that there is no alternative to preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). We are determined to continue cooperation within the Vienna negotiation process aimed at eliminating the negative consequences of the US’s unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal in violation of its obligations under Security Council resolution 2231. We consider the continuing attempts by Washington and its allies to increase pressure on Tehran and further exacerbate the situation instead of facilitating the early restoration of the JCPOA’s full functioning to be counterproductive.
- We stand for finding a solution to the Cyprus issue based on the relevant UN SC resolutions, which provide for establishing a bicommunal and bizonal federation on the island with a single international legal personality, sovereignty and citizenship. At the same time, the final resolution model should be approved by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots without external pressure. Imposing arbitrary timeframes is unacceptable. We believe it necessary to engage the permanent members of the Council in the discussion on the external aspects of the Cyprus problem, as well as to replace the existing system of guarantees on the part of the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey with guarantees by the Security Council. An early appointment of a Special Envoy or Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General, who should be approved by and accountable to the Council, would contribute to relaunching a full-fledged negotiation process.
- The key to ensuring sustainable functioning of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s institutions is respect for the principles of equality of the two entities and the three constituent peoples, in full compliance with the 1995 Dayton Accords. Bosnians deserve the right to independently decide on the destiny of their country. In that regard, we believe that the Office of the High Representative should be abolished as soon as possible. The post of the High Representative remains vacant, as Christian Schmidt has not been approved by the UN Security Council.
- The situation in Kosovo should be resolved on the basis of Security Council resolution 1244. The arrangement between Belgrade and Pristina will only be viable if the parties come to an agreement independently, without ready-made solutions imposed on them from outside. We oppose the idea of altering the mandate of the UN Mission in the region and cutting its budget, and advocate for maintaining the open and regular nature of UN SC meetings on the Kosovo issue.
- There is no alternative to the consistent implementation of the provisions of the Final Peace Agreement with an emphasis on the thorough implementation of its sections on the rural reform and ethnic issues, which serves as a framework for the settlement in Colombia. Even greater efforts are required to ensure the physical security of social activists, former rebels and the most vulnerable groups of population.
We welcome the Six-Month Ceasefire Agreement with the National Liberation Army (ELN) signed on 9 June 2023 between the Government of Colombia and the ELN following the third round of peace talks in Cuba. We believe that the arrangements reached are an important step towards achieving comprehensive peace in Colombia.
- We stand for a balanced and depoliticized approach when considering the situation in Myanmar and seeking ways to improve the humanitarian situation in the Rakhine State. Despite the UNSC resolution 2669 on Myanmar adopted on 21 December 2022, we still believe that the situation in this state can only be discussed by the Council with regards to the Rohingya refugee issue. It would be more appropriate to deal with the human rights issues prevailing in the document within relevant forums, including the Third Committee of the General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council.
- We believe that efforts to prevent crises and solve conflicts in Africa should be African-led and supported by the international community. We stand for strengthening the UN’s partnership with the African Union and the continent’s sub-regional organizations. We intend to further actively contribute to the political resolution of the crises in the CAR, the DR Congo, South Sudan, Somalia, Mali and the Sahara-Sahel region as a whole, as well as in other hotspots across Africa. We oppose attempts to defame our cooperation with African countries. We welcome the efforts by Africans to address the root causes of conflicts, rebuild state institutions and reform the security sector. We support African states’ efforts to break off with their colonial past. We consider inadmissible attempts by a number of countries to promote neo-colonial approaches on the African continent.
The UNSC sanctions regimes against several African countries need to be revised, particularly with regard to arms embargoes. These measures are inadequate in the current situation and, instead of facilitating peace processes, only place constraints on Governments’ actions to fight illegal armed groups.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a bilateral partner of Bangui, we continue to facilitate the stabilization and national reconciliation process in the CAR based on the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation of 6 February 2019 to ensure a lasting solution to the protracted conflict in the heart of Africa. In line with international law, we assist the country’s authorities in building national security capabilities. We are open to collaboration with all stakeholders on the ground, Bangui’s international and bilateral partners. Maintainging the Security Council sanctions regime against the CAR, which hinders the strengthening of the Republic’s security, is getting increasingly obsolete every day. It is time to consider its complete removal.
We are closely following the security situation in Mali against the backdrop of the UNSC decision to withdraw the UN Stabilization Mission in the country (30 June 2023). We appreciate the Council’s unanimous response to the appeal of the Malians willing to assume full responsibility for their national security. We advocate an orderly and organized withdrawal of the Blue Helmets in close cooperation with the host country. Russia will continue to provide support to Bamako on a bilateral basis, including in building the combat capability of the armed forces, training military and law enforcement personnel, and providing humanitarian assistance.
We support regional efforts to resolve the ongoing armed conflict between the regular army and the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan, which broke out on 15 April 2023. We strongly oppose attempts to impose politicized solutions on the parties to the conflict and exert pressure on them from outside, including through illegitimate unilateral sanctions measures. We are convinced that a sustainable solution can only be achieved by political and diplomatic means with the participation of all Sudanese parties concerned. Despite the current complicated situation in Sudan, we believe that it is necessary to keep moving towards ending the existing UNSC sanctions regime against Darfur. Experience has shown that these outdated restrictions have hardly contributed to the normalization of the situation.
- The UNGA Special Committee on Decolonization (C-24) will remain relevant until the issues of decolonization of the 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories are completely resolved and may become even more so in future as the global agenda will be shifting away from the unipolar system led by the former Western metropolises.
- UN peacekeeping should strictly comply with its basic principles and the UN Charter. Efforts should be focused on promoting political settlement and national reconciliation. The use of new technologies should not overshadow the key tasks of peacekeeping. Intelligence in peacekeeping should solely be used to ensure the safety of peacekeepers and the protection of civilians. Expanding the peacekeepers’ mandate, including by granting them the authority to use force, is only possible by decision of the Security Council with strict consideration of the specific circumstances in a particular country.
We are convinced that the UNGA Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34) should maintain its leading role in developing common parameters for peacekeeping. We consider counterproductive attempts to bypass this forum, including through the UNSC.
