MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
Mr. Chairman, Madam General Director,
Mr. President of the General Conference,
Dear members of the Executive Council,
Our session is finally being held in person, and this is a symbol not only of the gradual normalization of the sanitary situation, but also of a general determination to resume the full functioning of the Organization.
We attach paramount importance to finalizing the drafts of the new eight-year strategy, program and budget. We see them as a good start for adapting UNESCO to modern challenges, strengthening its function as a “laboratory of ideas”, and improving program activities. It is important to move forward on a clear intergovernmental basis, in full accordance with the mandate and in a spirit of constructive dialogue, avoiding politicization with its disastrous consequences for UNESCO. Unfortunately, as yesterday’s speeches by representatives of France and Germany showed, some states are ready to cynically sacrifice UNESCO’s values for the sake of their geopolitical interests.
Such actions only distract the attention of the Member States from the real tasks of the Organization. And there are a lot of them. In particular, it is required to fill the global priority “Africa” with additional content. Humanitarian issues are among the central issues of the forthcoming second Russia-Africa summit.
With regard to the second global priority – “Gender Equality”, we see potential for cooperation between UNESCO and such an authoritative international platform as the Eurasian Women’s Forum.
Special attention is required to the issues of “postcoid rehabilitation” in the sphere of education. Whole generations are in danger of being left behind. Here it is more important than ever to ensure the right of everyone to a high-quality, full-fledged education. Not only children trapped in emergencies or conflict zones, but millions who are discriminated against as a result of aggressive nationalist policies. I mean the violent de-Russification, discriminatory legislative measures of Latvia and Ukraine, infringing, in violation of the 1960 UNESCO Convention, the rights of national minorities. We call on the CEO to protect the basic right to education in his native language.
The fight against the pandemic has highlighted the key role of scientists and science for the future of humankind. We are convinced that the DI Mendeleev International UNESCO-Russia Prize, the first presentation of which should take place in November, will become a significant tool for popularizing scientific activities, stepping up international cooperation in the fundamental sciences, and promoting the role of women and youth in science.
The developments of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission seem to be no less relevant. We applaud her pivotal role in the United Nations Decade for Ocean Science.
The word ethics is being used more and more often in various contexts. This is an integral part of UNESCO’s mandate, whose Charter calls for the building of moral solidarity for humankind. We look forward to substantive discussions with the participation of UNESCO at the site of the upcoming international forum on the ethics of artificial intelligence in Moscow.
Committed to strengthening international cooperation in the field of physical education and sports to strengthen intercultural dialogue. We insist on the inadmissibility of the politicization of sport and the use of sanctions mechanisms, including within the framework of the International Convention against Doping in Sport.
We proceed from the need to adapt the specialized structures of the Secretariat to promptly respond to the challenges of the digital age. The deletion of the accounts of two media operators of the Russia Today group by the video hosting You Tube on the International Day of Universal Access to Information proclaimed by UNESCO did not receive due assessment from the Organization. And this is not an isolated case. The suspension of the broadcasting of the RTR-Planeta TV channel in Lithuania was ignored, the illegality of which was recognized even by the Supreme Administrative Court of this country. There is also no reaction to the systematic violations of the rights of the Russian media in the Baltics and Ukraine.
Fresh UNESCO projects are needed to protect media resources from arbitrary blocking by IT giants, ensure the safety of journalists in zones of armed conflict, and improve professional journalistic ethics. Russia is ready to work on this and invest the necessary resources – both financial and intellectual.
We welcome the creation of the World Atlas of Languages based on reliable official information received from the Member States. Time should be devoted to this work during the International Decade of Indigenous Languages.
We look forward to making a meaningful decision to correct the imbalance in the geographical representation of the workforce.
The protection of cultural and natural heritage is a trademark of UNESCO. The legacy has no political overtones, it belongs to all of humanity. We hope that UNESCO will mobilize its potential to restore the ancient monuments of Syria that have suffered at the hands of terrorists. We are in favor of strengthening the World Heritage Center, a unique and effective body in the UNESCO system. We will do our best to make the upcoming session of the World Heritage Committee in Kazan a platform for fruitful discussions on ways to improve these mechanisms in modern conditions in the light of the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Convention.
Culture creates space for dialogue, being, as the Russian poet E. Yevtushenko said, “by its nature – a builder of mutual understanding between peoples.”
Thank you for attention.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.