Statement by H.E. Mr. Dmitry Maksimychev, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the International Organizations in Nairobi, at the Subcommittee Meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to UNEP (Nairobi, December 10, 2020)

Statement by H.E. Mr. Dmitry Maksimychev, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the International Organizations in Nairobi, at the Subcommittee Meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to UNEP (Nairobi, December 10, 2020)

Statement by H.E. Mr. Dmitry Maksimychev,

Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation

to the International Organizations in Nairobi,

at the Subcommittee Meeting

of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to UNEP

(Nairobi, December 10, 2020)

Agenda item 2

Madame. Chairman, Madame Deputy Executive Director,

We would like to thank the Secretariat for the revised version of the Medium Term Strategy for 2022-2025, which represents a clear improvement from the previous version.

However, some of the concerns that we expressed before, remain, and we would like to share them once again with the Subcommittee.

First of all, we believe in the division of labour among UN organs and organizations, and that, in a situation of financial and budgetary constraints, UNEP should concentrate all its limited resources on its core mandate without trying to address the issues that are already covered by other entities some of whom have more resources.

Issues like peace and security, humanitarian operations, gender rights and human rights have specialized institutions directly mandated by the Member-States to deal with them. UNEP’s role is to contribute, if so decided by its governing bodies, to their deliberations the environmental scientific perspective and technical assistance to Member-States at their request.

Besides, these issues are divisive and may lead to the politicization of the very important work of UNEP.

We are concerned that the MTS contains the term “environmental rights” that has never been agreed intergovernmentally. We would appreciate the deletion of this term from UNEP documents.

We also have doubts about the necessity to link environment with peace and security in light of UNGA resolution 53/242 that clearly stipulates that UNEP should not become involved in conflict identification, prevention or resolution.

Issues of climate and biodiversity are already covered within the framework of the UN FCCC and CBD which serve as specialized UN bodies to address them. In our view, they can not be named as priorities in the work of UNEP unless an explanation is provided what specific aspects of these issues are to be dealt with. Otherwise it would lead to the division of resources that could be used to address other urgent environmental issues that are not covered by any other UN structures like microplastic pollution or identification of new challenges associated with possible negative lifecycle impacts of some green technologies.

Finally, we consider a lack of attention to the issues of equitable geographic representation in the composition of the professional staff of UNEP to be a huge gap of both Medium Term Strategy for 2022-2025 and Program of Work and Budget for 2022-23. While there has been much success achieved in ensuring gender parity within UNEP, nothing close to it has been achieved towards fair geographic balance. No specific measures to remedy the situation are mentioned in the documents, in contrast to the tasks to achieve gender parity. All work is limited solely to the monitoring the situation without any specific actions and practical commitment of the Secretariat to overcome this problem. This situation must be changed. Specific measures in this direction should be included in the document, in particular the priority of recruiting staff from underrepresented countries when holding competitions for filling vacant posts.

Thank you!