We believe that there are good prospects for engaging the CSTO in UN peacekeeping activities. The CSTO has come a long way in improving its peacekeeping capacities. The Organization’s Member States express willingness to enhance their participation in UN peacekeeping efforts not only in their national capacity but also under the CSTO banner.
International support for peacebuilding and peacekeeping should only be provided at the request of the host Government and with a view to building the states’ own capacities. The replenishment of the peacebuilding fund through assessed contributions is possible provided that the transparency and accountability of its expenditures are increased and UN intergovernmental bodies issue relevant mandates.
- Sanctions are an important auxiliary tool for the UNSC to suppress activities threatening international peace and security. They must not be used as a means of punishment. They should be carefully measured, targeted and time-limited and take into account political, socio-economic, human rights and humanitarian consequences. Sanctions regimes should be subject to a regular review. If the situation is rectified, there should be no delay in relaxing the outdated restrictions to the point of their complete removal. Attempts to use international sanctions for the purposes of unfair competition, economic strangulation and destabilization of “undesirable regimes” are inadmissible. Nor is it acceptable to introduce, in addition to UNSC sanctions, further unilateral coercive measures, especially those with extraterritorial effect. We advocate for including this requirement in relevant SC resolutions. We suggest extending the mandate of the Ombudsperson for the Security Council’s 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al‑Qaida Sanctions Committee to all the entities on the Security Council’s Sanctions List.
- We call for the consolidation of international efforts in the fight against terrorism, with the UN’s central coordinating role, without politicization, double standards, or hidden agendas and based on the UN Charter, relevant universal conventions and protocols, UNSC thematic resolutions, as well as the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We believe it is important to make extensive use of the tools of the UNSC subsidiary counter-terrorism bodies, particularly its Counter-Terrorism Committee, ISIL (Da’esh) and Al‑Qaida, and the Taliban Movement sanctions committees.
We support the activities of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), including using Russia’s voluntary contributions. We advocate for increasing the share of the UN regular budget allocated to the UNOCT. We believe that initiatives focused on building the national counter-terrorism capacity of the recipient countries should remain at the core of the UNOCT programme and project activities.
- We stand for intensifying the work to cut off ideological, material, financial and human resources support for terrorists, as well as for strengthening cooperation among countries in countering foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) and bringing them to justice on the basis of the “extradite or prosecute” principle.
We oppose the course pursued by the West towards eroding the international legal counter-terrorism framework – whether through over-emphasizing human rights and gender issues that are secondary in the context of counter-terrorism or by promoting the controversial concepts of “countering violent extremism” and countering “racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism/terrorism”.
We draw the attention of the international community to the dangerous rise in right-wing extremist threats, especially manifestations of aggressive nationalism and neo-Nazism. We emphasize the deceitfulness and double standards of the collective West, which, while groundlessly accusing Russia of “aggression”, chooses to turn a blind eye to the fact that the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev that it created provides open state support to terrorism, having turned Ukraine into yet another international terrorist cell. The US and its allies are actively exploiting the terrorist Kiev authorities as a bridgehead and an tool of armed struggle against Russia. We call on Western countries and their allies to refrain from lending political support and supplying arms to Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups, which actively resort to terrorist methods and build ties with transnational organized crime and terrorist groups, including in the matters of movement of FTFs and arms trade. We would like to emphasize that this process leads to an escalation of counter-terrorism security risks in Europe and the rest of the world.
- The world drug problem has exacerbated during the COVID‑19 pandemic and remains a serious threat to the security and well-being of populations. We call for equal attention to its three interrelated components: reducing drug demand, reducing drug supply, and strengthening the international anti-drug cooperation based on the principle of common and shared responsibility.
Strict compliance with the three relevant UN conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988 by all states is essential for the effective functioning of the global drug control system. We consider all attempts to destabilize it, including the legalization of drugs for recreational use, to be a threat to the national security of our country. The principle of limiting the use of drugs to medical and scientific purposes only, as enshrined in the conventions, represents the best way to implement the human rights to life and health. We advocate for building a society free of drug abuse by promoting healthy lifestyles and keeping children and youth away from illicit drugs.
Countering the illicit drug use should not limit the availability and accessibility of narcotic drugs in medicine when they are proven effective for the treatment of specific diseases.
- We support the consolidation of international efforts to combat criminal challenges and threats with the UN’s central coordinating role, without politicization and double standards, and based on good-faith, mutually respectful and equal cooperation among states.
We believe that attempts to politicize the work of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) are destructive.
We attach great importance to proper observance of the guiding principles and characteristics of the UNTOC Review Mechanism, which is meant to be of a technical and impartial nature and promote constructive collaboration among states in the effective implementation of the Convention.
- We support international anti-corruption cooperation with the United Nations playing the central and coordinating role and on the basis of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). We are firmly committed to the intergovernmental, technical and impartial nature of the Convention mechanisms. We strongly condemn all attempts to politicize the work of the Conference of the States Parties to the UNCAC. We attach great importance to the implementation of the political declaration of the UNGA Special Session against Corruption, particularly as regards the need to bridge the gaps in the international legal framework for asset recovery.
- We advocate for maintaining the central role of the UN, in particular the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG), in the global negotiation process on international information security (IIS). It is important to prevent the Western countries from replacing the OEWG with non-transparent mechanisms under their control and defend the strictly interstate character of the adoption procedure for universal decisions on IIS.
The Group should focus its work on giving binding legal effect to the rules, norms and principles of responsible behaviour in the information space. We call for the development and adoption of a universal international legal instrument aimed primarily at strengthening cooperation in preventing conflicts in the use of ICTs. Together with a group of supporters, we have drafted and presented an outline of a UN convention on IIS to provide a model for such document.
We intend to submit to the First Committee of the 78th UNGA session an anniversary (25 years) Russian draft of the annual resolution “Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security”. It will reflect the outcomes of the OEWG’s work in 2023, including the creation of a global intergovernmental registry of points of contact for the exchange of information on computer attacks/incidents. We urge all countries to support our draft.
