Comment by the Information and Press Department on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s attendance of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly

Submitted on Mon, 09/18/2017 - 14:59

The 72nd session of the UN General Assembly opened in New York on September 12. UN member states have convened at this crucial international forum to discuss a wide range of current global and regional topics.

The Russian delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. On September 21, he will speak at the general debate.

Sergey Lavrov’s agenda in New York includes a score of high-level events and bilateral meetings. He will take part in the traditional multilateral and regional meetings of foreign ministers, including within the framework of the CSTO, SCO, BRICS, BSEC, NTBT, CICA, CELAC and other organisations, as well as high-level side events on current subjects. There are plans for meetings with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and President of the 72nd General Assembly session Miroslav Lajcak.

The 72nd session of the UN General Assembly is expected to reaffirm the central position and leadership of the UN in global politics. The UN has no equals as an organisation in terms of membership and universal nature. It is uniquely positioned for holding an equal dialogue aimed at finding or formulating effective solutions based on respect for the diverse opinions and interests of its member states, as well as the fundamental goals and principles of the UN Charter. We believe that any attempt to erode the prestige and legitimacy of the UN, or to divert its prerogatives are extremely dangerous and even fraught with the collapse of the entire structure of international relations.

Aware of the deterioration of the global situation, the numerous conflicts plus the proliferation of terrorism, we have been trying to rally the efforts of the international community towards resolving arising problems on the basis of international law. The key task of the UN is to protect peace as well as regional and global stability.

We have been consistently advocating a polycentric world order and equal indivisible security for all countries based on unconditional respect for sovereignty and the right of nations to a free choice.

In this context, we will argue for compliance with the principle of supremacy of international law and the UN Charter, as well as the Charter prerogatives of the UN Security Council, which bears the brunt of responsibility for international peace and security.

In accordance with our national interests we will firmly oppose in the UN the distortion of history and revision of the results of World War II. In the context of  these efforts and struggle against any forms and manifestations of racism, discrimination and xenophobia Russia will again submit to the UN General Assembly draft resolution entitled “Glorification of Nazism: Inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”   Traditionally, the document enjoys support of the impressive majority of the UN member states. However, not every delegation has enough political will to oppose the glorification of the Nazis and their accomplices in some countries. We hope that the delegations that opposed this draft or abstained from voting on it back in 2016 will revise their position on this matter.

We are consistently advocating the formation of a broad anti-terrorist front with the participation of all countries to the measure of their abilities and with the consent of the states that are a venue of the anti-terrorist struggle. It is important to maintain the central coordinating role of the United Nations and to ensure the observance of the principles and norms of international law. We believe that the recent establishment of the position and office of a coordinator for counterterrorism in the UN Secretariat will help to reach this goal.

We stand for a comprehensive approach to the anti-terrorist struggle and efficient implementation of relevant universal conventions and resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council. We are paying special attention to the comprehensive implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

We are urging all UN members to enhance joint efforts so as to be able to prevent the dissemination of terrorist ideology as well as propaganda by adopting counter-narrative measures and carrying out UN Security Council Resolution 2354. We consider it very important to fight against foreign terrorists and militants.

We will support the UN reform initiated by the new Secretary-General. Most importantly the reform should adapt the UN to modern reality. In the process it is essential to preserve the UN intergovernmental character and strictly observe its Charter’s principle on the division of power between the major UN bodies. This applies to the maintenance of peace and security, and the organisation and development of management.

We are ready to be largely involved in the UNSC reform to increase its representation without loss of its efficient and prompt performance. The search for the reform model should be continued without setting any artificial deadlines, with a compulsory reliance on the ultimate support of the member states. Otherwise calculations alone will not achieve the declared transformation goals. Permanent members’ prerogatives, including the right of veto, are not subject to revision.

We support the realistic initiatives to optimise the activities of the UN General Assembly. The major task is to improve the working methods and to streamline the overloaded agenda. Any innovation must be rational and strictly correspond with the existing distribution of prerogatives among the UN’s main bodies. We support the expansion and improvement of the UN’s cooperation with regional and subregional associations on the basis of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. In this context, we support the boosting of the UN’s constructive interaction with such organisations as the CSTO, the SCO and BRICS.

Russia’s priorities include the prevention of the deployment of weapons in near Earth space. This priority is supported by the Russia-China draft treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space, the threat or use of force against outer space objects, as well as the globalisation of Russia’s initiative on the adoption by all states of the obligation not to be the first to deploy weapons in outer space as a preliminary measure to enhance security and trust. By tradition, we will submit the draft of the respective resolution to the First Committee of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.

We are ready for constructive collaboration with other delegations in enforcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – without shifting and deleting selected priorities. We will contribute to strengthening and enhancing the effectiveness of the UN’s peacekeeping missions, promoting rule of international law through the efforts of the United Nations, adopting effective joint measures against drug trafficking, crime and corruption.

Overall, we see our common task in ensuring the viability and effective performance of the United Nations, and in promoting the unifying agenda that will help scale down confrontation and tension in the world.