ON RUSSIA’S AGENDA AT 69TH SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

The 69th session of the UN General Assembly has opened in New York on 16 September. We believe that it should aim at consolidating collective approaches to world affairs with a central coordinating role of the United Nations as a mechanism of unique legitimacy in ensuring global stability. The only way to address current threats and challenges in an effective and comprehensive manner is to use collectively coordinated approaches and agree on solutions that take into account the wide range of member states' positions.

At the heart of Russia’s position on the current UNGA agenda lies the need for the respect for international law, primarily the UN Charter, strengthening the role of the UN, strict adherence to the UN Security Council exclusive powers in maintaining international peace and security. Security Council decisions shall not allow for arbitrary interpretation and are binding on all members of the international community.
We support realistic initiatives to improve the effectiveness of the UN General Assembly. We are focusing on improving the working methods and streamlining the overloaded agenda. Any innovation must be based on a strict compliance with division of prerogatives among the main UN bodies. The same goes for the UN Security Council reform that should be aimed at achieving broader representation without damaging the effectiveness and efficiency of its work. It is necessary to keep searching for a reform model that would enjoy the broadest support within the UN (much stronger than two-thirds of votes of its members). The prerogatives of the current permanent members, including their right of veto, must remain intact. Setting artificial deadlines is hardly helpful.
When it comes to regional problems, we hope they will receive a proper assessment, and workable solutions will be found at the session. For instance, the domestic crisis in Ukraine can only be settled through political and diplomatic means, on the basis of cessation of all violence and a launch of a broad and inclusive national dialogue. It must address the legitimate aspirations of all regions of the country, its linguistic and ethno-confessional groups at the constitutional level. We insist on objective and impartial investigation of cases of significant violence, and on bringing those responsible to justice. It is crucial to abandon the neo-Nazi ideology, the glorification of war criminals and the Nazi accomplices in the territory of Ukraine. Russia is ready to make a humble contribution to settling the crisis, defusing the situation, strengthening confidence in Ukraine and restoring its stability in a sustainable way. Such an objective and an impartial approach should be the foundation of any crisis settlement.
As regards to Syria, we reiterate that the Syrian conflict is to be settled only by peaceful means and through an inclusive political dialogue on the basis of the 2012 Geneva Communique and the agreed agenda. The Montreux International Conference established all the necessary prerequisites for that. Joining the efforts of the government and the opposition in the fight against the terrorist threat, which creates risks of regional destabilization, remains one of the priorities.
Russia hopes that objectivity and impartiality will dominate the 69th UNGA session with the aim to achieving genuine consensus on acute regional conflicts. The session should contribute to mutual understanding between states and, thus, to the build-up of confidence and stability in world affairs.