Similarly, we view the formation of an international legal regime for the fight against information crime as a priority within the Third Committee of the UNGA. We believe it is necessary to conclude a universal treaty aimed at countering the use of ICTs for extremist, terrorist and other criminal purposes and building mutually beneficial international cooperation among law enforcement agencies in this area. A comprehensive convention on countering information crime that is being developed under the auspices of the United Nations (to be adopted at the 78th UNGA session) could serve as a basis for such an instrument.
- We have consistently advocated for strengthening the existing and developing, through consensus, new treaty regimes in the field of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. The UN and its multilateral disarmament mechanism should play a central role in this process. We are working to increase the efficiency and consistency of the work of its key elements – the First Committee of the UNGA, the UN Disarmament Commission and the Conference on Disarmament.
- We strictly abide by our obligations under the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). We support its early entry into force. We call on the eight countries whose signature and/or ratification is required for its entry into force to do so without delay. We consider the position of the USA, which is the only state to have officially refused to ratify the Treaty, to be a major destructive factor for the CTBT. Washington has taken consistent steps towards resuming nuclear tests, including by increasing the readiness of the Nevada Test Site and allocating significant funds for its maintenance. We encourage Washington to reconsider its stance on the CTBT.
We firmly reject any insinuations that our country might resume nuclear tests. As President Vladimir Putin clearly stated in his address on 21 February 2023, Russia would not be the first to conduct a nuclear test. We will only take this step in response to a similar action by the US. We intend to further maintain our voluntary moratorium on nuclear tests introduced in 1991.
- Russia has consistently advocated strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime based on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Lately, the Treaty has been subjected to serious tests. There is a growing number of disagreements among Parties to the Treaty on issues related to the implementation of its provisions. This is taking place as the established system of arms control agreements is being dismantled. Under these circumstances, ensuring the sustainability of the Treaty is a priority for maintaining global stability.
Unfortunately, the Tenth NPT Review Conference (2022) failed to adopt a final document. Radicalization of positions as well as the intentions of a number of States Parties (primarily Western countries) to promote their own political agendas and add to the draft document wordings that have nothing to do with strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime, have led to the situation where its consensus approval was impossible.
At the same time, we are not inclined to speak of an “NPT crisis”. The Treaty is still fully functional and remains one of the cornerstones in the global architecture of international security and the non-proliferation regime.
A new NPT review cycle will soon begin. Russia is ready to engage in comprehensive cooperation on this platform to realize the goals and objectives set out in the Treaty. At the same time, we are convinced that reaching consensus for the sake of consensus and making efforts to agree on a final document at all costs is a path that will only weaken the work to strengthen the NPT. If the situation similar to that at the Tenth NPT Review Conference happens again, we are ready to continue to block any attempts to politicize the review process.
We continue to support the right of states to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) plays a crucial role in the realization of this right. We strongly reject attempts to politicize the work of the Agency or to extend the scope of its activities beyond the Statute, thereby destroying the credibility of this important international body.
We believe that the work of the Agency should maintain a balance between all the statutory areas of the organization’s activities. We support the IAEA’s efforts aimed at global recognition of an atom as a climate-neutral source of energy.
We advocate for preserving the objective, depoliticized, and technically sound nature of the Agency’s verification mechanism — the safeguards system, which should be based on agreements concluded between States and the IAEA.
Following the referendums in the DPR, LPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye oblasts and their subsequent accession to the Russian Federation as its new entities, the Zaporozhye NPP (ZNPP) came under the Russian jurisdiction.
Putting an end to Ukrainian attacks on the ZNPP, which threaten its safety and pose the risk of a technological accident with radiation emissions, remains an urgent issue.
Ukraine has blocked all the initiatives of the IAEA Director General aimed at strengthening the safety of the ZNPP. Kiev also did not support the five principles for ensuring the safety of the plant outlined by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi during the UN Security Council meeting on 30 May 2023. On the whole, Mr. Grossi’s recommendations have laid the basis for the IAEA Secretariat to finally make public the information it has on the Ukrainian attacks against the ZNPP and to openly condemn such reckless actions on the part of Kiev.
For our part, we have always supported the IAEA Director General’s proposals aimed at strengthening the nuclear safety of the plant. We have never deployed and do not plan to deploy military forces and equipment intended for offensive actions on the territory of the ZNPP. There are only those forces at the ZNPP that are necessary for its protection, as well as for the elimination of possible consequences of Ukrainian attacks. We intend to further protect the ZNPP in order to prevent Kiev and the collective West from creating threats to its safe operation.
- We consistently support regional efforts to ensure non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). We participate in the UN Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction as an observer. We believe that elaborating a legally binding agreement on creating such a zone would serve the interests of all states in the region. We note that the United States remains the only “nuclear five” member that still ignores this important forum.
- Committed to the noble goal of building a world free of nuclear weapons, Russia has for decades made a significant practical contribution to the achievement of this task. However, against the background of the all-out hybrid war unleashed against us, our country has reached the limits of its nuclear arms reduction capabilities. Further progress on this track will only be possible if Western countries abandon their anti-Russian policy and should involve all countries that possess military nuclear capabilities. At the same time, we believe that there should be no artificially imposed unrealistic schedules and uncalculated measures. Progress in this area should be seen as part of the comprehensive process of general and complete disarmament, as enshrined in Article VI of the NPT in its entirety.
We understand the motivations of the advocates of a “shortcut” to a nuclear-weapon-free world, but we are convinced that progress is possible only on the basis of a realistic, balanced and step-by-step approach which contributes to strengthening international peace, stability and security for all states. In our view, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) neither meets those criteria, nor can serve as the main framework for practical measures to reduce nuclear arsenals.
In this context, we see no opportunity to support such radical initiatives as the TPNW. The drafting and continued promotion of such an instrument appears to be premature and counterproductive, since at this stage it only exacerbates the differences between nuclear and non-nuclear powers and can cause irreparable damage to the NPT fundamental regime. In our view, the TPNW neither establishes any universal standards, nor contributes to the development of customary international law.
For Russia, the possession of nuclear weapons at this historical juncture is the only possible response to concrete external threats, which are only increasing. The security situation is degrading due to destructive attempts by the United States and NATO to achieve military superiority. This is demonstrated, inter alia, by their policy towards securing their military-political and military-technical dominance in the post-Soviet space and transforming Ukraine into an anti-Russian staging area. Further steps by Western countries to engage in the military confrontation with Russia in an attempt to inflict strategic defeat on our country aggravate the situation even more.
