UN Day – 65th Anniversary: Remarks by the United Nations Resident Coordinator Russian Federation

(Palace of MFA, 22-10-2010)

First Deputy Minister Denisov, Chairman of the United Nations Association Dr Torkunov, Ambassadors, Members of Parliament, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

It is an honour and a pleasure to welcome you today on behalf of the UN Team in Russia as we mark the 65th Anniversary of the United Nations. The celebration today is co-organised by two additional partners. Let me extend my appreciation to the great cooperation and partnership with the Russian institutions in front of the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs whom we are honoured to have with us today. The courtesy of being able to use MFA spectacular premises is appreciated and more than any word could do symbolising the relationship between United Nations and Russia.

Let me also present our sincere gratitude to Dr Torkunov in his capacity of the Chairman of the United Nations Association in Russia for his continued support and collaboration towards greater advocacy of the United Nations activities in the Russia Federation. Also worth mentioning is the contribution his educational institution MGIMO has given UN through its education of students, a large number who has later joined the ranks of United Nations staff.

The second Secretary General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld, once said: “The UN wasn’t created to take mankind into paradise, but rather to save humanity from hell.” Today, as we celebrate sixty-five (65) years of the United Nations, it is easy to agree to the many achievements of the UN. Nevertheless, we must recognize that the world has become very different from that of our founders. The issues we face have grown much more complex, affecting all of us around the globe. As the world has changed, so has Russia.

We in the United Nations are pleased to note that Russia has always taken the United Nations very seriously. This is visible at the high political level and by the society in general.

We are witnessing tremendous changes and progress of the Russian Federation in the development agenda. It continues to play a visible and active role at the international arena. Historically, the role has been very strong and focused on the political and economic agenda, but a role in the international economic and social arena in the United Nations is also emerging. We trust that the future will see further strengthening of the partnerships between Russia and United Nations with focus on peace, prosperity and respect for international commitments in the best spirit of multilateralism.

With the advancements referred to, the nature of the relationship between UN agencies in Russia and the Russian Federation is changing. This means a move from assistance to partnerships. As Professor Jeffrey Sachs said in an article in The Economist: “Despite a decade of criticism and budget cuts, the UN agencies have far more expertise and hands-on experience than any other organizations in the world.” More and more will we access Russia’s vast knowledge and expertise. The UN agencies present in Russia look forward to building a new framework of our collaboration together with you.

As we welcome and praise your successes, let me express my warm wishes for everlasting collaboration and partnership. I thank all of you and all those present for your commitment to the United Nations and its values, and wish you a splendid celebration.