In such circumstances, an immediate renunciation of nuclear weapons would drastically weaken the reliability of strategic deterrence which we pursue and, accordingly, our national security. Furthermore, such a step could provoke further escalation of the current crisis up to the direct military clash involving major world powers. Against this background, the nuclear deterrence factor inevitably continues to play an important role in our doctrinal concepts. At the same time, they very clearly outline the circumstances in which Russia reserves the right for nuclear response, i.e. in the case of an attack against us and our allies using nuclear weapons and other types of weapons of mass destruction when the very existence of the state is threatened.
At the same time, we are strongly committed to the inviolability of the principle reaffirmed by the leaders of the five nuclear-weapon states in their relevant joint statement in January 2022 that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. It is of paramount importance for each of those states to demonstrate in practice their commitment to that statement in its entirety. Any armed conflict between nuclear-weapon states should be prevented and any controversies between them should be settled in a timely manner through constructive and mutually respectful dialogue with a view to avoiding an arms race and reducing strategic risks.
- Our country’s decision to suspend the START Treaty is related, first and foremost, to the US consistent policy aimed at political and economic strangulation of Russia and targeted weakening of its security. Thus, we are witnessing a radical change in the circumstances and Washington’s attempts to undermine the fundamental principles and understandings underlying the START Treaty. At the same time, the United States continues to flagrantly disregard the interrelationship between strategic offensive and defensive arms enshrined in the Treaty, as well as violate Treaty-established quantitative limits on strategic offensive arms, which has a critical impact on the realization of the object and purpose of the Treaty. The US assistance in the attacks carried out by the Kiev regime against Russian strategic facilities declared under the START Treaty has also dealt a most serious blow to the Treaty.
To maintain a sufficient level of predictability and stability in the nuclear missile sphere, Russia will continue to observe the Treaty-established quantitative limits on strategic offensive arms within the lifetime of the Treaty. Furthermore, we will continue to exchange notifications on ICBM and SLBM launches with the United States based on the relevant bilateral agreement of 1988.
The decision to suspend the START Treaty can be reversed only if the United States demonstrates political will and undertakes the necessary efforts to promote general de-escalation, address violations and create conditions for the resumption of the full functioning of that Treaty. When deciding on its future, the combined nuclear arsenal of the United States, Great Britain and France will have to be taken into account as they, together with other NATO allies, are increasingly putting up a united anti-Russian front in the nuclear area.
Since the INF Treaty terminated in August 2019, in order to ensure predictability and restraint with regard to nuclear missiles, Russia has undertaken not to deploy land-based intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles unless similar US-manufactured missiles are deployed in the relevant regions. Although Russia continues with these measures, our moratorium is facing growing pressure from destabilizing US military programmes, including plans to deploy missile systems previously prohibited by the INF Treaty.
The progress in disarmament depends directly on the situation in the area of international security and strategic stability, which in the current context continues to be negatively affected by such factors as an unrestricted deployment of the global missile defence system combined with a build-up of high-precision non-nuclear weapons for global and disarming strikes, the potential placement of strike weapons in outer space, greater imbalances with regard to conventional weapons, the expansion of military alliances and attempts to create new blocs, the destruction and erosion of the arms control architecture, as well as the illegitimate imposition of sanctions as part of the hostile hybrid activities.
More broadly, attempts to use every possible means to hamper the shaping of a more just polycentric world order lead to heightened inter-state tensions and conflict potential. Against this background, it appears advisable to aim for creating a new, more solid and viable architecture of international security and global strategic stability based on mutually acceptable rules of coexistence guaranteeing the required basic level of security for all and preventing any of the parties from securing decisive military-strategic superiority. Comprehensive settlement of the unacceptable military-political situation in the Euro-Atlantic brought about by the destabilizing actions of the United States and its allies appears to be its integral part.
In principle, Russia remains open to interaction with all stakeholders in the relevant international formats aiming for general de-escalation, comprehensive strengthening of security and stability, minimization of strategic risks, including with the use of arms control instruments. However, this can only be achieved on the basis of equality and genuine accommodation of Russia’s interests.
- Russia has initiated the development of important multilateral arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation arrangements, including on the prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS) and on the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism. We believe that a constructive dialogue on these issues will provide an opportunity to engage in substantive work (including negotiations) at the UN. In promoting these initiatives, we rigorously adhere to the principles of equality and consensus ensuring a balance of interests.
At the 78th session of the General Assembly, we will traditionally submit to the First Committee draft resolutions concerning no first placement of weapons in outer space (NFP), transparency and confidence-building measures in space activities, and further practical steps on PAROS. Globalization of the NFP initiative is a significant but only interim step towards the conclusion of an international treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space on the basis of the Chinese-Russian 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 regards the international cooperation in the peaceful exploration and use of outer space, we are convinced of the indisputable nature of the central and coordinating role of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). We view as counterproductive the attempts to erode the COPUOS mandate by artificially transferring the issues of space debris and orbital traffic management from its agenda to parallel and purely disarmament-related UN platforms in line with the concept of the so‑called responsible behaviour in outer space.
We believe it is important to adopt, by consensus, the resolution entitled “International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space”, which approves the report of the 66th session of COPUOS. We view as dangerous potential attempts to open the draft resolution traditionally adopted without a vote for revision, yielding to political considerations.
We continue to advocate for legal certainty in the matters of delimitation of outer space and airspace, including in the context of establishing the spatial limits to states’ sovereignty over their territory and ensuring their national security, and for creating the environment enabling long-term sustainability of aviation activities and safety. We call for creation of an effective orbital traffic management system on the basis of regulation and monitoring through a legally binding code of conduct to be developed by the international community.
- We support the strengthening of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention, the 1925 Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare.
We are gravely concerned over the growing tendency of Euro-Atlantic allies, led by the United States, to “privatize” specialized international organizations, of which the unacceptable situation in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is a graphic example.
Since 2018, in the vein of the anti-Russian and anti-Syrian rhetoric, NATO and EU countries have completely abandoned the practice of attaining consensus on key issues on the OPCW’s agenda, as enshrined in Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and replaced it with voting on the basis of bloc discipline. These consistent efforts resulted in vesting the Technical Secretariat (TS) with “attribution” functions in violation of the CWC-established procedure for introducing amendments to the Convention (Article XV). While pursuing its goal of toppling the legitimate government of Bashar al-Assad, undesirable for Washington, the “collective West” has virtually undermined the integrity of the Convention and ruined the technical nature of the OPCW’s work.
- We attach great importance to UNSC resolution 1540 as one of the fundamental international instruments in the area of non-proliferation aimed at preventing the WMD and WMD-related materials from falling into the hands of non-state actors. We expect this UN forum to continue working in the spirit of cooperation.
- As regards the situation in Ukraine, we are deeply concerned that the Western countries undermine global efforts to combat illicit arms diversion and violate their arms control obligations. The unrestrained “pumping” of weapons into the Kiev regime by NATO Member States, which openly acknowledge the lack of capabilities to trace their further movement, is sharply exacerbating the risk of these weapons, including particularly sensitive ones, falling into the hands of criminal organizations and terrorist groups, as well as their uncontrolled proliferation in Europe and worldwide.
- We support establishing a specialized universal organization under the auspices of the UN to address the full range of issues of combating maritime crime in different regions.
We continue to work actively with our partners in the Horn of Africa, including in the forum of the Contact Group on Illicit Maritime Activities.
We note that we share approaches to the problem of combating piracy and commitment to maintaining and further developing the Contact Group.
As the number of piracy attacks and armed robberies against ships off the coast of the Gulf of Guinea is growing on an annual basis, Russia is committed to further participating in the activities of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum, a useful format for expert cooperation and coordination of anti-piracy operations.
We take note of the work of the Global Maritime Crime Programme under the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). We intend to expand the financial assistance to coastal states in the Gulf of Guinea from the annual voluntary contribution of the Russian Federation to UNODC with a view to enhancing the operational effectiveness and technical capabilities of regional maritime forces.
- As regards the law of the sea, we consider it essential to preserve the integrity of the regulatory framework established by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and other fundamental instruments in this area. New processes, including the agreement on marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction adopted in June 2023 and its system of global bodies, should not prejudice the provisions of existing universal and regional treaties, or mandates of competent intergovernmental organizations.
We are committed to the effective functioning of the bodies established under the 1982 Convention, i.e. the International Seabed Authority, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. We believe that the said bodies should act strictly within the framework of their mandates under the Convention, avoiding any broad interpretation of their powers or politicization of their decisions.
- Russia expects the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to perform the functions entrusted to it by the UN Charter in an effective and unbiased manner, including in the disputes involving Russia, particularly those concerning the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The Russian side has presented legally and factually flawless arguments on the absence of any sort of “terrorism” in Donbass and “racial discrimination” in Crimea, as well as the Court’s lack of jurisdiction over Ukraine’s speculative accusations of alleged “misuse” of the Genocide Convention by Russia. As the Court itself earlier acknowledged, the Convention does not cover the issues of the use of force — especially in the case of exercising the right to self-defence guaranteed by Article 51 of the UN Charter.
The Court’s work is complicated by an unprecedented political pressure exerted by the West, including by the avalanche-like involvement of NATO countries into the dispute concerning the Genocide Convention as “third parties”. Russian lawyers, witnesses and experts at the ICJ receive death threats, get included in “Ukraine’s enemies’ kill list” on the “Mirotvorets” website. In these circumstances the Court must make the right choice in favour of justice, otherwise the entire system of international justice will be jeopardized.
- We closely follow the work of the UN International Law Commission, which traditionally makes a significant contribution to the codification and progressive development of international law. In the UNGA Sixth Committee, we promote Russian doctrinal approaches in the area of international law, including for developing universal conventions on the issues ripe for codification.
- Over the past year, the International Criminal Court (ICC) fully demonstrated itself to be a puppet and corrupt organization. The activities of this body, which has no relation to the UN, no longer allow referring to it as an international criminal justice institution. We expect states, when considering cooperation with the ICC, to fully comply with the generally accepted norms of international law regarding the immunity of state officials.
- We stress the provisional nature and strictly limited mandate of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), as well as the need for its speedy closing. The IRMCT has “inherited” the worst practices of its predecessors, especially the ICTY, consistently demonstrating an anti-Serbian bias.
We still believe it unacceptable that international organizations are granted the power to investigate alleged internationally wrongful acts and “attribute” responsibility to the states that did not explicitly consent to that, or act outside the scope of their competence in general.
“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 Syria since March 2011” established by the UNGA in excess of its powers is illegitimate and its “decisions” are legally null and void.
- The issue of “the rule of law” should be considered with an emphasis on its international dimension. Attempts to use the “rule of law” to interfere in national legal systems must also be opposed. We assume that the extraterritorial application of national legislation to the detriment of the sovereignty of other states is a negative factor in international relations.
- The Russian Federation has consistently called on all states to build human rights cooperation based on the universally recognized principles and norms of international law, and to work together to develop a constructive, equal and respectful dialogue on human rights.
The Russian Federation has presented its candidacy for re-election to the HRC in the elections to be held in October 2023 at the 78th session of the UNGA. If elected, we will continue to build a constructive, equal and respectful dialogue on human rights. We count on the support of our partners in these elections.
We believe that the primary responsibility for the protection of human rights rests with states, with the executive bodies of the UN playing an auxiliary role. We are convinced that all categories of human rights — civil and political, economic, social and cultural — have equal weight and value.
We are convinced that integration of the human rights agenda into all areas of UN activity is counterproductive and must not lead to duplication of the work of the UN’s main organs. We do not support linking the activities of the HRC and the UNSC.
We strongly oppose the idea nurtured by the Bureau of the UNGA’s Third Committee to “split up” its sessions into main and resumed ones. We regard such actions as unacceptable and arbitrary.
We will oppose the adoption of politicized country resolutions to suit the political priorities of individual countries. It is in this light that we view the resolution on the human rights situation in Crimea, which Ukraine’s delegation has been regularly submitting for consideration by the UNGA’s Third Committee since 2016. The document has nothing to do with the actual situation in that region of the Russian Federation and is being used to disseminate anti-Russian propaganda within the UN.
As regards the work of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), it is necessary to enhance its transparency and accountability to the UN Member States in order to avoid politicization and biased approaches when assessing the human rights situation in different countries.
It is unacceptable that the OHCHR continues to ignore the materials regularly sent by the Russian side and describing the crimes committed by the Kiev regime and the atrocities perpetrated by Ukrainian militants and foreign mercenaries in Donbass and other Russian regions. The OHCHR fails to notice the manifestations of neo-Nazism in Ukraine, persecution of canonical Orthodoxy, bans on the activities of opposition parties and movements, arrests and torture of opposition and human rights activists and public figures. The Office is deaf to the hate speech by Ukrainian officials calling for extermination of the Russian-speaking population, including children, persecution of Russian journalists, and abuse of captured Russian soldiers. At the same time, the OHCHR turns a blind eye to rampant Russophobia unleashed in Western countries, and to the banning of more than a hundred media outlets throughout Europe and Ukraine. The supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine by Western countries is not in any way condemned.
- We strongly condemn any forms and manifestations of discrimination. The ban on discrimination enshrined in international human rights treaties is universal and applies to all people without exception. We see no added value in singling out new vulnerable groups (e.g. the LGBT community, human rights activists, Internet bloggers) that allegedly require special legal protection, or creating new categories of rights. Such moves by a number of countries lead to increased politicization and confrontation in the work of UN human rights mechanisms.
- As regards social development, we support the efforts of the international community to implement practical measures to eradicate poverty, promote social integration, and ensure full employment and decent work for all. We believe that this area of activity contributes to the progressive implementation of the decisions of the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995) and the 24th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
We oppose attempts to abolish the UN Commission for Social Development, which is the main coordinating body within the UN system for ensuring equal opportunities for persons with disabilities, supporting older persons, improving the situation of youth and strengthening the role of the traditional family. We are convinced that it is at this intergovernmental forum that the initiative of the UN Secretary-General to hold the World Social Summit in 2025 should be discussed.
- We advocate a balanced integration of gender equality and women’s advancement issues in the work of the UN system, without taking them to extremes and where appropriate. We are convinced that the UN Commission on the Status of Women remains the key intergovernmental forum for constructive dialogue on the full range of issues related to the advancement of women, in the spirit of the decisions of the 4th World Conference on Women and the 23rd Special Session of the UN General Assembly.
We believe that the work of UN Women must be guided by its mandate, including regarding the implementation of the provisions of the Strategic Plan 2022–2025, which has not been agreed upon at the intergovernmental level. We consider the assistance of UN Women “on the ground” to be effective only when such activities are carried out at the request and with the consent of the states concerned.
- We advocate strengthening international cooperation in the promotion and protection of the rights of the child, taking into account the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the outcome document of the 27th special session of the UNGA entitled “A World Fit for Children”, which proclaimed, in particular, the need for a family environment for the full and harmonious development of a child’s personality. We note the importance of the right of parents and/or legal guardians to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of his/her rights.
We pay close attention to the problem of children in armed conflict, including within the framework of the UNSC. We strongly condemn the United Nations Secretary-General’s biased decision to include the Russian Armed Forces in the list of parties responsible for violations against children in Ukraine in his relevant annual report for 2022. We believe that the list of violators should include the Ukrainian armed forces, which have committed numerous crimes against minors.
We support the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and look forward to further cooperation with her. We encourage the Special Representative to use only verified facts when it comes to the situation of children in Ukraine, avoiding politicization of the issue.
- We support the discussion at the UN of the problems of interreligious and intercultural interaction and the development of intercivilizational dialogue, particularly within the framework of the Alliance of Civilizations. We regard the building of a culture of peace as an essential prerequisite for peaceful coexistence and global cooperation for the sake of peace and development.
- We are ready to cooperate with all interested relevant non-governmental organizations on issues on the UN agenda. We support adequate representation of the Russian non-governmental community in the work of the relevant segments, bodies and entities of the UN system.
- It is worth being careful about using the concept of a “multi-stakeholder” approach, which is widely used in UN documents and is one of the key elements of Secretary-General Guterres’s report on “Our Common Agenda”. It is our belief that the involvement of non-state actors in the work of the UN should not prejudice its intergovernmental nature.
- The Russian Federation believes that overcoming the consequences of the migration crises that have affected individual countries and entire regions of the world requires coordination of efforts across all states. It is necessary to develop multilateral cooperation in this area with the UN playing a central coordinating role in order to effectively address the challenges associated with the mass movement of large groups of refugees and migrants.
We believe that approaches to overcoming migration challenges, including the issues of ensuring and protecting the rights of refugees, cannot contradict the basic principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, and that measures taken must not violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and must not be implemented without the consent of the countries where they are implemented. We are convinced that the solution to this problem should rely on the political settlement in the countries of origin of migrants, as well as on assisting them in socio-economic development, state-building and fight against terrorism.
The Russian Federation makes a significant contribution to strengthening the international refugee protection regime and resolving migration problems, which is manifested in large-scale humanitarian activities in many countries and regions of the world, as well as political efforts to prevent and overcome crises. Еvery year, for example, Russia voluntarily contributes 2 million US dollars to the budget of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
We commend UNHCR’s role in enhancing the efficiency of international protection for refugees and other categories of persons under its responsibility. We consider the Office’s work to be particularly important in situations of major humanitarian crises and view it as a significant element of comprehensive measures to resolve such crises.
Over 5 million residents of the DPR, LPR, the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, as well as Ukraine have urgently arrived in safe Russian regions since February 2022. The Russian Federation is making every effort to receive and accommodate these persons, and to provide them with comprehensive assistance.
We believe it necessary for the UNHCR to pay increased attention to stateless persons, including in Europe.
We intend to work constructively in the run-up to the second Global Forum on Refugees scheduled for December 2023, which will help to attract even greater global attention to the important refugee issue and enhance efforts to implement the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Legal Migration.
- The annual Georgia-sponsored UNGA resolution on the status of internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia is clearly counterproductive. It has the potential to complicate the situation in the region and stall the International Geneva discussions on stability and security in Transcaucasia, which remain the only dialogue format for representatives of Abkhazia, Georgia and South Ossetia.
- We are concerned over the extreme politicization of UNESCO and the total “Ukrainization” of its work. The imposition by Western countries on UNESCO of issues of territorial integrity and sovereignty that lie outside its mandate, as well as the promotion therein of non-inclusive initiatives in the spirit of the notorious “rule-based order” compromise its international credibility and are detrimental to its effectiveness. We insist on the need for greater budgetary discipline and strict compliance by the Secretariat and Member States with UNESCO’s statutory provisions.
- We are concerned about the extreme politicization of the humanitarian sphere, attempts to discriminate against and discredit cultural figures, introduction of unilateral restrictive measures on ethnic grounds, and dismantling of monuments associated with cultural heritage. We are outraged by rampant Russophobia in the countries of the “collective West”, “derussification” of works of art and cancellation of Russian culture.
- We are convinced that sport is a unique tool for developing and strengthening social ties, building mutually respectful communication, and should bring closer together and unite peoples. We are unwaveringly committed to the development of equal international sports cooperation that fully complies with the spirit and principles of Olympism, which precludes politicization and biased approach. We find it unacceptable when certain Western countries use sport for their self-serving purposes. Persistent attempts to politicize sports cooperation, put pressure on the relevant multilateral organizations, including the International Olympic Committee, and cause division in the international Olympic movement are at odds with the Olympic goals and ideals.
We insist on holding fair and just competitions, and ensuring that all countries without exception have equal access to full participation in the Olympic and Paralympic movements.
- We call for an immediate abolition of politically motivated censorship of Russian and Russian-language media by the authorities of the states of the “collective West”, Ukraine and Moldova, as well as major IT corporations. We insist on putting an end to repressions against undesirable journalists and public figures. We are deeply concerned over the lack of reaction on the part of the relevant international organizations and United Nations bodies in connection with the deteriorating situation with freedom of expression in many countries of the world.
- In the social and economic area, the Western countries’ desire to blame Russia for the deepening economic crisis and to take advantage of the situation to exclude Russia and our like-minded countries from specialized formats of co-operation is particularly noticeable. Against this background, developing countries have become less hesitant to talk about the long-term (since the colonial period) economic damage caused by armed conflicts, unilateral coercive measures, environmental pollution, failed economic transformations with Western loans and aid, and, more recently, about the trend to curtail development assistance or reorient it for military or humanitarian purposes. Developing countries come to realize that sanctions as a form of hybrid warfare have global implications, affecting market volatility, access to food and energy resources, which are essential for social stability and economic development. Against the background of recession, it will be impossible to take effective practical steps to restore supply chains, ensure energy and food security, and prevent the degradation of global economic ties without Russia.
- Despite the objective challenges faced, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda) remains fully relevant as a universally constructive and consolidating initiative. Discussions around individual aspects of the UN Secretary-General’s reform initiative entitled “Our Common Agenda” should not overshadow the central role of the four-year High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) to be held in New York in September 2023 under the auspices of the UNGA. The Forum will focus on a midterm review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, followed by a high-level dialogue on financing for development to review the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, which is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda. These intergovernmental agreements remain relevant in their entirety as a reference for national planning and targeted efforts by the UN development system.
We continue to view poverty reduction as the central objective of the UN’s social and economic activities. We support further elaboration of practical steps in this area, including social, economic and technological transformation related to industrial capacity development, especially in the least developed countries, in the framework of the Third UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty.
- We attach great importance to international cooperation in addressing climate change. We regard the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement as the main international legal mechanisms to achieve a durable solution to the climate issue. We consider it important to strictly adhere to the provisions of the Paris Agreement in terms of keeping the average global temperature increase within the range of 2–1.5° C and achieving carbon neutrality in the second half of the century rather than by 2050. We oppose the “blurring” of the mandate of the UNFCCC and the establishment of a system of treaty obligations duplicating it. The division of labour between environmental mechanisms should be respected while avoiding the creation of artificial overlaps making it harder to pursue common goals and interests.
We are convinced that climate action should build on non-discriminatory international cooperation with due regard for economic realities and interests of all the countries concerned.
We oppose linking climate and security agendas and vesting peacekeeping missions with unnatural climate-monitoring functions. By doing so, major donor states are seeking to shrug off the responsibility for economic problems faced by least developed countries.
- As for energy cooperation, we deem it appropriate to prioritize the task of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy (SDG 7), which should be implemented with due consideration for environmental factors.
Recognizing the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we advocate the principle of technological neutrality and non-discriminatory treatment of energy sources with comparable carbon footprint characteristics. We call for objective assessment of different types of energy resources (nuclear, hydro power, and all types of renewable energy) based on their environmental impact throughout their life cycle. In this context, we support expanding the use of natural gas as the most environmentally acceptable fossil fuel, as well as categorizing nuclear and hydro power as clean energy sources. At the same time, we believe that the processes of the replacement of coal-fired generation and phasing out of fossil fuel should progress in step with developing relevant economic and technological conditions.
We are convinced that the transition to low-emission development should be gradual, balanced, and carefully adjusted to national and regional specifics. The development of general, uniform and clear climate regulation rules will improve the effectiveness of joint efforts.
At the same time, we note the fundamental importance of protecting critical infrastructure, including in accordance with UNSC resolution 2341. In this context, we once again call for an open and transparent international investigation into the terrorist attack against the Nord Stream pipeline system in September 2022.
- We continue to advocate adherence to the basic principles of international humanitarian assistance enshrined in UNGA resolution 46/182 as well as other General Assembly and ECOSOC decisions. We encourage increasing the expediency and efficiency of such assistance. We call on the UN humanitarian agencies to build their work on carefully verified data on the humanitarian situation “on the ground.”
- Lifting all unilateral coercive measures running counter to the UN Charter and international law would make a decisive contribution to achieving the SDGs and addressing the global crisis. Such unilateral coercive measures have serious humanitarian implications as they block assistance to those in need and supply of basic goods, including food products, fertilizers, fuel and lubricants, and medicines, as well as hamper the use of international investments for economic recovery and undermine multilateral efforts to address the consequences of the COVID‑19 pandemic.
The tendency to apply extraterritorial economic restrictions (so-called secondary sanctions) is of particular concern. The principle of responsibility of “third” countries, their authorities, citizens and businesses for maintaining and developing mutually beneficial trade and economic ties with those against whom unilateral restrictive actions have been imposed has been introduced in interstate relations. This virtually amounts to interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states and neo-colonial coercion to comply with others’ illegal sanctions by exerting direct pressure on the social and political circles of the target countries.
- The Russian Federation shares the calls of the UN leadership for reforming the global financial architecture, which in its current form contributes to the preservation of Western countries’ dominance in the world economy and to the increase in the debt burden of developing countries, as well as impedes free and non-discriminatory access to international capital markets. We support initiatives to reform the Bretton Woods Institutions and to ensure broader representation of developing countries and economies in transition in their capital and governing bodies. We regret that the UN Secretary-General does not sufficiently promote scientific cooperation and, above all, technology transfer.
Illicit financial flows from developing countries, which are de facto exploited as a source of financing for Western economies, should be returned to their countries of origin, including through the development of a new multilateral instrument on asset recovery to complement the Convention against Corruption.
- We advocate further enhancing of the effectiveness of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in implementing the UN SDGs. We emphasize the need to counter the policy pursued by some Western countries to politicize these programmes and dilute their technical mandates.
The outcome of the second session of the UN-Habitat Assembly highlighted the relevance of the Programme as a leading UN intergovernmental platform for equal engagement of states in sustainable urban development and the implementation of the New Urban Agenda adopted in 2016 at the third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Quito, Ecuador). We call for a non-discriminatory approach to countries where UN-Habitat works on conflict and natural disasters.
UNEP’s key objective is to improve the effectiveness of international environmental cooperation. We note that it is inadmissible to prioritize the environmental dimension of sustainable development to the detriment of its economic and social aspects. We oppose the discussion of peace and security, human rights and humanitarian operations within the framework of UNEP.
We deem it necessary to promote equitable geographical representation in the professional composition of the Secretariat in accordance with resolution 5/13 adopted at the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly.
- We note the need to uphold the central role of the Rome-based international organizations — the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development — in coordinating international efforts to strengthen global food security, eliminate hunger, improve nutrition, and ensure sustainable agriculture and rural development. We are actively engaged in the follow-up to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit to transform food systems. We assume that the transformation of international food systems should take into account national priorities and specific circumstances.
We oppose Western countries’ attempts to hold Russia responsible for the global food crisis. In our contacts with friendly states and within various international fora, we endeavour to explain the real consequences and impact of the unilateral restrictions imposed against us. We consider it crucial to prevent the politicization of international cooperation in the agrifood sector and the provision of humanitarian assistance, as well as the instrumentalization of the anti-famine agenda for commercial, economic and geopolitical purposes. We pay particular attention to ensuring stable and uninterrupted food supply chains and correcting distortions in the fertilizer market, primarily for the benefit of those in need in developing countries.
- In protecting public health, we support the actions agreed in the UNGA and WHO to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), including in preparation for the three high-level meetings of the UN General Assembly to be held in September 2023 — on pandemics (20 September), UHC (21 September) and tuberculosis (22 September) — with a focus on primary health care. We are also interested in active participation in the multilateral efforts to curb the risks related to the spread of antimicrobial resistance. We will further contribute to the international partnership to fight against HIV/AIDS in strict compliance with the Russian legislation and in line with our national priorities in this area.
Today, preparedness, prevention and appropriate response to outbreaks of infectious diseases have become a key element of public health cooperation. We believe that the bulk of the professional work in this field should be managed by relevant WHO bodies with due consideration for the positions of Member States and unconditional respect for their national sovereignty.
- We consistently support the WHO as the key player in international global health cooperation. We advocate improving the effectiveness of the Organization’s activities through greater transparency and accountability to Member States. We believe that the bulk of the professional work in this field should be moderated by relevant WHO bodies with due consideration for the positions of Member States and unconditional respect for their national sovereignty. We oppose the establishment of exclusive parallel structures in this area as well as the attempts to substitute them for universal global health mechanisms of the United Nations.
- We are committed to further development of the multilateral partnership for disaster risk reduction, including project activities and experience sharing among relevant agencies under the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030.
- As for the reform of the United Nations development system (UNDS), we intend to promote the strengthening of the UN Resident Coordinator (RC) system and to maintain their focus on sustainable development issues. We consider it counterproductive to transfer funding for the UN RC system to the regular budget of the United Nations or to increase the coordination fee on earmarked contributions from Member States for development assistance projects from 1 to 2 per cent. We intend to promote greater accountability of UNDS funds, programmes and special agencies to Member States, implementation of their project and regulatory activities based on national priorities of the recipient countries, and stronger regional cooperation platforms with a focus on the growing role of regional economic commissions.
- We consistently advocate curbing the growth of the regular and peacekeeping budgets, as well as of the financial estimates for the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. We insist on reasonable reductions in requested resources.
We support the proper implementation by the UN Secretariat of the recommendations of oversight bodies. We consistently advocate greater accountability, transparency and internal oversight in the Secretariat’s activities. We attach great importance to preserving Member States’ effective levers of control over the financial and human resources of the United Nations. We believe that any reforms and transformations in the administrative and budgetary area should be carried out exclusively on the basis of the UNGA-approved mandates.
We view the UNGA as the main platform to elaborate system-wide solutions in the field of human resources management and establish the conditions of service for staff based on recommendations of the International Civil Service Commission.
- Ensuring parity among the six official UN languages in conference services and information and communication activities remains a priority for our delegation. In this regard, the necessary resources for the Organization’s language services should be guaranteed. The principle of multilingualism should be of key importance in the planning and implementation of all UN projects, including in the media and social networks. Any manifestations of discrimination against the Russian language in the UN system are unacceptable.
We prioritize countering disinformation and maintaining an objective and balanced approach in the work of the Organization’s media. We are interested in a comprehensive expansion of contacts and development of partnerships between the UN Department of Global Communications and Russian media outlets.